Damages In Wrongful Death Cases.

April 25, 2013

When a Buffalo family loses a loved one due to another person’s wrongful act or negligence, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

The definitions surrounding what can be recovered in a wrongful death case can be complicated.   Generally, the estate and the distributees (the people entitled to a share of the estate) may seek monetary damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, any pre-death pain and suffering the deceased person experienced, loss of future household income, and loss of the deceased person’s services.

Unlike many states, New York State does not allow a family to recover any award for their own sorrow, mental anguish, injury to feelings or loss of companionship.  While this would seem to bar financial compensation in many areas, it is best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney regarding this issue.  Some items that would seem to fall into these categories may also be related to the “loss of services” category of damages, which can be recovered.  For example,   while the law does not allow damages for loss of companionship, it does allow recovery for loss of parental guidance to young children.  The logic being that loss of guidance to children may have a direct financial impact on them that can be measured and compensated.

Again, if you are considering making a wrongful death claim, you may wish to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure you are pursuing full compensation for your damages.

If a member of your family has suffered a wrongful death and you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 716-400-0000.  We would be happy to help you.