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Wrongful Death Lawyers in New York

Have you lost a beloved family member as a result of a vehicle accident, construction site mishap, or poor medical treatment? You deserve answers—and justice. At De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, we can help you determine if the loss of your spouse, parent, child, or other loved one entitles you to claim damages for wrongful death.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit is brought on behalf of family members who—in addition to emotional trauma—have suffered a terrible financial loss as a result of their loved one’s death. The damages recoverable in a death lawsuit include:

  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of guidance and nurturing of a child
  • The value of lost household services
  • Funeral and burial expenses

After a fatal accident, the law requires that a personal representative be appointed for the deceased. Usually, if the deceased had a will, the Executor who was named in the will can file the lawsuit. If an individual died without a will, the Court will appoint an Administrator (usually the next of kin) to handle the estate and permit them to bring a lawsuit.

The law also allows a separate claim for the pain and suffering and fear of impending death that the now-deceased person endured before they passed away.

When a tragic bus accident resulted in death, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP was retained by the deceased passenger’s husband and daughter to bring a lawsuit for this tragedy. We obtained all of the evidence from the medical examiner and pre-death hospital records and retained our own forensic consultants to establish the pain and suffering and financial losses sustained by the family. Our preparation resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement for the grieving family.

Why Retain the Legal Services of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP?

No amount of money can ever make up for your loved one’s premature death. But for over 40 years, our skilled preparation of wrongful death cases has resulted in settlements and verdicts that provide peace of mind to those left behind. We can help you, too—so you can focus on emotional healing instead of how you’re going to pay the bills.

As a De Caro & Kaplen, LLP client, you’ll be assisted by our experienced attorneys, Shana De Caro and Michael Kaplen, who will personally manage your case. Shana and Michael understand the grief you’re suffering as well as your current and future financial needs. We work with forensic economists, psychologists, and other professionals to prove the full extent of your financial and moral loss.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Handle:

The attorneys at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP have helped clients recover damages in a variety of death scenarios, such as:

  • Fatal vehicle accidents including car, bus, truck, and train collisions
  • Pedestrian accidents causing death
  • Death resulting from careless hospital or medical treatment
  • Death resulting from falls or mishaps on construction sites, in workplaces, and in dangerous buildings

You’ll be relieved to know that our firm provides legal representation on a contingency basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case. After all, you don’t need the burden of hefty legal fees on top of all the other issues you’re facing.

You Have Limited Time to File a Claim

In New York, there are special laws that limit the amount of time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. That’s why it’s so important to preserve and protect your rights by contacting our attorneys today.

The consultation is free—and there’s no obligation.

New York Wrongful Death Law Needs to be Updated

Negligence causing death is termed wrongful death.  For the deceased person and his or her family, the law must compensate all the harms and losses suffered including emotional loss, loss of companionship, economic damages and assistance, and losing guidance and support to children and other family members.

What loses can be recovered under current New York law for families following the death of their loved one?

  • New York State has an antiquated law, enacted in 1847, known as The Wrongful Death Act which only compensates for what the law calls “pecuniary loss”.   
  • The law as it exists only allows compensation or damages for loss of income, for losing the guidance and support a parent provides to a child, and the extra expenses that the next of kin must now bear because of the death.  
  • A spouse and children can seek damages for losing income and support, which can be shown by the wage earnings and job benefits of their deceased loved one and the potential for increased earnings, and benefits if they did not pass away.
  • Children can seek damages for losing the guidance and parental nurture their mother or father provided to them. 
  • Damages for the assistance the deceased family member provided to his or her spouse, children and even grandchild can be recovered in the lawsuit.

What loses cannot be recovered under New York’s current wrongful death law?

  • New York fails to compensate for the emotional suffering and emotional losses for the wrongful death of a loved one.
  • New York’s antiquated and unjust law unfairly discriminates against children, the elderly, low wage earners, and families who seek compensation for wrongful death because it only considers economic consequences.
  • New York law fails to consider the loss to a family of a low wage earner, someone who has not worked like a child, someone who is retired or no longer works, or a stay-at-home parent.

What changes need to be made to New York’s wrongful death law?

  • Forty-one states have amended their wrongful death laws to acknowledge, accept, and include emotional loss.
  • New York’s law has not been updated to recognize the true value of a life and family.
  • Loss should no longer be measured by archaic notions of “breadwinners” and their dependents.

What is the Grieving Families Act?

The Grieving Families Act is a legislative proposal which would replace New York’s current wrongful death law with a modern law which will bring New York up to the twenty-first century conception of the value of life, and in concert and agreement with most states in the country.

The legislation would allow courts to consider emotional loss and grief when compensating bereaved family members who have lost a loved one due to negligence.

The law would broaden the definition of family members eligible for compensation and recognize the different families and relationships that exist in the 21st Century.  

In New York, loving families come in all shapes and sizes.  And they all deserve the same rights under the law.

The laws about wrongful death lawsuits vary by jurisdiction, so consult with an experienced attorney familiar with the laws in your State  if you are considering bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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