Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If the family of a deceased patient wants to learn more about their legal options, they should contact an experienced Poughkeepsie wrongful death lawyer. A qualified malpractice attorney could guide you along this often-difficult path and help pursue fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.

Complexities in a Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death cases involve the estate of someone no longer around to make decisions for themselves. This can be quite complicated to deal with, as there are several laws that apply only to wrongful death cases.

For example, New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 states that only a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate who is appointed by the New York Surrogate’s Court can bring a wrongful death claim. This representative could be a spouse or another family member.

With the assistance of a Poughkeepsie wrongful death attorney, this representative would need to prove to the court that the following elements exist in order to recover damages:

  • The defendant was negligent in their actions
  • Their negligence led directly to the death of the decedent
  • Surviving family members or the estate are eligible to receive damages
  • Surviving family members were financially damaged by the death of their loved one

In a wrongful death case that stems from medical malpractice, the estate representative or their legal counsel would need to prove that a healthcare professional was negligent in the delivery of the care they provided. Since the patient’s family members may no longer receive the financial support of their deceased loved one, they could be eligible to receive any damages a court could award.

Damages in Poughkeepsie Wrongful Death Claims

Civil lawsuits are filed with the purpose of making the victim whole again, usually through monetary compensation. After the death of a loved one, though, it may be impossible to make a family whole again. However, with the help of a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Poughkeepsie, a family might be able to recover monetary compensation to help ease their future financial burdens.

Damages plaintiffs could seek in a wrongful death case include:

  • Medical expenses required to treat the victim prior to their death
  • Funeral, cremation, or burial costs
  • Lost wages the victim was earning and would have been able to earn in the future
  • Reduced inheritance that the victim would have left
  • Loss in parental guidance the deceased would have provided
  • Loss of services that the victim provided, such as childcare

Reach Out to a Poughkeepsie Wrongful Death Attorney

Even if an insurance company offers you a settlement for the wrongful death of your loved one, you should not agree to any such offer until you speak with a Poughkeepsie wrongful death lawyer. An attorney may be able to help you pursue a higher settlement amount or court verdict on your behalf than an insurance company would offer you on your own.

If you are coping with the sudden death of a loved one and need to discuss your legal rights, contact a skilled attorney today for a case consultation. Doing so could be the first step in seeking justice for your deceased loved one and the rest of your family.