It is never easy to lose a loved one. It’s especially difficult when a family member’s death occurs suddenly or unexpectedly, such as in a motor vehicle collision or because of a violent crime. The death of child intensifies grief. New York families often have trouble coping with the loss of a loved one if they learn that the death was preventable and was caused by another person’s negligence, reckless behavior or act of malice.
In cases where a loved one has died because of someone’s negligence or act of violence, etc., an immediate family member may file a wrongful death claim in a civil court on behalf of the decedent. A plaintiff may seek financial recovery for damages that occurred in connection with the death. Such litigation is stressful, and a plaintiff is tasked with convincing the court that the defendant was directly responsible for the decedent’s death.
A wrongful death claimant must prove several issues in court
The following list includes basic information regarding a wrongful death claim, in particular, what a judge or jury is looking for in order to rule in a plaintiff’s favor:
- The defendant must have owed a duty to the decedent.
- He or she must have acted with negligence.
- The negligence must have been a causal factor in the victim’s death.
A plaintiff is also required to list damages that occurred in connection with the incident that resulted in the decedent’s passing. Such damages may include emotional trauma and loss of consortium, which is another way to say that the plaintiff has lost the benefits he or she would have gained from having a relationship with the decedent had he or she not died.
Never hesitate to seek outside support when grieving the loss of a loved one
Moving on in life after the sudden death of a loved one is difficult in many ways. Friends, extended family members, faith ministers, counselors and others can provide strong support to a grieving family. It is also helpful to speak with a personal injury law attorney if one is considering filing a wrongful death claim in a New York civil court.