There is nothing more heartbreaking or devastating than losing a loved one in an accident—especially one that should have been prevented. Under New York law (EPT § 5-4.1), the personal representative of the victim can hold the responsible party liable through a wrongful death claim. While no amount of compensation can ever make up for such a horrific loss, the close family of the victims needs justice and financial compensation.
If you are considering legal action, you may want to know: What is the average amount of a wrongful death settlement? The somewhat unsatisfying answer to this question is that there is no true average wrongful death settlement. Every case is unique. Here, our Buffalo wrongful death attorneys offer a guide to wrongful death compensation in New York.
Wrongful Death Compensation: What You Should Know
Through a New York wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the estate can recover compensatory damages from the at-fault defendant. Compensatory damages should include recovery for both economic damages (actual monetary losses) and non-economic damages (intangible losses).
Economic damages include all objective financial losses incurred as a consequence of the deadly accident. Depending on the specific circumstances, a wrongful death settlement may include compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, and loss of financial benefits.
Noneconomic damages include intangible damages suffered by the deceased. Unfortunately, under New York Law, juries are generally not permitted to consider a family member’s mental distress or loss of companionship in a wrongful death claim. However, the pain and suffering of the victim endured prior to death must be considered.
How a New York Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
Wrongful death cases are deeply complex. A fatal accident always requires a comprehensive investigation by an experienced professional. You and your family should not settle a wrongful death case until you are certain that you are receiving the full and fair financial compensation available under New York law. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help by:
- Conducting an in-depth evaluation and investigation of your accident;
- Gathering all relevant documents and evidence, including the records needed to prove the extent of your damages;
- Identify all defendants who may bear liability for the wrongful death;
- Handle correspondence and settlement negotiations with insurers; and
- Prepare a strong and compelling legal claim—preparing for wrongful death litigation, should it be necessary.
Ultimately, every wrongful death must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Family members of the victim need to be able to protect their rights, get justice, and recover the maximum available financial settlement.
Call Our Buffalo, NY Wrongful Death Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our New York wrongful death lawyers are compassionate, experienced advocates for our clients. We will handle all of your legal needs while you focus on yourselves and your family. To set up a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please contact us today. With an office location in Buffalo, we handle wrongful death claims throughout Western New York, including in Rochester, Brockport, Batavia, and Lockport.