What Damages Can Be Claimed In A Wrongful Death Case?
When a family loses someone as a result of another person’s wrongful act or negligence, the estate of the deceased person is entitled to 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.
New York State Law for Wrongful Death – What Can Be Recovered?
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.