Staten Island Accidental Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, please accept our condolences for your loss. Dealing with a loved one’s passing is always hard, but when that passing was sudden and preventable, it can be even more devastating.
At Shulman & Hill, we can help you by assigning an accidental death lawyer in Staten Island to your case. Our entire team will work hard to help you recover a fair settlement so you and your family can move on with your lives. Call us for a free consultation at 212.221.1000.
When Can I Sue After an Accidental Death?
To have a valid legal case, your lawsuit must meet the following four criteria:
- The party who harmed your loved one had a duty to keep them safe (e.g., by maintaining their property or by testing a product thoroughly before selling it).
- That party failed to take reasonable steps to keep people like your loved one safe.
- The party’s actions, or inactions, resulted in the accident that, in turn, robbed your loved one of their life.
Many types of accidents can fit into these criteria. Some include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: These could involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
- Defective product accident: Defective products can malfunction and cause fatal injuries.
- Medical malpractice: This means a doctor or other medical professional failed in their duty to provide care, resulting in a fatality.
- Accidents that occur on someone else’s property: For example, slip and fall accidents or swimming pool accidents
- Workplace accidents: When a worker is killed performing their job duties
No matter what type of accident your loved one was in, you could be eligible for compensation.
Accidental Deaths and Workers’ Compensation
Certain types of workers, such as tunnel workers or those with certain types of manufacturing jobs, may be more susceptible to fatal injuries than others. If a worker dies on the job, their dependents could be entitled to death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Death benefits, according to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), include a weekly payout, as well as a lump sum awarded to cover funeral costs.
Shulman & Hill handles workers’ compensation cases as well as personal injury cases. As the surviving loved one of a deceased worker, you might be entitled to receive compensation through both types of cases. We can represent you if you want to pursue damages through a personal injury suit, a workers’ compensation claim, or both concurrently.
How to Start an Accidental Death Case
A good way to start a wrongful death legal action is to connect with an accidental death lawyer from Shulman & Hill. Our Staten Island team will work to assist you through what can be a long and complex legal process.
Building Your Case
Your knowledge of the accident that took your loved one’s life could be detailed or sparse. How did it happen? Who is responsible? What is the exact cause of your loved one’s death? How much are your (and your loved one’s) losses worth?
After speaking with you about your case, we may ask if you have any documentary evidence (e.g., medical bills or photos of injuries) that support what you have said. We can use these materials to build your case. If you do not have any such materials, don’t worry. We can seek evidence on your behalf, including:
- Police reports and any evidence the investigating officer collected from the scene
- Medical records and reports that discuss your loved one’s injuries
- Video footage from traffic cams, surveillance cameras, witness cell phones, and other sources
- Photos of the accident scene or your loved one’s injuries
- Evidence that the liable party’s insurance company may have already collected
Presenting Your Case to Others
Based on the evidence we find, we can tell you who was at fault in your loved one’s accident. They should pay damages for what you have lost.
Our firm can send a demand letter to the insurance company, explaining the accident and how much money you are seeking. The insurance company may then:
- Offer a fair settlement that meets all of your current and future needs
- Offer a settlement that is too low
- Deny their client’s liability and offer them nothing
We can respond to the insurance company in whichever way we feel is appropriate. For example, we can negotiate for a higher settlement, or we can take the liable party to court.
Working with You
We want you to have as much time as possible to mourn your loved one’s passing and figure out where you want to go from here. We also want to make sure we handle your case in the way that is best for you. To that end, we will:
- Tell you what we think might be the best approach for your case and why
- Keep you updated as your case progresses
- Provide an objective, professional perspective to help you make rational decisions, even if you are still angry and grieving
Starting on Time
Whatever action you take must start within the state’s statute of limitations. As stated in EPTL § 5-4.1, generally speaking, you may file a wrongful death case within two years of your loved one’s passing.
There are other deadlines you may have to consider as you navigate your case. Shulman & Hill can stay on top of the deadlines for you, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Damages for Accidental Death Victims
Injured victims can pursue compensation for damages stemming from their accidents. These personal injury damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
If your loved one died from their injuries, though, you and your family could be eligible to claim some of those personal injury damages. Your lawyer can explain which personal injury damages you could seek in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Whether or not you and your family are eligible to pursue personal injury damages on behalf of your loved one, you most likely qualify for wrongful death damages. Wrongful death damages focus more on you and your family’s losses rather than on the decedent’s losses. These damages may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Other end-of-life expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Conscious pain and suffering
How Much Money Can I Pursue?
That depends on the specifics of your loved one’s accident and injuries, and what type of negligent actions led to their passing. Insurance limits may also play a role in what you can receive.
We want you to receive a fair amount for your losses, whether that amount is in the thousands, the millions, or anywhere in between. If you have any doubts or questions about your case’s worth, your accidental death lawyer serving Staten Island can help. We are always here to support you.
Why File an Accidental Death Case?
It is natural to ask this question after losing a loved one. After all, nothing can bring your loved one back to you, and no amount of money can ever fully compensate you for your loss. How can taking legal action help you and your family process this terrible loss?
At Shulman & Hill, we believe there are several good reasons for seeking damages after an accidental death:
- Justice: If someone is so negligent that they cause another’s death, they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Asking them for monetary compensation is one way to hold them responsible.
- Compensation: Losing a loved one can be very expensive. The money you get from the liable party could help defray end-of-life costs and give you enough to start the next chapter of your life.
- Peace of mind: You and your family may feel better knowing that the person who caused your loved one’s death has paid for their actions and that you have helped to make your community safer for others.
You may be unsure about your next steps. You likely have many questions you want to be answered before you make a decision. Our firm would be proud to guide you through this difficult and emotional process.
At Shulman & Hill, we understand that this is a terrible time for you and your family. You deserve the chance to process your loved one’s accidental death in peace while one of our lawyers handles the hard work of seeking compensation. If you are in Staten Island, call 212.221.1000 to receive your free case review with one of our accidental death lawyers.
WE WORK WITH YOU
TO GET YOU COMPENSATED
Everyday working people often struggle to afford top-tier legal representation. To ensure equal access to justice, we work on a contingency-fee basis. You pay no attorneys’ fees unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your case.
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