Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or reckless actions in Queens? The unexpected loss of a loved one or family member in an accident is devastating and has far-reaching effects. If your spouse, child, or parent has been killed in an accident, a wrongful death claim may hold the responsible party accountable and ease financial burdens caused by these horrific losses.
In New York, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate must file a wrongful death claim.
If you have questions about a potential case, or are wondering about your eligibility to file a claim, call Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., at 212-729-3885 for immediate help. Our Queens wrongful death lawyers will answer your questions, explain your legal options, and provide guidance and advice. If we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.
How Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. Can Help with Your Queens Wrongful Death Case
Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. attorneys have handled wrongful death cases in Queens for more than 40 years. Our case results are more than names and dollar amounts. Behind every case is a real person, with a real problem, that needs a solution.
We are familiar with the unique nuances of New York wrongful death claims, and proud to help New Yorkers get the compensation they need and deserve.
We are dedicated and passionate about obtaining justice for victims of wrongful death. We have helped individuals and families dealing with many different types of heartbreaking and preventable losses, including traffic accidents, workplace accidents, and accidents involving some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers: elderly adults, disabled individuals, and children.
Many attorneys who do not handle civil litigation refer cases to us because they know our reputation and results, and are confident in our skills.
- We’ll coordinate an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s fatal accident
- We’ll handle all conversations with other parties and insurance companies on your behalf
- We’ll be there to help you make the tough decisions, like whether it’s in your best interest to settle or wise to have our trial attorneys argue your case in a courtroom
- We’ll stand by your side and work to make this difficult time in your life a little bit easier
When you hire our Queens personal injury lawyers, we are your legal team, and you are part of our family. We will answer your questions, and be by your side to make you as comfortable as possible through this difficult experience. Call to get started today.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Queens
Our Queens personal injury attorneys handle wrongful death lawsuits stemming from all kinds of accidents, including:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Fatal falls
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Dangerous drugs / defective products
- Deaths caused by defective medical devices like defibrillators, pacemakers, stents, and IVC filters.
- Negligent supervision of children at school or daycare
- Medical malpractice.
If we represent you in a Queens wrongful death claim, we will advance all costs until your case settles. As part of our contingency fee arrangement, or no fee guarantee, our Queens wrongful death attorneys are only paid if we recover compensation for you.
Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Queens, New York
No amount of money can undo the pain of a sudden and unexpected loss. However, after someone’s negligent behavior causes the death of a loved one, you may pursue a civil claim for damages.
The elements of a wrongful death claim that the representative must prove include:
- The defendant acted negligently
- The defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death
- The victim had a surviving spouse, children, parents, or other beneficiaries or dependents
- The surviving spouse, family members, or other dependents suffered financially due to the victim’s death.
New York, like every state, has a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time allowed to pursue a claim. Section 5-4-1 of the New York Consolidated Laws, Estates, Powers, and Trusts Code states that a wrongful death claim must be filed by the decedent’s personal representative within two years after the decedent’s death.
There are several potential exceptions to the two-year-rule. If the sole beneficiary to an estate is a minor, the claim can be delayed until the minor turns 18, or until a legal guardian is appointed. If a criminal case is pending, this can extend the statute of limitations. Claimants have one year from the end of the criminal case to file a lawsuit.
Types of Compensation Available in a Queens Wrongful Death Claim
One of the most frequently asked questions when someone is considering a wrongful death claim is “what kind of compensation can I get?” Money recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit is called damages. Damages will always depend on the specific facts of the case, but may include:
- Final medical expenses related to the accident / final injury that led to the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering the victim endured from the accident / final injury up to their death.
- Lost benefits and wages from the date of the injury to the date of death.
- Value of financial support the victim would have provided to family members
- Value of parental care and guidance the victim would have provided to surviving children
- Interest on damages from the date of death.
A wrongful death claim allows a surviving spouse, parent, or child to hold a responsible wrongdoer (individual or company) accountable – through a lawsuit filed by the decedent’s personal representative. Damages are supposed to be “fair and just compensation for the pecuniary injuries resulting from the decedent’s death to the persons for whose benefit the action is brought.”
If the at-fault’s actions were malicious or intentional, punitive damages may also be available.
In many states, surviving family members can recover for pain and suffering (grief). In New York, the only damages for pain and suffering available are specifically for the pain and suffering suffered by the victim before their passing. However, damages can be recovered for the financial support the decent would have provided to family members, as well as parental guidance, nurturing, and school and college education.
Damages available in a wrongful death claim are not black and white, and can be complicated. In many cases, the damages will be limited by the amount of insurance available. Wrongful death settlements must be approved by the Surrogate’s Court before they can be finalized. When recipients of damages are minor children, a guardian ad litem may need to be appointed.
Do Most Wrongful Death Claims Go to Trial?
Most wrongful death claims are settled outside of court. However, even if a case will be resolved by settlement, preparing the case for trial is necessary to recover the highest amount of compensation available.
Trials are inherently risky for both sides, and can be expensive and emotionally stressful. At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., our clients benefit from our trial experience, even if the case never goes to trial. Trial preparation involves presenting your own case, evidence, arguments, and also defending arguments, and countering legal attacks.
Being prepared for trial sends a powerful message to the other side that you fully understand the elements of the case and you will not accept a low settlement simply to avoid a trial.
What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Murder?
If you’ve never dealt with lawsuits or legal actions before, the legal system is naturally unfamiliar. Many people may wonder what is the difference between a wrongful death and murder.
In the most simple terms, a wrongful death is a civil claim (a lawsuit for money damages). A murder is criminal charge for an unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse. A civil claim is for money damages, a criminal case can put someone behind bars. The family members of a victim may decide to pursue a wrongful death claim. A criminal case for murder or manslaughter is decided by the state.
It is very common for someone to face criminal charges, and also civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. We often see this in drunk driving and road rage accidents, and are increasingly seeing in distracted driving accidents, as law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on distracted driving cases. The number of texting tickets issued by police in New York State increased 918% between 2011 and 2016.
Criminal charges, or lack of criminal charges, does not determine whether you will be successful in a civil wrongful death claim. Our lawyers have been successful in wrongful death cases where someone was criminally charged, and where no one was charged. It is also possible to recover damages in a wrongful death claim, even if the person was acquitted in a criminal case. The O.J. Simpson wrongful death case is a notable example. In cases where no one is criminally charged, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the only avenue of legal accountability and justice available.
Get a Free Consultation with a Queens Wrongful Death Lawyer
We offer a free consultation to determine if you have a viable claim for wrongful death. Contact Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to discuss your potential Queens wrongful death case today. Because time to file a claim is limited, do not delay in calling our law firm.
Handling Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Queens
Queens has a rich history dating back to 1683, when it was one of the original 12 counties in the Province of New York. Covering about 109 square miles of land, and 70 square miles of water, Queens is the largest borough in New York City and one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse areas of the United States. Both John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are located in Queens.
The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C handle wrongful death cases in all of Queens, including Long Island City, Flushing, Jamaica, Jackson Heights, and Rockaway.