Contact our experienced Buffalo personal injury attorneys for help recovering non-economic wrongful death damages.
Can emotional damages be recovered in a wrongful death claim?
In New York State, the only way to get non-economic wrongful death damages, apart from economic losses, for wrongful death, is when there was a pain and suffering component that occurred before the wrongful death. If someone is killed instantly, under the current law, we are quite limited as to what we can recover for the family and loved ones. If there were any conscious pain and suffering that occurred before the death, however, we would have a cause of action. We could argue for a pain and suffering cause of action, which would be the traditional case that you would expect for an injury in New York State, then the wrongful death component as a separate and distinct cause of action that only recovers the actual economic losses of those who survived the decedent.
Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make If You want Non-Economic Wrongful Death Damages
There are two things that could really make it hard for us to protect you, and these are mistakes you can easily avoid. The first one has to do with the insurance companies. As mentioned, they are going to try to dodge and bully you. They have tactics to incriminate you. They will call you, you can bet on that, and ask you to answer questions. You should absolutely not give them any answers. Those are going to be loaded questions that will make you seem like the guilty party. If they talk to you without a lawyer present, you run the risk of ruining your case. You don’t want to get pinned for this accident. If you do, you can either lose the case, or lose out on rightful compensation.
In New York, if you are found at fault for the accident, your award gets reduced. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but you were found to be 30% at fault, your award is reduced to $70,000. We do not want that, and we know you don’t either. When the insurance company calls looking for a statement, tell them that you are going to be acquiring legal representation and won’t answer questions without your attorney present. It will save you so much heartache.
The only way we can determine how much your compensation will be is by what your injuries are, how bad they are, and how long they will affect you. The biggest mistakes a client can make is not seeing a medical professional. We want you to get better. That’s the top priority. Your health should be the first reason why you seek medical attention. Second, if you do not seek medical attention, you run the risk of getting your case thrown out. If you cannot prove that there are injuries, the insurance company may not even consider giving you compensation. Seeing the doctor or going to the ER will be a way to record your injuries, and start getting treatment for them. We can better understand how much your case is worth once we understand your medical needs. Do not worry about the cost, as we will be able to seek compensation for all accident-related injury treatment.
Have you lost a loved one or family member due to someone else’s negligence and have questions about recovering non-economic wrongful death damages? Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced Buffalo wrongful death attorneys.
Like us on Facebook