Wrongful Death FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Jed Dietrich, Esq., Distinguished as a New York Super Lawyer, and His Team of Aggressive, Tenacious, and Hardworking Attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., Recognized as an American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Personal Injury Law Firm, Battle to Obtain Unsurpassed Results for Families of Wrongful Death Victims in Buffalo, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; Rochester, New York; Throughout New York State and Beyond.

Patient in a Bed Unfortunately, far too many victims suffer fatalities because of another person’s negligence or recklessness. Losing a family member in an accident is truly a heartbreaking ordeal. When negligence causes the untimely death of a victim, it is sad and devastating, especially for surviving family members. Not only do they lose a loved one, but they are also forced to pick up the pieces and try to fill the huge void left behind by the decedent, physically, emotionally, and financially. For those who lost a family member because of someone else’s negligence, although nothing can eliminate your loved one’s suffering or the pain caused by their untimely passing, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

Wrongful death claims were designed to lessen the large financial burdens that surviving family members must face. Although no amount of money can bring your loved one back, compensation can help offer some much-needed relief. Above all, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide your entire family peace of mind and a sense of justice by holding the responsible parties liable. It is important to expose the liable party’s bad behaviors and practices so that they are less likely to occur again. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s battle-tested team of wrongful death attorneys understand how difficult of a time it is for you and your family. The last thing surviving family members need is to be troubled by legal issues. No one deserves to bear the dreadful consequences of a wrongful death alone. If you have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one, you need the best attorney in Western New York to pursue your case and hold those accountable legally responsible for all of your damages.

Jed Dietrich, Esq., recognized as a Best Attorney of America, and his elite team of wrongful death lawyers in Buffalo, New York, work our hardest to provide the highest level of personal injury service to the families of deceased victims of senseless accidents. After your unexpected loss, we would be honored to help your family obtain some closure. Insurance companies have paid Jed Dietrich, Esq. over $175,000,000.00 in verdicts and settlements to resolve personal injury claims. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has put together a series of wrongful death lawsuit FAQs. Should you have further inquiries or need assistance after your loved one’s passing, we invite you to contact us for a complimentary case evaluation. Our seasoned team is available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week at (716) 839-3939 or by filling out the online consultation form.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit FAQs

If you would like to learn more, our responses to the most frequently asked questions regarding wrongful death lawsuits are listed below.

  • 1. Are proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit taxable under New York law? In New York, compensation received as part of a wrongful death lawsuit is tax-free. Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to the tax-free rule for wrongful death cases, including:

    • a. Awards for pain and suffering or emotional distress are typically taxable to the estate;
    • b. Any portion of the compensation which was explicitly allocated as coverage for lost wages is taxable;
    • c. If any of the proceeds were invested in taxable investments by the estate of an individual, any profits would be taxable; and
    • d. Punitive damages are taxable.
  • 2. How much will it cost me to file a wrongful death lawsuit? While most courts charge fees for filing lawsuits, as part of our representation, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. will take on all costs associated with filing and pursuing your wrongful death lawsuit. There are never any up-front expenses or out-of-pocket costs to retain the legal services of our highly qualified wrongful death attorneys. Our best of the best team will only seek a fee after your case is settled or after a winning verdict in your trial. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning our final legal fees are subject to the compensation we obtain for you. You do not have anything to lose. If you decide to have us represent you, we will enter into an agreement specifying that the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. will retain a set percentage of your case’s final settlement or court award.

  • 3. What is the best way to choose a New York wrongful death attorney? Those who lost a loved one want the best possible wrongful death attorney handling their case. The following are tips to help you choose the right wrongful death attorney:

    • a. It is crucial to choose a lawyer who exclusively deals with personal injury cases and can truly understand the complex, nuanced nature of your case;
    • b. Look for an attorney who has significant trial experience because insurance companies consider whether your lawyer will go to trial when valuing your case;
    • c. Choose an attorney that is known to deliver large settlements and verdicts;
    • d. Read reviews of prior clients to learn more about the lawyer’s quality of service; and
    • e. Choose an attorney that you will be content with throughout the entire case.
  • 4. What is the legal definition of 'wrongful death' under New York law? Wrongful death occurs when another’s actions result in the victim’s death. The definition is “an action for damages that arises when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act of another.” Wrongful death is similar to involuntary manslaughter, which occurs when someone else’s negligence leads to another person’s death. However, unlike manslaughter, which is a criminal case, wrongful death is a civil claim. Had the victim not died, the other person’s actions would have still given rise to a claim.



  • 5. What types of financial damages can you sue for in a New York wrongful death lawsuit? Financial damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are largely contingent on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. The victim’s loved ones may be able to recover compensation for past and future losses, including:

    • a. All medical expenses incurred because of the victim’s injury or illness;
    • b. The victim’s pain and suffering caused by their injury or illness;
    • c. Lost wages and additional work-related benefits, which include future earnings or benefits if the victim had lived;
    • d. Loss of parental guidance and care for surviving children;
    • e. The value of the companionship and comfort the victim provided;
    • f. Loss of inheritance;
    • g. All funeral and other related burial costs; and
    • h. Punitive damages, if it can be demonstrated that the defendant acted grossly negligent or reckless.
  • 6. What does it cost to talk with an attorney to find out if I have a wrongful death case? It costs nothing to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of highly qualified attorneys will personally meet with you for a free consultation. If necessary, we can come to meet with you at your home at no additional cost. Our battle-tested personal injury attorneys are well versed in New York law regarding wrongful deaths. We would be pleased to answer all of your questions and discuss your potential claim.

  • 7. Who can file for a wrongful death lawsuit under New York law? Depending upon whether or not the deceased had a will, an executor or administrator takes over the victim’s estate. New York law places the responsibility for filing the wrongful death lawsuit on that personal representative of the victim’s estate. A family member is not allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit unless that family member is also the personal representative of the decease’s estate. If the lawsuit results in any compensation, the representative will distribute the award to eligible beneficiaries following New York law.

  • 8. How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York? The deadline, known as a statute of limitations, may bar your right to recover compensation if more than the applicable time already passed. Please do not hesitate to contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s veteran team as soon as possible to ensure that your rights will be preserved.

  • Jed Dietrich, Esq., recognized as an American Institute of Trial Lawyers Litigator of the Year, has exclusively handled serious personal injury cases throughout the United States since 1999, including numerous wrongful death lawsuits. Jed Dietrich, Esq. obtained a $2,400,000 settlement for the family of a 49-year-old man who was killed by a school bus. If you have a family member that died as a result of another’s negligence, allow the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s team of highly experienced, aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking Buffalo, New York wrongful death accident lawyers to fight for you. We will be there for you every step of the way. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s seasoned team offers complimentary lawsuit evaluations and consultations. We would be honored to speak to you about your possible claim. Call us today at (716) 839-3939.

    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 Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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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.
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No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
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