Brooklyn Wrongful Death Lawyer

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If your loved one’s death was caused by another party’s careless or intentional actions, you can hold them accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, building a strong wrongful death case requires thoroughly investigating the incident, collecting evidence, and navigating complex legal and procedural rules. At Shulman & Hill, our Brooklyn wrongful death lawyers have the experience and skills needed to protect your right to justice.

Wrongful death lawsuits allow families to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one and hold the responsible party accountable. However, doing so can be difficult because of the complex laws and legal process you must navigate to secure wrongful death compensation in New York.

At Shulman & Hill, our Brooklyn wrongful death lawyers have decades of combined experience helping grieving families fight for compensation and justice. Everyone copes with the death of a loved one differently. In all cases, however, we believe surviving loved ones of wrongful death victims deserve the best legal representation possible in their hour of need. You can count on us to provide it.

Rely on the Experienced and Compassionate Brooklyn Wrongful Death Lawyers at Shulman & Hill

Because of our dedication to providing high-quality legal services to communities throughout the five boroughs, Shulman & Hill has grown into a leading personal injury law firm in New York City. A key focus of our practice is representing clients in wrongful death actions. Our compassionate legal team has a profound respect for every client’s unique situation and ensures that each case we take on receives the individualized attention it deserves.

Founding partner Alex Shulman has garnered local and national recognition for his skill in handling personal injury and wrongful death matters. He has earned a place on the New York Super Lawyer list since 2017, an accolade bestowed on only 5 percent of lawyers in the state. He has also been listed in The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, an exclusive honor reserved for the nation’s best advocates.

Our firm consistently achieves excellent case results for our clients. Some examples include the following highlights:

  • $2.5 million for a non-union laborer injured by an unsecured rebar stack.
  • $1.6 million for a bus driver who slipped and fell on ice in the bus parking lot, resulting in serious shoulder and knee injuries.
  • $1.1 million for a driver with neck and shoulder injuries after a rear-end collision with a commercial vehicle.

What Is a Wrongful Death in Brooklyn?

Wrongful death occurs when someone fatally injures another person through a “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” The personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of death. If it is successful or a settlement is reached, the compensation recovered is distributed to surviving family members.

Most wrongful death cases are based on a negligence theory of liability. To prove that a defendant is responsible for your loved one’s death due to negligence, you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • They owed your loved one a duty to take reasonable care.
  • They failed to uphold that duty through their conduct.
  • The breach of duty caused the harm that led to your loved one’s death.
  • The death resulted in compensable damages under New York law.

These are the general elements of negligence you must normally prove in personal injury cases, including those involving wrongful death. However, simple negligence is not the only cause of action that can give rise to a claim. For example, if your case is based on premises liability, product liability, or medical malpractice, the applicable legal standards will vary.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Brooklyn

The variation in potential legal theories that may underlie your claim is also reflected in the many different types of incidents that can give rise to wrongful death. Our firm has represented clients in wrongful death lawsuits involving a wide range of scenarios, including:

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Notable Results

Shulman & Hill obtained a $2,500,000 settlement for a non-union laborer


Shulman & Hill obtained a $2,000,000 settlement for an immigrant laborer


Shulman & Hill obtained a $1,600,000 settlement for a 53-year-old union bus driver


Shulman & Hill obtained a $1,500,000 settlement for an undocumented day laborer


Shulman & Hill obtained a $1,500,000 settlement for a bus driver

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Again, in New York, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim. If appointed in a will, they are also known as the executor. If appointed by a court in the absence of a will, they are also known as an administrator.

Oftentimes, courts will choose a spouse, child, or close relative to serve as the personal representative if they are not named in the decedent’s will. In any case, the proceeds from a settlement or judgment should be distributed to surviving family members.

How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The filing deadline for Brooklyn wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. This deadline can be extended in some situations, such as when waiting for the results from an associated criminal prosecution against the at-fault party.

Though limited exceptions sometimes apply, failure to file before the correct deadline will result in your case being dismissed in court. Therefore, do not wait to meet with our Brooklyn wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible after the passing of a loved one. We will ensure you know your full legal rights and that your case is filed before the deadline passes.

Damages Available in Brooklyn Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death damages in New York are currently limited to “pecuniary losses,” more commonly known as economic damages. However, this term is somewhat misleading, as the law allows plaintiffs to recover compensation for certain losses that are not typically considered economic in nature. Compensable damages in wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Healthcare expenses related to the decedent’s fatal injury or illness
  • Financial support the decedent would have contributed to the family
  • Support and services the decedent would have provided
  • Lost inheritance
  • Parental guidance, nurturing, and care they would have provided to surviving children
  • Conscious pain and suffering of decedent caused by their fatal injury or illness
  • Interest on the damages award from the date of death

Unlike most states, however, New York does not allow surviving family members to recover non-economic damages for their own emotional suffering caused by the wrongful death of a loved one. Though changes to this law have been proposed in the state legislature multiple times, they have been vetoed by the governor.

How Our Brooklyn Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help

The legal process for obtaining compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit can be highly stressful and emotional for surviving family members. At Shulman & Hill, our Brooklyn wrongful death lawyers can take on the burden and will work tirelessly to secure justice on your behalf. Among other things, we will:

  • Make sure you know your full legal rights and options.
  • Conduct a thorough, independent investigation of your loved one’s death.
  • Identify all parties responsible for their fatal injury or illness.
  • Investigate the governing law.
  • Gather all evidence available in your case.
  • Calculate the full and fair compensation owed to you and your family.
  • Aggressively negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party and their insurers.
  • Take your case to court if a fair out-of-court settlement cannot be reached.
  • Keep you informed and provide excellent legal counsel throughout the life of your case.

Liability in Brooklyn Wrongful Death Cases

Parties that may be liable for wrongful death depend on the unique factors of each case. For example, they may include:

  • The individual responsible for the death (e.g., negligent driver, criminal)
  • The employer of the individual at fault
  • Product manufacturers and distributors
  • Health care providers
  • Property owners
  • Government entities
  • Construction companies
  • Bars, clubs, and restaurants (under “dram shop” laws)

In cases where the decedent was partially responsible for the incident that led to their death, New York’s comparative negligence rule applies. This means that compensable damages in your case are reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if the decedent was 10 percent responsible and damages are set at $1 million, the final payout would be reduced to $900,000.

Trust Shulman & Hill To Fight for You

No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, in the interest of ensuring a measure of accountability and justice for surviving family members, the law carves out an avenue toward compensation. If you lost someone close to you due to a wrongful death, our hearts go out to you. Our wrongful death lawyers are here to support you in your hour of need.

We take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we secure compensation on your behalf. We also offer free, no-obligation consultations, so there is no downside to having one of our compassionate wrongful death attorneys at our Brooklyn law office review your case. Schedule yours today by calling (212) 221-1000 or filling out our online contact form.


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