The untimely death of a loved one can be deeply traumatic, and forever change the lives of family members and close friends. Even worse, many of these deaths were avoidable, and were caused by the negligence, carelessness, and recklessness of another. These needless accidents leave families without the emotional and financial support they once had.
The wrongful death attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand the sensitive nature of your situation, and we are dedicated to doing everything we can for you in your time of need. Our New York lawyers have experience with wrongful death lawsuits, and our expansive knowledge of relevant local and federal laws may be able to help you receive compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and your emotional suffering.
Our years of experience allow us to find out whether or not your situation is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, and who may have been at fault. If you lost your loved one in an accident in New York, contact our attorneys today to see if you could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Cases do We Handle
Wrongful death cases are based on the theory that another person or entity’s negligence contributed to or directly caused the victim’s death. The negligence comes from acting in a way that a reasonable person in the same situation would not have. For example, a driver who kills another driver while driving far too fast was negligent and reckless, as a reasonable driver would be following the speed limit.
Many different personal injury cases can also be wrongful death cases. Accidents involving any motor vehicles – cars, motorcycles, trucks, etc. – can become wrongful death cases if it’s determined that the negligence of one driver caused the fatality. Cases like this can include:
- Distracted driving;
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs;
- Failure to yield;
- Defective auto parts; or
- Failure to maintain vehicle.
Another common cause is medical malpractice. Because the work of medical professionals requires intensive training and experience, errors caused by negligence or inexperience can spiral out of control and lead to someone’s untimely passing. Some of these errors can include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis;
- Failure to properly read a patient’s medical charts;
- Botched surgery;
- Defective medical devices;
- Administering a drug that conflicts with another drug the patient has taken;
- Failure to order a standard test;
- Failure to perform a timely C-section; or
- Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia.
Who Can be Found at Fault?
The parties that you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against depending on the circumstances includes, but is not limited to:
Neglectful Drivers: With enough proof of negligence on the part of another driver – which involves a thorough investigation and gathering evidence – you may be able to file a lawsuit against a driver that caused the death of your loved one, often going through their insurance company.
Automobile Manufacturers: If the wrongful death was caused by faulty or defective parts and manufacturing in a vehicle, it is possible that the manufacturer could be held liable.
Trucking Companies: According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 11 percent of New York’s traffic fatalities in 2015 involved a collision with a large truck. Trucking companies are liable for the actions of their employees, and if the company acts negligently and does something like order its drivers to work shifts without adequate rest, they may be held responsible if the driver causes an accident with a fatality.
Doctors: This includes general care practitioners, surgeons, specialists, and anesthesiologists. They are often not considered hospital staff, and in the event of negligence on their part they can be sued separately.
Hospitals & Nursing Homes: With other staff members, the hospital or home is often liable for their actions, especially if job applicants are not properly screened, and an employee’s inexperience leads to a patient’s death. This also applies to a staff member failing to adequately monitor or care for the patient.
Medical Device & Pharmaceutical Manufacturers: The companies that manufacture either medical devices or pharmaceuticals are responsible for ensuring that their product does not have any design or manufacturing defects. An unclear warning of the product that gives the doctor and patient a poor understanding of the risks of the product can lead to serious consequences.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
Each wrongful death lawsuit has its own specifics that will help determine how much compensation you can potentially recover. This can include the age of the deceased, who the surviving relatives are, and how much financial support the deceased provided for his or her family.
You may be able to recover compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses;
- Funeral expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost income (including future earnings);
- Loss of benefits; or
- Loss of companionship.
Morgan & Morgan New York, PLLC May be Able to Help You
Taking legal action after an unexpected loss may not seem like a top priority, but it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are protected in the future. Contact our New York office to learn more about whether or not you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.