Wrongful Death

Wrongful death, by definition is the death of a human being, as a result of a wrongful act of another person. These wrongful acts more often is due to someone negligence, like careless driving, an intentional attack such as assault or battery, wrongful death may also be a result of another crime, vehicle manslaughter, manslaughter, or murder.

It is interesting to note that a wrongful death claim exists only, when an individual dies due to the legal fault of another person. This right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death is a relatively new concept. The laws initially adopted by the United States from England known as the ‘Common Laws” did not allow for this type of lawsuit. However, within the last century, both state and federal courts created that right to bring a wrongful death action. Each state in the country now has some kind of wrongful death law.

The basis for a wrongful death lawsuit against an individual or individuals who is responsible for the death can be filed on behalf of the remaining members of the family who have not only lost the company of their loved one but also the financial support of the deceased. In this regard, a child might be entitled to monetary compensation for the personal loss of his dad, which this child would have received from the now-deceased parent. The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased or by the individual family members can file a lawsuit for the wrongful death, of a loved one.

This area of “Tort Law" is usually governed by certain statutes, which vary from state to state, but in general they characterize who may take legal action for the wrongful death and what, if any, limits may be applicable in the determination of damages. Originally, wrongful death statutes were formulated to make available financial support for widows and orphans and also to encourage people to exercise caution in order to avert injuries. One needs to keep in mind that a wrongful death action is separate from criminal charges, and neither proceeding affects nor controls the other. In layman terms, the victim’s family can sue a defendant acquitted of murder in a civil action for wrongful death.

Wrongful death statutes do not apply to unborn fetus, this is because an individual do not have a distinct legal status until they are born - alive. If an infant is born alive and later dies as a result of an injury that occurred prior to birth, an action may be brought for wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims involves many types of fatal accidents from a simple car accident to a convoluted medical malpractice to defective products. Individuals, companies, even government agencies can be held legally liable for acting negligently that is failing to act as a reasonable and sound person would have acted, and also for acting intentionally.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

The legal representative on behalf of the survivors who have suffered damages from the deceased death must file a wrongful death claim. They are termed the "real parties in interest". The "real parties in interest" vary from state to state. Some of those people might include:
  • Immediate family members: In all states, immediate family members include spouses and children, including adopted children. The parents of unmarried children can claim under wrongful death actions.
  • Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouses: In some states, a domestic or life partner, anyone who was financially dependent on the decease and an "acknowledged spouse" that is a person who had a ‘good faith’ belief that he or she was married to the victim, have a right of recovery.
  • Distant family members: Some states allow more distant family members, such as brothers, sisters, and grandparents, to bring wrongful death lawsuits. For example, a grandparent who is raising a child may be able to bring an action.
  • All persons who suffer financially: Some states allow all persons who suffer financially from the death to bring a wrongful death action for lost care and support, even if they are not related by blood or marriage to the victim.
  • Parents of a deceased fetus: In some states, the death of a fetus can be the basis for a wrongful death suit. In several other states, parents cannot bring a wrongful death action to recover for financial and emotional losses resulting from the death of a fetus. In those states, the parents can bring a wrongful death action only if the child was born alive and then died.

Any settlement or court award approved in a wrongful death case goes to the estate of the deceased and can thereafter be transferred from person to person as directed by the executor. A wrongful death lawyers can get their clients compensation for several issues related to the death of a loved one, including:
  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Deceased's pain and suffering prior to death

Compensation may also be awarded for issues distressing the family, including:
  • Companionship
  • Financial support
  • Parental support
  • Mental distress
  • Emotional pain
  • Loss of wages

To determine what the laws are governing here in New York, you should consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. At the Law Office of Aleksandr Vakarev Esq., we have devoted the maximum resources at our disposal to achieving the highest level of compensation for our client. We are committed to providing each client the time, attention and expertise their case deserve. We work with the best expert to corroborate the components of each case thus ensuring a successful conclusion.

With the help of a dedicated New York Wrongful Death Lawyer at the Law Office of Aleksandr Vakarev Esq., we will determine whether your claim has merit.


Our personal injury lawyers’ work on a contingency basis, so you only pay a fee if we recover money for you. Contact our experienced Attorneys today at the Law Office of Aleksandr Vakarev Esq., for a free consultation at 718-839-6885.


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