The pain and struggles you may be left with after the unexpected passing of a loved one can impact your life for years to come. Naturally, you may struggle to cope emotionally after a tragic death.
To make matters worse, a loved one’s passing can also permanently affect your finances. Maybe you have lost someone who was the primary breadwinner for your family. You may now be facing a significant financial burden. If your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
Do you believe you have a valid New York accidental death case? If so, consult with a New York personal injury lawyer at Shulman & Hill. We can review your case and determine how to best proceed.
New York Accidental Death Cases: What You Need to Know
New York accidental death cases can take a variety of forms. The following are some of the most common causes of accidental death:
- Car or pedestrian accidents
- Accidents involving other types of vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, planes, trains, etc
- Medical error
- Workplace accidents
- Accidents involving dangerous conditions on someone’s property
- Animal attacks
Generally, accidental deaths occur when someone passes in an accident as a direct result of another party’s negligence. When this happens, certain individuals related to the deceased may be entitled to compensation for their losses.
The process of seeking compensation in a New York accidental death case can be very complicated. It can also be quite painful for surviving family members. To optimize your chances of collecting compensation, you should strongly consider enlisting the help of a personal injury law firm in New York.
Establishing the Validity of a New York Accidental Death Claim
Under New York law, you are entitled to compensation after a loved one’s death if you can establish the following:
- The individual in question is dead
- Another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct caused the accident or similar circumstance that resulted in your loved one’s death.
- You and/or other survivors have, as a result of your loved one’s death, suffered specific losses.
Those who may be entitled to compensation in New York accidental death cases include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and personal representative of their estate. Losses one can seek compensation for include (but are not limited to):
- Lost financial support
- Lost general support
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs and related expenses
- Pain and suffering
New York Accidental Death Cases: How to Seek Compensation
If you choose not to work with an accidental death law firm in New York, you may find the process of seeking compensation overwhelming. Although the specifics may vary on a case-by-case basis, typical steps to follow include:
Identifying the Negligent Party
Before you can pursue compensation, you need to first accurately determine whose negligence caused your loved one’s death in the first place. Sometimes it is unclear who that is. In certain cases, New York accidental death attorneys must leverage significant resources to investigate an accident and identify the negligent party.
Perhaps your loved one was killed when a driver struck them in a crosswalk. Your immediate assumption might be that the driver would be the one responsible for compensating you. However, an investigation may reveal that the driver was operating their vehicle properly, but a vehicle defect resulted in brake failure. In this instance, you might want to pursue compensation from a negligent designer or manufacturer as well.
Calculating Potential Compensation
Determining if a victim is eligible for compensation in any sort of personal injury case can be complicated. Oftentimes lawyers have the experience and training necessary to assign a dollar value to non-financial losses like pain and suffering.
Determining what constitutes an appropriate request for compensation can be even more challenging in New York accidental death cases. If you are struggling financially after the death of your family’s primary breadwinner, you may need to determine how much they may have earned over the course of a lifetime if they had not died prematurely.
Whether you represent yourself or seek legal counsel, it is critical to accurately calculate how much compensation you can request when filing a claim. Luckily, our New York accidental death lawyers have the expertise necessary to help with this process.
Filing a Claim
When seeking compensation, you can file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance. To do this, you will likely need to write a demand letter. When writing a demand letter, you can describe the circumstances, explain how another’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, request a certain amount of compensation, and present evidence to demonstrate why the amount you are seeking is justified.
This is yet another task that a qualified personal injury lawyer in New York can handle for you. A firm’s legal team can make sure your demand letter is up to par before you file it.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some insurance companies to respond to claims in one of two ways: offering a subpar settlement or denying a claim altogether.
Hiring a lawyer in these circumstances can be immensely helpful. Expert representation from an attorney can legitimize your case and give you an ally in these negotiations. Attorneys can compile the paperwork necessary to propel your case through the negotiation process. If you do not provide sufficient evidence, this opens the door for an insurance company to deny your claim.
Even if an insurance company does not deny your claim outright, they may not have your long-term wellness in mind when they make you an offer. In some cases, insurance companies may try to get away with paying out the smallest settlement possible. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf and reject an insurance company’s initial offers when necessary. We can even go to court on your behalf if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
At Shulman & Hill, we deeply understand and appreciate the sensitive issues involved in New York accidental death cases. While we can negotiate aggressively on your behalf, we also strive to approach you and your family with the compassion you need.
Although we try to refrain from making empty promises, our track record is a glowing indication of our experience and qualifications. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 212-221-1000.