Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you are looking for a wrongful death lawyer, you have already suffered a terrible tragedy.  In New York, the law concerning a wrongful death claim is very specific.  It is important to find a wrongful death attorney who will meet all of your expectations in this time of need.  The Platta Law Firm has handled wrongful death cases from its inception.  Our expertise in the area is crucial in getting the recovery your loved ones deserve.

The first thing to understand is exactly what components comprise a wrongful death case. A wrongful death lawsuit is different from every other lawsuit for personal injuries. The way that you prove damages and the experts that you may need to hire are very unique. What we aim to do in this article is to go over the basics so that you can feel as comfortable as possible with the process.


A wrongful death lawsuit arises when an accident causes the death of the victim.  Wrongful death cases happen in motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and negligent medical care among other causes.  In any wrongful death case, an administrator or executor is appointed.  This person has the final say when it comes to settlement of the claim.  Just because the person is the administrator or executor, it does not mean that they will be entitled to a significant portion of the recovery.  When filing a lawsuit, your wrongful death lawyers should be aware of the very specific areas of recovery for this claim that we will discuss below.

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Pecuniary damages are claims which go mostly to the economic loss as a result of the accident.  It focuses on the loss of earnings as well as funeral expenses and possible lost inheritance.  In some instances, you may also recover for loss of support and guidance.  In order to recover in these categories, your wrongful death lawyer must find out which, if any, living heirs are entitled to this specific kind of recovery. This area of the law separates New York from many other states, and not in a good way. New York Law limits the damages you can receive in a wrongful death case. In New York, you generally cannot recover for the family’s pain and suffering or loss of companionship. This law is meant to limit the amount given to grieving families. The fact that this law exists is a blight on the State of New York.


Pain and suffering in wrongful death claims can be difficult to prove.  Often, the accident causes the victim’s death so quickly that there is no opportunity for the victim to express pain.  As a wrongful death law firm with significant experience in these cases, the Platta Law Firm uses different avenues to prove pain and suffering.

The first thing which needs to happen is thorough interviews of the witnesses.  Often the first people to the scene are either co-workers or the ambulance crew.  It is important to ask these witnesses if there were any signs of life.  This can include movement of any kind, noises made by the victim, or responses to outside stimuli, like smelling salts or audio alerts.   In addition to witnesses, your wrongful death lawyer should hire a forensic pathologist.  A forensic pathologist can look at the medical records and autopsy to determine whether the victim was conscious enough to feel pain, even if it was not evident to outside observers.


As experienced wrongful death attorneys, our lawyers understand how to maximize recovery in all expects of a wrongful death case.  Fear of impending death is a very specific area of recovery.  We have to prove that the victim would have understood that death was imminent prior to their passing.  This is often provable in cases where victims have fallen from a height, or in a car accident.The goal is to demonstrate that there were moments before death where the client could understand that the end was imminent.

Settlement amounts and jury awards for this category vary greatly. Witness and expert testimony play a big role here as well. As with the pain and suffering component, the proof of this will not come from the victim. Therefore, it is up to your wrongful death attorney to figure out a way to recreate the accident in the minds of the jury. It is only then that they can truly understand what those horrific last moments before death really were, and what they mean.


The Platta Law Firm has a tradition of handling these cases.  One such case involved a tragic accident that occurred at a bakery.  The victim fell 12 feet through an unguarded floor opening, while working at the bakery. He left behind two very young kids and his wife.

We hired an expert pathologist, the same one that examined the victim’s body right after the accident, to prove that there was a time of conscious pain and suffering even though the victim’s fall resulted in almost instantaneous death. These few seconds of his consciousness allowed us, later on, to bring proper compensation to his loved ones. Our expert found that the plaintiff suffered from pre-impact terror before impact with the ground, as well as 10-15 seconds of pain and suffering immediately after impact.  As a result of this testimony, Mr. Platta secured a recovery of $3,000,000.00 for the victim’s family.

We strive to provide unparalleled service and the best results possible.  If you are struggling with the sudden death of a loved one, contact The Platta Law Firm for a free consultation.

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