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Wrongful death in New York defined and explained

If a loved one dies because another person was negligent or careless, including murder, the family of this person can file a suit for wrongful death. Many times, a criminal trial will occur first and the evidence used in that trial will aid the family in this action. There is a lower standard of proof in a civil trail and this makes it easier for the family to be proven right.

In a criminal court battle, the prosecutor must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil trial, the plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant was guilty by a preponderance of evidence.

A wrongful death suit can be brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate. New York has a set of statutes that establish procedure for bringing wrongful death actions. The damage awards from this civil court suit belong to the decedent's estate and can be passed along to different parties, as listed in the will.

Of course, the first element when bringing a wrongful death suit is that there must be evidence that someone died. This person must have died because of the intent to harm that person or by negligence. The surviving representatives of the decedent's estate can bring the suit by appointing a representative.

There are many reasons for filing a wrongful death suit: medical malpractice, a car or truck accident, an airplane accident, hazardous conditions at a work site and criminal behavior are just a few of them.

Monetary or financial injury is the measure by which the loved ones of the deceased person are recompensed for their loss. Pecuniary injuries, or financial injuries, can include loss of support by the deceased person, loss of an inheritance, medical bills and funeral expenses. The law also states that the award will include interest on the funds that are awarded from the time of the person's death until the date awarded.

You can imagine that, while you are trying to grieve the loss of your loved one, trying to deal with a civil suit at the same time can be daunting. Calling in an attorney to guide you through the court system is a wise decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed May. 27, 2015

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