How to Calculate Wrongful Death Damages in New York

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Stethoscope, pills and wrongful death document

When a tragic accident takes someone’s life, the victim’s family may be financially unprepared for the expenses they incur as a result. Along with the pain and grief of losing a loved one, survivors must also cope with their financial situation changing significantly.

At Finz & Finz, P.C., our personal injury lawyers understand that no amount of money can replace a lost family member. However, if their death was caused by a negligent or intentional act in New York, you could be eligible for wrongful death compensation from the at-fault party. This compensation can help provide financial security as you grieve and begin rebuilding your life.

But how much money can you receive? That depends on the facts of the case. For more information on how to pursue damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, talk to an attorney with Finz & Finz, P.C. today. Our highly skilled legal team will review your case for free and develop a legal strategy for success. We can also discuss how to calculate wrongful death damages and seek the maximum possible amount in your case. Call or contact us today for a free case review with one of our compassionate wrongful death lawyers.

Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury actions. In a personal injury case, an individual is the victim of a negligent accident that causes an injury. The same is true in a wrongful death case, except that the injuries cause the victim’s death. When a family pursues a wrongful death claim, they can typically recover compensation for losses such as:

  • Burial expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of care or support
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of guidance to children
  • Medical costs

In some cases, a jury might also award a family punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to cover a specific financial loss. Rather, they are a form of punishment levied against the at-fault party for exceptionally reckless actions or gross negligence.

How Are Wrongful Damages Calculated in New York?

Calculating wrongful death damages in New York can be complicated. Several factors must be considered to place a fair value on a claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help a victim’s family arrive at an appropriate figure by first reviewing the victim’s financial documents. These may include pay stubs, medical bills, funeral bills, burial receipts, pensions, and health insurance receipts, to name a few. This information will help an attorney estimate the survivors’ financial losses, also called economic damages.

Valuing non-economic damages is more difficult. Non-economic damages are generally quality-of-life losses. A wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate how your loved one’s death has impacted your family’s quality of life and emotional wellbeing.

Other factors that may come into play when calculating wrongful death damages include:

  • The victim’s age
  • Their earnings at the time of death
  • Their projected future earning capacity
  • The circumstances of the victim’s death
  • Their education and training
  • Whether the victim had children
  • The value of their lost benefits

While it is not easy to place a dollar value on a life, an attorney can help you arrive at a fair estimate.

Talk to Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Long Island, NY

At Finz & Finz, P.C., we understand that nothing can replace what is lost when a family member suddenly dies. Let us help your family seek justice and full compensation from the at-fault party. Contact our New York wrongful death attorneys today for a free initial consultation.