99 Park Ave, Suite 1100, New York, NY 10016


Our office helps the families of people who have died as a result of the intentional or negligent acts of others who lived, worked or were injured in New York City, Yonkers, Nassau, and Westchester Counties. They offer consultations where they learn the details of a case to determine whether there is a strong case for recovery of damages.  To schedule an appointment for a legal consultation today, call us at 800-544-0484.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit in which the plaintiff, or person filing the suit, believes that someone’s negligence or intentional acts were the cause of the death of a victim, usually a loved one.

Who Is Entitled to Compensation if Someone Dies from an Accident or Medical Malpractice in NY?

The answer to these questions is complicated.

First: The individual who died, or decedent, may have experienced pain and suffering prior to death. That may have been the result of injuries that did not immediately cause death or the medical malpractice. This claim for damages belongs to the decedent’s estate. The estate can claim damages that the decedent would have claimed if he or she was still alive. Those damages can obviously be considerable if the decedent did not die instantly, but instead lingered in pain for some time. Even a short period of pain and suffering can establish damages and can result in a substantial recovery.

If the estate recovers damages for pain and suffering of the decedent, those funds are distributed according to the terms of that person’s will, or if there is no will, by the laws of intestacy. The laws of intestacy are applied to people with no will. The laws of intestacy provide recovery for a spouse, children and, in certain cases, grandchildren, parents or other relatives, depending on who survives. 

Second: Individuals who would have received support from the decedent if he or she had lived are entitled to recovery. This can be a very substantial amount if the decedent had a high salary or other income. 

The primary amount recoverable depends on how much money the decedent was earning or receiving. For a highly compensated individual, the wrongful death award here can be very substantial. For example, a person earning $100,000 per year who dies in their 40s lost probably $2 million or $3 million over their lifetime.  That is income the deceased would have shared with children, a spouse and possibly other family members. Those family members can recover what they lost in support. 

Therefore, a wrongful death results in the possibility of recovering two different types of damages. The first is based on pain and suffering of the person who died. The second is damages incurred by the family from the loss of support of the person who died.  

Because there are strict time limits on bringing a claim for wrongful death it is important that you obtain an experienced a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one.

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