Wrongful Death

Strong Advocacy in Fatal Accident Cases

Losing a loved one to someone’s negligence is referred to as “wrongful death” and can be one of the most traumatic experiences of a person’s life, especially when it happens suddenly and without warning. For families and friends who experience this type of loss, finding a way to move forward can be incredibly difficult without finding justice.

In wrongful death cases, the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries and/or dependents are the ones who have the legal right to bring a lawsuit for their pecuniary losses against the party who is legally responsible for the death of their loved one. Although they are able to seek monetary damages, the laws in New York limit the amount of recoverable pecuniary loss. To make matters worse, the method of calculating pecuniary loss can be complicated, as there are statutes and regulations that must be considered. Life and work expectancy charts must be analyzed to determine the pecuniary losses. Recovery is also available for the medical, funeral and burial expenses incurred.

In addition, if the decedent did not pass away immediately, the decedent’s estate has a legal right to recover damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering before his death, including any pre-impact terror and fear of impending doom/death. Proof of the decedent’s pain and suffering, however, is sometimes difficult since he or she is no longer available as a witness.

Furthermore, a defendant is entitled to raise any defense against the decedent’s estate that he would have had against the decedent at the time of his or her death. Thus, if the decedent was comparatively negligent in causing his or her own death, the defense would still be valid against the estate.

At Gelber & O’Connell, LLC, our attorneys not only have long-standing experience with wrongful death claims to obtain maximum recovery for the survivors but also have the compassion to understand how difficult the time after a fatal accident can be on those who lost someone close to them. We work closely with clients, learning about the person they lost and the effects that loss will have on their lives going forward.

Helping You Deal with Your Loss

No amount of money can truly compensate you for losing someone you love. However, our lawyers have the experience and the passion to help you pursue the compensation you need to cover lingering medical bills, funeral costs and pecuniary losses suffered, including wages and benefits that the decedent would have contributed to your family. In addition, if circumstances warrant, we seek recovery for the decedent’s pain and suffering prior to his death. It is our job to try to make your family more comfortable as you try to pick up the pieces.

Our law firm’s top priority is helping clients understand their rights and their options so that they can make informed decisions about what is best for them and their families. As in all cases we handle involving catastrophic injury or death, we tailor our representation to the situations and needs of each client, building strong, persuasive arguments to help them secure the best resolution possible in settlement negotiations or at trial.

Contact a dedicated and compassionate lawyer today

To arrange for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney at Gelber & O'Connell, LLC, contact us at 716-633-5050. Or, if you prefer, complete this form and one of our lawyers will contact you.