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Wrongful Death in Orange County

The grief of losing a loved one can be painful and disorienting, and knowing what steps to take next can be difficult. If your loved one died because of another person or company’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit in Orange County. Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one’s death can help you hold the negligent or reckless person who caused your loved one’s death accountable. 

Discuss Your Case With a Wrongful Death Attorney

Plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits can pursue compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, income loss, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and more. Michael LoGiudice, LLP provides families pursuing wrongful death lawsuits in Orange County with caring and skilled legal representation. If your loved one died in a preventable accident, contact Michael LoGiudice, LLP, today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

Fatal Accidents That Can Lead to Wrongful Death

Many types of preventable accidents can cause fatal injuries, including the following:

  • Construction accidents
  • Other workplace accidents
  • Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents
  • Falls from heights
  • Medical malpractice
  • Driving accidents, including dram shop liability
  • Accidents caused by defective products
  • Accidents caused by dangerous conditions on a person’s property

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York?

Under New York law, only certain family members have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Specifically, the deceased individual’s children, parents, spouses, or an estate representative have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, siblings and cousins of the deceased don’t have a right to file a lawsuit in New York unless they’ve also been named as the deceased’s personal representative or guardian.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

There is a statute of limitations, which is a type of time limit, on filing wrongful death lawsuits. A surviving family member must file the wrongful-death lawsuit within two years of their loved one’s death, or they will lose the right to pursue compensation. There are some exceptions to this general rule, but you only have two years to bring a claim in most cases. 

Two years may seem like a significant amount of time, but it goes by quickly, especially during the grieving process. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex and require an in-depth investigation, so the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the more time your attorney will have to gather evidence and prepare your legal strategy.

Proving Liability in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When employers, doctors, property owners, drivers, manufacturers, or others negligently cause preventable accidents, they can be held liable for wrongful death actions. As the surviving family members of the victim, there are certain elements you will need to prove to obtain compensation. In each wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to prove liability. In other words, you will need to prove that the defendant failed to act reasonably under the circumstances, breaching his or her duty of care to your loved one. 

Plaintiffs also need to show that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in their loved one’s death. Working with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident is important to gather evidence and prove liability in your case. Attorney Michael LoGiudice, LLP will conduct a thorough investigation into your case, working with safety experts, accident investigators, medical experts, and engineers to establish negligence, reckless indifference, or intentional behavior on the part of the person or company who caused your loved one’s death.

Recoverable Damages in New York Wrongful Death Lawsuits

No amount of compensation can bring your loved one back, but a wrongful death lawsuit can help you cover the expenses associated with your loved one’s death. Whether your loved one passed away in a preventable construction accident, a motor vehicle accident, or another person’s negligence caused the accident, you may be owed compensation. In New York, plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits are entitled to pursue all of the following types of damages:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • The cost of pre-death medical care
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering endured by your loved one before their death

When the plaintiff can prove that the defendant acted willfully or egregiously, they may be entitled to additional punitive damages. 

Distribution of Awards in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

New York law prioritizes the deceased individual’s spouse and/or children regarding who can receive compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. When the wrongful death claim is successful, and a settlement agreement is reached, or the court awards compensation, the compensation will be distributed as follows:

  • A spouse and children: the spouse and children may collect compensation
  • A spouse and no children: the spouse may collect all of the compensation
  • No spouse and no children: the parents may collect all of the compensation
  • No spouse, children, or parents: the deceased’s siblings may collect compensation

The Benefit of Working with an Experienced Attorney

The thought of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit may seem overwhelming, especially as you are grieving the loss of your loved one. Reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible can work to preserve your compensation claim. An attorney can help collect evidence proving that the responsible party’s negligence or recklessness caused your loved one’s death. An attorney can also file all necessary legal forms and documents, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in court. Finally, an attorney can answer your questions and help you understand the legal process. 

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Orange County Wrongful Death Attorney

You aren’t alone if you have lost a loved one in New York due to another party’s negligence. Attorney Michael LoGiudice may be able to help your family obtain compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. He will help you pursue justice for your loved one while you focus on navigating the grieving process. Contact Michael LoGiudice, LLP, today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.

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