AN ELMIRA WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY FIGHTING FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE
If someone you love has been killed because of a careless, reckless, dangerous, or otherwise negligent act on the part of another person, you are probably experiencing a flood of emotions—grief, pain, frustration, and anger. Many newly bereaved families find that they just don’t have the heart or the energy to undertake the various steps involved in filing a claim for wrongful death. This is where a compassionate and experienced Elmira wrongful death attorney can step in to ease the burden, giving you and your family the time you need to work through the grieving process. Nothing can return your loved one to you, but you can hold the person who caused the wrongful death accountable for the damage that you and your family have suffered.
Steve Proudfoot and his associates at the Proudfoot Law Firm in Elmira understand that this is a difficult time and are available to handle the filing of a wrongful death claim on your family’s behalf.
NEW YORK ESTATES, POWERS & TRUSTS LAW
The New York Estates, Powers & Trust Law names the survivors who are entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death claim and states the legal requirements for a wrongful death action. Steve Proudfoot and his associates will see that a representative is appointed to bring the claim on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors against the person whose act or omission caused the death and who would have been liable to the deceased if the injury had not resulted in death. The distributees in a wrongful death action in New York follow the laws of intestacy (dying without a will). An exception is if there is a surviving spouse but no children. The deceased person’s parents are then able to recover financial damages.
The attorneys at Proudfoot Law Firm are thoroughly familiar with the wrongful death statutes in both New York and Pennsylvania and are experienced in pursuing wrongful death claims arising from car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, falls, and workplace accidents.
HOW DOES A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM WORK?
A wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury claim. In both cases, you are claiming that you are owed financial compensation for harms suffered as a result of the other person’s negligence. Essentially, the principal difference between the two types of claims is the type of damages you may be entitled to receive.
In order to prevail in a wrongful death claim, you need to prove three things:
- The other party owed you a duty;
- The other party breached that duty; and
- Their breach caused the death of your loved one.
If you can prove these three elements, you can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses. However, many wrongful death claims are settled by insurance without having to file suit. As a result, your lawyer can start your claim by issuing a demand letter to the insurance company laying out the damages that you are entitled to, which typically begins a back-and-forth settlement negotiation that often leads to a successful resolution.
In some cases a wrongful death lawsuit is not able to be resolved via settlement. In these situations, it will be necessary to file suit and litigate the matter in order to get the compensation you deserve. Navigating the legal system can be extremely difficult for non-lawyers. We do not recommend filing suit without working with an Elmira wrongful death attorney.
LET PROUDFOOT LAW FIRM DEAL WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY
When a family member has been killed in an accident caused by another, if an insurance adjuster calls, do not agree to make a recorded or written statement or sign releases unless your attorney instructs you to do so. The insurance company is not on your side and will try to get information from you that they can use to reduce the value of your case. Refer all calls or attempts at contact from the insurance company to your attorney at the Proudfoot Law Firm, who will handle the adjuster on your behalf. Attempting to negotiate with the adjuster yourself is never in your best interest in a wrongful death case.
DAMAGES TO CLAIM IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
When applicable to your situation, your Elmira wrongful death attorney at Proudfoot Law Firm will include the following damages in your family’s claim:
- Emotional pain and suffering, loss of affection, protection, and companionship; loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction.
- Chores and other household functions the deceased person would have contributed.
- Financial support each claimant would have received from the deceased.
- Pain and suffering of the deceased between the accident and the time of death.
- Medical and funeral costs.
Wrongful Death Recovery When a Parent Loses a Child
There are few things more tragic than when a parent loses a child. The death of a child, sad in and of itself, can trigger overwhelming feelings of grief and loss. If you have lost a child caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to hold the at-fault party responsible for your loss.
Unfortunately, New York law limits the damages you can seek in a wrongful death claim involving the loss of a child. Unlike many other states, you cannot seek damages for the emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your child’s death. However, you are entitled to seek damages for any losses you suffered as a result of the accident, including:
- Any medical expenses incurred between the time of the accident and when they died
- Burial and funeral expenses
These losses are relatively straightforward and easy to calculate. In addition, you are also entitled to seek the following losses:
- The financial loss to your household resulting from the loss of your child
- The potential future financial losses
The current financial losses to your household are typically negligible unless your child was older and working outside the home. On the other hand, the future potential financial losses can be quite difficult to calculate. Some of the factors that will play a role in the value of your claim include the following:
- Your child’s life and work expectancy
- Your child’s earning potential
- Your child’s health
- Your child’s talents, hobbies, interests, and intelligence
Generally speaking, determining the potential financial losses for young children can be a very complex analysis because they have not yet developed their educational or career trajectory. Nonetheless, an Elmira wrongful death attorney can help you calculate what would be fair compensation.
THE COST OF AN ELMIRA WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY
Most, if not all, wrongful death attorneys work on a “contingency fee” basis, which means that your lawyer does not receive any legal fees unless they win your case. In the event that you are awarded compensation, their fee is typically paid as a percentage of your compensation. We are structured this way at Proudfoot Law Firm so that you never pay legal fees out of pocket.
DON’T DELAY: SPEAK WITH AN ELMIRA WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY TODAY
Don’t risk losing your right to sue for wrongful death by waiting too long. Call the Proudfoot Law Firm offices today for a free consultation. Don’t worry about the cost of hiring a skilled and experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer, because we take cases on a contingency basis. You’ll never owe us fees or expenses until you receive a settlement check.