It’s not easy to confront death, and losing a loved one is a painful experience. When a death is caused by the negligent, reckless or willful conduct of another person, survivors may be angry and confused, not knowing where to turn. At such a difficult time, having an experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney to rely on is essential.
The Law Offices of Robert Purzak has extensive experience handling wrongful death lawsuits in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We are committed to holding responsible parties accountable and helping survivors obtain just compensation. Our legal team has a proven history of success inside and outside of the courtroom, having recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. We know that no amount of money can ever replace a life, but we strongly believe survivors deserve justice.
CALL US AT 516-222-1188 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
What is wrongful death on Long Island?
To have a viable wrongful death claim, the following elements must be established:
- The defendant’s misconduct caused or contributed to the death
- The negligent conduct would have been the basis for a legal action if the death had not occurred
- There are one or more survivors who have sustained a loss due to the death
- Damages can be recovered by the deceased person’s estate
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
Under New York law, the only individual who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative or executor of the deceased victim’s estate. Damages may be awarded to both the estate and the deceased person’s heirs and beneficiaries, however.
What type of damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Damages are designed to compensate the deceased person’s family members or estate for losses sustained due to the death. These losses include:
- Past and future lost wages and benefits
- Reasonable medical expenses related to the deceased victim’s injury or illness
- The deceased person’s pain and suffering
- The value of support and services the decedent provided to the family
- The value of parental care and guidance for surviving minor children
- Any inheritance surviving children may have lost
- Funeral and burial expenses
In addition, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s conduct was unlawful or particularly egregious — such as driving under the influence. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant as well as to dissuade others from engaging in similar misconduct.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A variety of accidents may be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- Automobile Accidents — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 35,000 car accident fatalities in the U.S. annually. When these accidents result from distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence or other driver errors, negligent motorists must be held accountable.
- Construction Accidents — Although survivors of construction workers killed on the job may be entitled to survivor benefits under the state’s Workers’ Compensation program, a wrongful death lawsuit can also be filed if a construction accident is caused by a safety violation or third-party negligence.
- Motorcycle Accidents — According to the NHTSA, individuals are 37 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than a car accident. Given the complicated insurance laws and the public bias against motorcyclists as being reckless, it takes a highly skilled wrongful death attorney to help survivors obtain just compensation.
- Truck Accidents — Given the size and weight of a typical commercial truck, collisions can be catastrophic to occupants of smaller vehicles. In the event of a fatal truck accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against a negligent trucking company, a truck driver, or both.
- Violent Crime — While assault, homicide, and deaths that occur during the commission of other crimes can and do lead to criminal proceedings, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed irrespective of whether the defendant is convicted because the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than in a criminal case.
Contact Our Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney
At the Law Offices of Robert Purzak, we knowing that grieving over a lost loved one is compounded by anger and despair when the death was due to another person’s negligence. We will offer you dignity and compassion as we take time to learn about your loved one’s life. Our legal team will investigate the cause of death, often in conjunction with respected forensic experts, and work to hold the responsible party accountable. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and never stop fighting for you. If you are coping with the wrongful death of a loved one, don’t suffer in silence. Please contact our office as soon as possible to speak with our attorney. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.