Syracuse, New York, Wrongful Death Lawyers

Jed Dietrich, Esq., Is a Recognized Super Lawyer Who Has Spent Decades Standing Up for the Rights of Families Affected By Fatal Accidents. If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Car Crash, Medical Malpractice Incident, or Other Accident That Was Not Their Fault, The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Could Help You Explore Your Best Options for Effective Legal Relief.

Enduring the loss of a loved one is rarely easy, even when their death was expected. However, when a loved one’s life is cut short by an accident, grief could prove overwhelming.

Black book about wrongful death lawsuit

While some fatal accidents can be neither explained nor avoided, many could be prevented through simple adherence to the law. Motor vehicle collisions, for instance, are almost always attributable to human error. Even in the worst of conditions such as a severe Syracuse snowstorm, or heavy holiday traffic on the New York State Thruway—New Yorkers are still expected to make reasonable efforts to ensure their safety, as well as that of everyone around them.

When motorists, landlords, and city officials abrogate this duty, they risk causing an accident—an accident that could inflict life-altering injuries, or even tear families apart. Unfortunately, surviving spouses and children are far too often forced to shoulder the burden of such negligence alone, paying out-of-pocket to cover the costs of a funeral nobody had planned.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. is committed to providing compassionate legal service. While we understand that no amount of money could ever compensate for a life lost, our attorneys could help you recover the resources needed to reclaim your financial independence. Recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm, we know what it takes to overcome even the strongest defense and have the results to prove it. Please send us a message online or call us at 866-529-5334 to speak to a wrongful death lawyer near Syracuse and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

The Advantages of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

For many Americans, the mere prospect of filing a wrongful death lawsuit is inherently intimidating. Even in the aftermath of an unthinkable loss, many survivors fear that initiating litigation could send the wrong message, making it appear as if they are trying to profit from the death of a husband, wife, or child.

However, while wrongful death claims can help families regain financial independence, these cases are often about far more than money. A wrongful death lawsuit could help you accomplish any of the following:

  1. Preserve Your Family’s Finances: The Empire State’s courts typically require that the plaintiff in any civil complaint demonstrate that they have the proper legal standing to file a claim. In most wrongful death cases, standing is established by evidencing a statutory relationship to the deceased person and substantiating allegations of both economic and non-economic loss. If the lawsuit is successful, the plaintiffs could receive an award intended to mitigate the financial fallout of losing a breadwinner and companion, sparing families the pain of depleting their savings to fund a funeral or repay the decedent’s outstanding debts.
  2. Send a Strong Message: Wrongful death claims often emerge from fatal accidents. In some cases, prosecutors may press charges against a reckless motorist or negligent landlord whose misconduct caused or contributed to, the decedent’s death. However, obtaining a criminal conviction requires that prosecutors prove the wrongdoer’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This can be very challenging, especially in the absence of compelling evidence. Civil claims, in contrast, simply necessitate that the plaintiff show that the defendant was more likely than not responsible for the accident. A wrongful death judgment can, then, offer a definitive finding of liability, even where and when a conviction seems unlikely.
  3. Protect Your Community: Many wrongful death settlements include provisions intended to change corporate policy or overhaul other overtly negligent practices. Such provisions are often used for the betterment of an entire community, ensuring that nobody else is forced to endure the pain of losing a loved one in a preventable accident.

While wrongful death lawsuits offer advantages that can include and even supersede the repayment of financial damages, the success of a claim is often contingent on the quantity—and quality—of available evidence. Since most wrongful death cases are high-stakes affairs, defendants will almost always seek to minimize their losses by challenging evidence, contradicting eyewitness testimony, and engaging in deceptive negotiation strategies.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. believes that nobody should be forced to accept excuses in place of justice. Since our founding in 2005, our award-winning team of attorneys has helped our clients secure more than $175 million in damages. We could help you, too. Please send us a message online or call us at 866-529-5334 to speak to a wrongful death lawyer near Syracuse and schedule your free consultation.

Understanding Wrongful Death in New York

New York law defines wrongful death as any death caused by “a wrongful act, neglect or default.”

Under most circumstances, the decedent’s estate is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in any situation where the deceased person would have been permitted to file a personal injury claim had they survived. Examples of accidents that could give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit include the following:

  1. Car crashes;
  2. Motorcycle accidents;
  3. Semi-truck collisions;
  4. Construction accidents; and
  5. Medical malpractice.

In some states, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the deceased person’s next-of-kin, typically a spouse, child, or parent. However, in New York, only the decedent’s executor can initiate a claim.

Of course, this does not mean that the executor is entitled to keep any eventual settlement proceeds for themselves. Instead, if and when the lawsuit succeeds, compensation is transferred to the deceased person’s estate. From there, it may be disbursed to heirs and survivors, with spouses and dependent children usually having precedence over other prospective claimants.



Potential Outcomes in a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death lawsuit could be resolved through any of the following means:

  1. Direct Negotiations: Direct negotiations are discussions between both parties involved in a wrongful death lawsuit. These discussions are usually conducted in person, without the involvement of a judge or other mediator.
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution: Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, includes strategies such as arbitration and third-party mediation. In most cases, any agreement reached through alternative dispute resolution is not legally binding unless and until it has been signed by both parties and approved by a judge.
  3. Trial: Trial is the formal examination of evidence before a judge and jury. Contrary to popular misconception, most wrongful death cases do not go to trial. Instead, most are either dismissed through pre-trial motions or resolved through negotiations.

If the decedent’s estate succeeds in proving its claims against the defendant, then the estate may be awarded damages. In most wrongful death claims, damages include payment for losses such as the following:

  1. Emotional pain and suffering;
  2. Paid funeral fees;
  3. Burial expenses;
  4. The deceased person’s outstanding medical debt;
  5. Any financial support the decedent would have contributed to their family and household;
  6. Loss of companionship;
  7. Loss of consortium;
  8. Loss of parental guidance;
  9. Loss of inheritance; and
  10. Loss of household services, including cooking, childcare, and home maintenance.

New York, unlike some states, does not cap or otherwise limit the damages available in most wrongful death claims. However, the Empire State does have a very rigid statute of limitations. If a wrongful death lawsuit is not filed within this statute of limitations, then it could be dismissed without consideration.

Do not lose your opportunity to ascertain justice: please send the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. a message online or call us at 866-529-5334 to speak to a wrongful death lawyer near Syracuse and schedule your 100% free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Syracuse, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
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