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NYC wrongful death lawyersThe untimely death of a family member can be extremely difficult to overcome. Feelings of emotion coinciding with high levels of stress can lead to loved ones feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed. Medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and loss of future wages and benefits may cause a significant financial burden for the surviving family members. According to OSHA, more than 99 workers per week died on the job the United States in 2017. If negligence or misconduct contributed to the death of a loved one, financial compensation may be awarded. In order to understand your legal standing and you available options, it is important to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney.  

Proving a Wrongful Death

In the state of New York, only the legal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Furthermore, the deceased must be survived by one or more relatives that have suffered a financial loss as a result of the death. Before restitution is granted to the plaintiff, it must be proven that negligence or carelessness from another party caused the death. For example, if a construction worker was killed due to falling off a broken ladder, the company may be responsible for fostering an unsafe work environment and providing faulty equipment. However, if the construction worker ignored safety regulations and committed an act that contributed to his or her death, the company could potentially avoid liability. A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death, according to the New York statute of limitations.

What if Both Parties Were at Fault?

If it is determined that the wrongful death victim failed to act prudently during the time of his or her death, contributory negligence may be established. Although contributory negligence or assumption of risk might have contributed to a person’s death, it would not prohibit the legal representative of the deceased from seeking compensation. It is crucial to note that the amount of damages that might be recovered could decrease in proportion to the responsibility of the victim. For example, if a construction worker was not wearing a helmet at the time of his or her death, the worker could be found to be partially responsible for his or her death.

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