How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help in New York

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help in New York

The passing of a loved one is never easy, but when that death is the result of an unforeseen accident, the loss can be even more tragic for the family. Wrongful death lawsuits in New York allow the loved ones of a fatal accident victim to collect compensation to cover the expenses incurred because of their loss. However, there are laws specific to wrongful death cases, which is why you should only trust an experienced wrongful death attorney with the claim. At The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel, a compassionate and zealous attorney will advocate for you after the unfortunate loss of a loved one. Call or contact our firm today to learn more.

What is Wrongful Death?

Under New York law, in order to establish a wrongful death claim there must be a death caused by the wrongful act of those responsible that would have given rise to a personal injury claim if the victim would have survived. In addition, there must be at least one or more people who suffered a loss as a result of the wrongful death and those damages must be recoverable by the estate.

A wrongful death claim can arise from any accident or intentional act that results in a person’s death. This includes car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle or pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, construction site accidents, fatal criminal acts, and more. In addition, there does not need to be criminal charges in order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death is a civil claim, while criminal charges are handled in criminal court. A criminal conviction is strong evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit but not required to bring a claim. The standard of proof is also lower in civil court, so the grieving party must only prove by a preponderance of the evidence and not beyond a reasonable doubt that those responsible caused the wrongful death of the victim. However, it is important to note that in New York a wrongful death lawsuit cannot be brought for the loss of a fetus even if the loss is caused by the wrongful act of another party.

Who can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Many states allow family members of the victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf, but that is not the law in New York. The personal representative of the victim’s estate must bring the lawsuit for wrongful death; however, the personal representative may also happen to be a family member. The personal representative may bring a case claiming damages to the victim’s estate as well as to the victim’s surviving heirs and beneficiaries. If the court awards damages to the heirs and beneficiaries, the personal representative holds that compensation in trust and distributes it accordingly.

Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Case

The personal representative of a wrongful death victim’s estate only has a small window of time in which to file a claim, known as the statute of limitations. Under New York law, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case is two years from the date of death. It is important to note that the statute of limitations starts tolling at the date of death, not the date of the accident. If a victim survives the initial accident but dies from their injuries days or even weeks later, the statute of limitations begins on the day of their passing.

Because the personal representative of the estate is expected to file the lawsuit for damages, having an heir that is a minor or legally incapable of filing a claim is not a reason to stall the statute of limitations on a wrongful death case. The personal representative is expected to file the lawsuit within the two-year window on their behalf.

Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case

While money can never replace a lost loved one, wrongful death damages can help ease the financial burden that often comes after the unexpected passing of a loved one. Compensation for a wrongful death case includes damages on behalf of the victim’s estate as well as damages for any surviving heirs, beneficiaries, or designees. Compensation includes payment for funeral and burial expenses, all final medical bills associated with the accident, lost wages and benefits of the deceased, the loss of support and services, the loss of parental care, nurturing, and guidance, loss of inheritance, and any pain and suffering of the deceased that occurred before their death. The award is also entitled to 9% interest on the wrongful death award from the date of death in order to prevent purposeful delays in this type of case.

However, unlike other states’ wrongful death compensation, the surviving family members in New York are not allowed to collect damages for their own pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of companionship. The only additional compensation that may be awarded is to parents for the lost value of services that a child might perform until they reach legal adulthood. To learn more about the full and fair value of your wrongful death claim, talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney today.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney can Help

When grieving the unexpected loss of a family member, the last thing that you want to do is also juggle a legal case. Hiring a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney alleviates that burden for you and your family. An attorney will handle the legal filings and court hearings on the case, while ensuring that the claim is filed within the statute of limitations. A lawyer also understands the true value of your claim and will settle for nothing less than full and fair compensation. If negotiation fails, an attorney can take your case to trial and craft the best possible arguments as to why your family deserves to be compensated for your loss.

Call or Contact The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel

To learn more about wrongful death claims in New York, call or contact The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel today to schedule a case evaluation.

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Need a Construction Accident Lawyer? Learn About the Most Common Construction Accidents.

Need a Construction Accident Lawyer? Learn About the Most Common Construction Accidents.

Construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces to operate in, and for good reason. Unlike a cubicle-style office, construction sites are full of hazardous chemicals and dangerous heavy equipment, and employees sometimes work at precarious heights. Despite best efforts to avoid injuries and accidents on construction sites, incidents happen every day. Some types of construction accidents happen more often than others, so knowing what causes many construction site accidents may help you or a loved one avoid injury. When someone is hurt on a construction site, they deserve to be compensated for their injuries. To learn more about your legal options after a construction site accident in New York from a construction accident lawyer, call or contact The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel today to schedule a consultation of your case.

Falls From Heights

On average, about 35% of all construction site accidents nationwide every year are caused by falls. Construction site workers routinely operate at significant heights, working on ladders, scaffolding, rooftops, and other places where a fall could result in serious harm. A fall can cause a number of injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, and more.


Electrocution accidents are also a common type of accident on construction sites. Workers can come in contact with downed power lines, unfinished electrical systems, exposed wires, and other electrical sources that can lead to devastating injuries. Common injuries from electrocutions include burns, nerve damage, internal organ damage, cardiac arrest, and other severe injuries.

Slip and Falls

Slip and fall accidents are another common cause of injuries for construction site workers. There are countless items that can lead to a slip and fall on a construction site, including tools, debris, extra materials, spilled materials, grease, puddles, and more. Slip and fall injuries can range from a minor issue like a soft tissue injury to something catastrophic like a traumatic brain injury.

Being Struck by a Vehicle

Many construction site workers every year are injured when they are struck by a vehicle. Depending on the circumstances of the construction site, this can either be from a passing vehicle near the construction or by a large vehicle coming to and from the site. The vehicles coming to and from construction sites are often large dump trucks, excavators, bulldozers, and other big construction vehicles. When a person is struck by one of these vehicles the results are often devastating in terms of their injuries. Injuries can include head trauma, neck injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, internal organ injuries, amputation limbs, paralysis, and even death. Revel may also be a liable party if the accident was caused by a defect or equipment failure on a moped that ultimately caused the crash. It is the company’s responsibility to maintain their fleet of moped vehicles and provide regular maintenance on them. If the accident occurred because of a glitch in the electronics, brake failure, or other malfunction, the company may be liable for any damages that result. Once the liable parties in a Revel moped accident are identified it is important that a lawsuit is filed in a timely manner in order to secure your claims for compensation. Under New York law, an injury victim only has three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages. Failure to file a lawsuit within the three-year statute of limitations could mean that your case gets thrown out of court.

Trench and Ground Collapses

Another common type of construction site accident is a trench or ground collapse. The digging of trenches and other ground excavation is often necessary in many types of construction site projects. However, if they are not done properly, the trench or dig site can cave in on the workers excavating on the project. The unstable ground can also cause more than just dirt to collapse on the workers, including tools, materials, and even part of the building project itself. Suffocation and drowning can occur in a trench collapse in addition to inhalation of toxic gases and other respiratory damage.

Crashing Accidents

Crushing accidents also occur on a regular basis to workers on construction sites. This type of accident typically occurs in two different ways: first, a worker can be crushed between something and the ground. An example is when a large piece of material or machinery falls and crushes a worker beneath it. The second type of crushing injury occurs when a person is caught between two objects. Crushing accidents lead to a number of amputation injuries every year.

Machinery Accidents

Construction sites have more heavy and hazardous machinery than any other type of workplace. As such, machinery accidents are a far more frequent occurrence on construction sites. Injuries caused by heavy duty equipment and machines can occur because of a faulty part in the machinery or because of negligent safety standards on site. This type of accident often leads to lacerations, broken bones, nerve damage, and loss of limbs among other injuries.

Explosions or Burns

Explosions and accidents that cause burns happen far more often at construction sites than other places. Construction sites use demotion charges to clear areas and aid in digging on a regular basis. Explosives and dangerous chemicals are commonplace on construction sites, and when an accident occurs it can lead to devastating accidents. Often, these injuries involve serious burns that require surgery, skin grafting, and painful scar tissue removal. Explosions can also cause broken bones, eye and ear trauma, head injuries, and more.

Falling Tools and Debris

Falling tools and debris are another type of common construction site accident. When workers are operating on ladders, scaffolding, and at other significant heights they are often doing so with tools, material, and debris. If these items are not carefully guarded, they can fall and strike workers below. Even with construction site helmets, falling items can cause severe injuries. Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries are common in this type of accident in addition to neck and shoulder injuries.


The last type of common construction site accident is caused by overexertion. Construction site workers are often operating in very hot or cold temperatures, in inclement weather, and work long hours physically exerting themselves every day. This can easily lead to overexertion, leading to injuries like heat stroke, cardiac arrest, fainting, falling, and other incidents that lead to serious injury.

Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer Today

Construction site accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries that require years of rehabilitation and care. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident it is critical that you speak with a qualified attorney to learn more about your legal options. To speak with a skilled New York construction accident lawyer about your claims, call the office or contact the Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel today.

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