Medical malpractice is one of many acts of negligence that can lead to a fatality. Errors in judgment by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can severe injuries to unsuspecting patients, some of which lead to their deaths. If your family member has fallen victim to a medical mistake, you may wish to contact a Kingston wrongful death lawyer.

Wrongful death claims are different from a general medical malpractice injury claim that stems from a negligent act. Specific state laws govern wrongful death actions, and some remedies are limited. As a result, contacting a medical malpractice lawyer for representation could be vital to a favorable outcome in your case.

Wrongful Death Claims in Kingston

New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 establishes a cause of action for wrongful death when a death has occurred, and the following elements also are present:

  • Wrongful conduct by other parties caused the death
  • The decedents could have brought a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries
  • The decedents are survived by distributees who have economic losses resulting from the death
  • A personal representative of the estate is appointed to maintain the claim

Recovering Compensation for a Wrongful Death

Personal representatives are entitled to seek damages on behalf of the estate for the pain and suffering that decedents suffered before their deaths. The amount of potential damages often depends on the length of time between the infliction of injuries and the death, as well as the trauma that the decedents likely sustained. To better understand what might be available, personal representatives should seek the counsel of a wrongful death lawyer in Kingston for advice about the appropriate calculation of damages.

Next, surviving immediate family members can seek a broader range of damages due to a wrongful death than an estate. These damages may be monetary or economic, as well as non-pecuniary or non-economic. For instance, economic damages might include:

  • Loss of current income for the dependent members of the household of the decedent
  • Medical bills and expenses related to the injuries leading to the death

Other damages are more challenging to adequately value. These damages include loss of consortium or companionship for a surviving spouse, loss of parental guidance for minor children, and loss of future earnings based on the average life expectancy of the decedent. However, state law prohibits survivors from seeking any damages for pain and suffering, which may limit wrongful death damages to a greater degree than in other states.

Deadlines for Kingston Wrongful Death Claims

Personal representatives of estates and surviving family members of individuals who have succumbed to instances of medical malpractice have limited timeframes for filing wrongful death claims. Although they need not resolve a wrongful death claim within a specific deadline, they must formally file suit in court against all potentially responsible defendants to meet the statute of limitations.

In most cases, survivors have two years from the date of death of their loved one in which to file their wrongful death claims, although some situations may be entitled litigants to shorter or longer timeframes. Failing to heed this deadline can result in a complete inability to seek damages from any act of medical malpractice.

Call a Kingston Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Although calling a lawyer is likely the last thing on your mind as you grieve the loss of a loved one, your timeframe for filing a claim is limited. As a result, you may want to contact a Kingston wrongful death for evaluation of any claims that you have as quickly as possible following your loss. While you take care of your family, legal counsel can handle the legal and financial aspects of your unexpected loss.

Not every act of negligence leads to a wrongful death claim, but medical malpractice that results in a fatality could be an event that justifies this type of claim. You may be able to use a wrongful death claim to hold medical professionals accountable for their misdeeds and prevent them from committing similarly negligent acts in the future. Call today.