It is heartbreaking to lose a loved one under any circumstances, but it is even more tragic when the life of someone close to you was taken through a preventable accident. As you work through your grief, you may soon realize that there are implications beyond your emotions. Financial issues may be at the forefront, as the decedent is no longer around to help with bills and support the household. You also miss out on your loved one’s contributions in many other areas as well, including guidance, education, and love.
Fortunately, New York wrongful death laws provide you with legal remedies after someone you love died because of negligence. Whether due to a motor vehicle crash, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, defective product, or other accident, you may qualify to pursue the responsible party and recover compensation for your losses. However, the route you take in obtaining monetary damages is often up to you. Resolving your claim by agreement may be possible instead of going to trial, and there are numerous reasons to consider settling. A New York wrongful death attorney can advise you on some of the following considerations.
How Settlement Works in a New York Wrongful Death Case
You should first understand what to expect through the settlement process. In a wrongful death case, your first legal step is usually filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. After some negotiations, you may be able to resolve your claim by agreement.
With this description in mind, you can review some of the major motivating factors that may guide your decision to settle.
Statistics on Going to Trial:
Data published by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) might persuade you on reaching an agreement on a wrongful death settlement. Of all tort cases, including those covering personal injury and wrongful death accidents, plaintiffs prevailed in just 52 percent of all jury trials. Around half of all claimants will walk away with nothing.
Faster Resolution of Your Claim:
When you are not subject to the court’s schedule, you can negotiate an agreement, draw up the paperwork, and receive a check within a few weeks. Litigation can take several months or even years, especially when the evidence and legal issues are complex.
Settlement is Certainty:
The primary disputes in a wrongful death claim are fault by the responsible party and compensation, i.e., how much surviving family members lost because of their loved one’s death. There are no guarantees in a lawsuit, juries can be unpredictable, and you are at somewhat of a disadvantage in terms of proof: The star witness is not around to testify. Upon signing the agreement to resolve your claim, you gain certainty.
If there is credible evidence and arguments that your loved one’s actions contributed to the fatal incident, you could risk losing compensation under New York’s statute on contributory negligence. Again, the victim’s absence may be a factor because he or she cannot contest the allegations. By settling, you will not face issues with evidence, questions about fault, or accusations regarding how your family member caused the accident.
A New York Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Navigate Settlement
These benefits may appear attractive, but it is important to trust a skilled attorney before you agree to settle a wrongful death case. Our team at The Mandel Law Firm will protect your interests in settlement negotiations with an insurance company, so you can move forward after losing a loved one. Please contact our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or via our website to set up a no-cost consultation today.