Albany Wrongful Death Lawyers

When someone suffers an unexpected death, it’s the loved ones left behind who suffer the brunt of the loss. Oftentimes, a wrongful death results in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and significant emotional trauma for those left behind. No one should have to scramble to get their basic needs paid for while mourning the death of a tragic, sudden loss. That’s why it’s important to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit, especially if your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence. Albany, New York wrongful death lawyers are ready to fight for you and your loved one’s justice. Call Bailey, Johnson & Peck at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation.

new york wrongful death lawyers

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is basically an unexpected death that occurs due to a tragic accident caused by someone else’s negligence. A surviving family member has the right to file a wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased person in order to recover financial compensation for their loved one’s death. Many people think of a wrongful death suit as the same as a personal injury suit. The main difference is that the victim did not survive their injuries.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

A wide variety of accidents can result in wrongful death. Listed below are the most common types of wrongful death cases that our legal team handles on a regular basis.

Doctors, nurses, and surgeons are human just like the rest of us. That means they are bound to make mistakes. Occasionally, these mistakes may be severe enough to cause accidental death. For example, maybe a doctor misdiagnosed their patient and therefore gave them the wrong medication and performed the wrong surgery on them. Medical negligence situations like this could easily result in a personal injury or wrongful death.

Tragically, wrongful death occurs in the average American workplace as well. The most dangerous types of jobs that cause thousands of injuries and deaths every year are:

  • Construction jobs
  • Garbage collecting jobs
  • Fishing and hunting jobs
  • Structural iron and steel jobs
  • Roofing jobs
  • Pilots and flight engineers
  • Logging jobs
  • And so many more

Basically, positions that require employees to work on tall structures and handle heavy machinery, sharp objects, or weapons are prone to fatal accidents.

Modern technology has come a long way. Even though all cars and trucks have extensive, life-saving safety features, thousands of Americans still die behind the wheel every day. According to a 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 43,000 Americans died in a car accident or truck accident in 2021. The NHTSA claims that this is the most motor vehicle deaths that have occurred in a single year since 2005.

Unfortunately, many fatal car accidents are caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Common examples of negligent acts on the roads that can lead to wrongful death include drunk driving, texting and driving, failing to stop at a red light, tailgating, falling asleep at the wheel, etc.

Pedestrian accidents are also common causes of wrongful death. This type of fatal accident occurs when a pedestrian gets hit by a car, bus, truck, etc. while walking down the street. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 6,500 Americans died from walking down the street in 2020.

When you think of defective products, think of the types of mass recalls that you may see on the news. Recalls of various products happen all the time in order to protect Americans from the potential dangers of defective products. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans still suffer injuries, illnesses, and wrongful death from faulty products all the time.

The most common types of defective products on the market are:

  • Prescription drugs (such as Zantac)
  • Car parts
  • Dangerous medical devices
  • Household appliances
  • Children’s toys and products
  • Contaminated food
  • Beauty products
  • Batteries
  • Construction equipment
  • Cleaning products and chemicals
  • Heavy machinery
  • Safety equipment
  • And so much more

Premises liability issues – such as dog attacks, slip and falls, amusement park accidents, swimming pool accidents, etc. – can also lead to a wrongful death suit. Basically, premises liability suits arise when a person suffers an injury or death on someone else’s property. Sometimes, these injuries or deaths are caused by the property owner’s negligence. Premises liability-related injuries can be incredibly deadly, especially when the victim suffers severe nervous system damage.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

The people who can file a wrongful death action on behalf of their deceased loved one are generally the ones who suffer the most hardship from the death. Albany wrongful death attorneys call these family members the “real parties in interest,” which can vary across the nation. Common examples of real parties in interest who can file wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • A surviving spouse, life partner, or putative spouse.
  • Immediate family members such as the deceased person’s parents, children, grandchildren, etc.
  • Other family members such as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc., especially if the deceased person doesn’t have many immediate family members.
  • Surviving family members or friends who regularly received financial support from their deceased loved one.
  • Parents of a deceased fetus, because sometimes people have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit if certain circumstances (for example: medical malpractice) led to the death of their unborn child or newborn.

Who is Liable for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Basically, anyone who commits a wrongful act that leads to the death of another person can be held liable in a wrongful death claim. Potentially liable parties include:

  • A negligent driver
  • The liquor store employee who sold alcohol to a driver who was clearly impaired
  • The property owner who served alcohol on their property
  • An employer
  • A third party
  • The manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a defective product
  • The property owner who failed to take care of or warn of dangerous conditions on their property
  • A doctor, nurse, surgeon, hospital, etc.

A wrongful death claim can be incredibly complex because it’s sometimes difficult to reconstruct the fatal accident and determine the at-fault party. In some wrongful death claims, an investigation reveals that the deceased person also shared a percentage of fault in their death.

That’s why it’s important to hire a New York wrongful death lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck. We hire the best accident reconstructionists and medical experts in the Albany area to help us conduct a thorough investigation of your loved one’s fatal accident. When you hire us, you can rest assured that we will seek significant compensation on behalf of your family and deceased loved one.

How to Prove Wrongful Death in New York

Here’s how to prove wrongful death:

Similar to many personal injury cases, wrongful death claims are often based on the legal theory of negligence. The best way to prove that wrongful death occurred is to prove the four elements of negligence listed below.

  • Duty of Care: The at-fault party owed the decedent a specific duty of care, whether that be on the roads, in the hospital, at work, etc.
  • Breached Duty of Care: The at-fault party breached this duty of care by acting negligently.
  • Causation: The at-fault party’s negligence directly caused the decedent’s wrongful death.
  • Damages: The surviving family members suffered a significant emotional and financial burden due to their loved one’s death. Therefore, they should receive a fair wrongful death settlement.

Wrongful Death Damages

When you file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one, you could win the following damages.

  • Medical bills associated with the fatal accident
  • Lost wages, especially if the decedent was the breadwinner of the family
  • The decedent’s physical pain and suffering
  • The surviving family members’ emotional distress
  • Counseling expenses, especially if the surviving family members require therapy for the sake of emotional support
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Punitive damages from the at-fault party

What is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?

Because every single wrongful death lawsuit is different, every single wrongful death settlement is different. Generally, the value of a wrongful death case is dependent on the number of damages the surviving family members suffer. So if a loved one’s death results in considerable financial difficulties for the family, their case will likely be worth more. But most wrongful death settlements range from $500,000 to $1 million. An Albany wrongful death attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can help you determine how much your wrongful death claim is worth.

New York Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases

In New York, a surviving spouse or other family member has two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. With these types of cases, it’s best to act fast so that the evidence remains fresh during the investigation and litigation. Make sure to pursue legal counsel from our experienced Albany wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible.

new york wrongful death lawyers

Call Albany Wrongful Death Lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck Today

A civil lawsuit involving a wrongful death can be incredibly stressful and complex for the loved ones left behind. That’s why it’s crucial to hire Albany, New York wrongful death lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck. We’ll take on the legal stress and help you recover compensation while you heal from your loved one’s loss.

Our legal team is ready to begin an attorney-client relationship with you. If you have a wrongful death case in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, or anywhere else in New York, call our law firm at 518-456-0082 for a free consultation. You may also complete our contact form, and we will respond promptly.

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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.

We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.