How Does New York Law Value a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a close family member dies as the result of negligent or willful acts of other parties, no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss. But wrongful death settlements or awards can potentially ease some of the financial burden to the family. While the courts make the final determination of the amount of compensation, the role of a Manhattan wrongful death lawyer involves proving liability and helping identify all financial details that the judge uses to compute the value of the claim.
According to The CPA Journal, New York law places no statutory limitations on the value of a wrongful death claim. And — in addition to making considerations for the payment of funeral expenses, the medical costs sustained by the decedent before death and even punitive damages in some cases — the law attempts to issue wrongful death awards based on the monetary value the decedent would bring to dependents at the time of death and into the future.
The valuation can extend well beyond current earnings. They can include estimated salary increases, potential increased earning capacity through career advancement until retirement (reduced by mandatory state and federal taxes) and lost fringe benefits. Moreoever, the court also attempts to compensate for non-monetary losses, including irreplaceable family relationships such as the upbringing of a child by a parent.
New York statute requires the personal representative of the estate to file the wrongful death action on behalf of the family. This individual is typically a close family member or friend who may lack the legal knowledge to effectively handle the claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney in New York City can guide the personal representative through the complex process of documenting the full extent of monetary losses to the family and presenting an effective case to the court.
The attorneys at Rich & Rich, P.C. are here to provide detailed and sensitive assistance. We investigate the facts and circumstances concerning the wrongful death of your loved one and determine the best legal strategy to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your family. Call us at 646-736-3999 to discuss your legal options.