In your time of need and turmoil, you must know what to look for in an attorney. In a wrongful death case, your attorney will need experience, skills and compassion.
Any guide to find a top wrongful death attorney should start with experience. The wrongful death law in New York can be very complicated. You will want someone who can navigate these issues bases on their past experience. You should feel comfortable asking your potential wrongful death attorney about cases he or she has had in the past. While giving out the names of past clients is generally not permitted, he or she should be able to explain past cases which are similar to yours.
If they have past experience, they will be able to relay the unique aspects of New York wrongful death law. For example, in New York, you generally cannot recover for the emotional loss of a loved one except in rare circumstances. That means your lawyer will have to explain how to maximize the other aspects of a wrongful death claim. The first thing they should explain is pecuniary damages.
Pecuniary damages are the economic losses from the loss of your loved one. In New York, you must calculate every cost possible. This ranges from the costs of rides to your kids’ practices to helping them with homework. While reducing these priceless moments to a monetary value may seem callous, it is the direct result of New York law. New York law on wrongful death is quite simply, cold hearted. Therefore, you will need to maximize your pecuniary damages in an attempt to be fully compensated under the law.
In addition to pecuniary damages, you may also be able to recover for the pain and suffering as well as fear of impending death of your loved one. Pain and suffering is fairly straight forward. It places a value on the physical pain and suffering that your loved one felt prior to their passing. Sometimes, this can be difficult to prove, especially if the victim appears unconscious. In these instances, it is necessary that an expert is hired to explain how the body feels pain. Often, the body can experience pain, even if it is not observed by others around you. The proper expert can make sure a jury, or insurance company, understands exactly how the body reacts to unobservable pain.
In addition to pain and suffering, your attorney must address fear of impending death. A guide to find a top wrongful death attorney must include an explanation of fear of impending death. This happens often in fall cases and motor vehicle accidents. Fear of impending death results from the moments before impact. It also can come from being conscious enough during your treatment for you to realize that your death may be imminent.
Once the value of pain and suffering and fear of impending death are determined, the funds will need to be distributed. As a reminder, the pecuniary damages go to anyone who can prove that loss. The pain and suffering and fear of impending death damages are distributed to the estate. They will be distributed either per a will, or by statute. Any guide to find a top wrongful death attorney will address these issues. More importantly, attorney you think about hiring should be able to address these issues, and any other you may have fully and completely.