Guide to Finding New York Wrongful Death Lawyer

Guide to Finding New York Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Guide to Finding New York Wrongful Death Lawyer
New York’s wrongful death laws have been the law since 1847, making this statue one of the first and oldest of the nation.  While this reflects on New York’s legal tradition, this also means that the statue does not reflect a number of newer legal developments and philosophy.  For instance, while one can collect compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death claims, one cannot collect compensation for pain and suffering.  Although pain and suffering damages have been much maligned as indicative of the excesses of the legal system, the truth is that these damages often go a long way in repairing the emotional and economic damages associated with losing a loved one.  A New York wrongful death lawyer will help you secure the damages you are entitled to under the laws of New York State by proving that the other party is liable for the injury and subsequent death of your loved one.
What should I do before meeting an attorney?
You will need to present evidence that proves that not only is the other party liable, but the right to sue has not been waived through an existing contract.  If the deceased, of sound mind and body, knowingly signs a release exempting the party from liability, there is very little that can be done.  You should be able to account for medical expenses, funeral costs and other associated damages resulting from the injury.  This will make up the bulk of your compensatory damages claim.
What are the elements of New York wrongful death law?
New York law prioritizes spouses, parents and children of the deceased in the collection of wrongful death payments.  If there are no children of the deceased, parents of the deceased will able to collect a greater share of the damages resulting from the wrongful death.
Like personal injury cases, the New York wrongful death lawyer must prove the liability of the company or organization and prove that their actions led directly to the injury and death of the deceased.  Once liability is established and the victim is found less negligent than the liable organization, damages will be collected.
How can a New York wrongful death lawyer help my case?
The New York wrongful death lawyer will be able to assess the details of your claim and determine if a wrongful death case can be made, under New York law.  the criteria for a wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury legal action, only that the injury caused the death of the individual whose heirs or beneficiaries are now suing on his or her behalf.  Therefore, the proceedings are almost identical with the exception that the plaintiff takes the place of the decedent.  The New York wrongful death lawyer will help you organize you case, determine who in the party will be the plaintiff and prove the liability of the other party in the death of the loved one.
The New York wrongful death lawyer will help you expedite the case to court, which is important, as the statute of limitations to file wrongful death cases is two years, starting from the death of the deceased.  
Where to look for an attorney
There are a number of Bare Associations associated with both New York State and New York City.  This is one place to look for a reliable New York wrongful death lawyer.  Although the court will usually be able to tell if a lawyer is unlicensed, taking just legal advice from an unlicensed lawyer can jeopardize your case.  This is why proof of Bar Association certification is necessary when seeking these services, to ensure that the service the lawyer will provide is professional, ethical and in compliance with New York law.  Ensure that your attorney is trustworthy, straightforward and willing to communicate with you freely.  The lack of any of these factors should be enough to arouse suspicion and you are advised to look for another New York wrongful death lawyer.
Relevant fees and arrangements
The typical fee arrangement for wrongful death cases are contingency fees.  Contingency fees are only collected if damages are won, which reduces the legal costs of the plaintiffs significantly.  Some states may impose limits on the percentage of the settlement that the lawyer may collect and this can also be subject to court adjustment and approval for exceptionally high verdicts.  Some lawyers will accept a lower contingency if the case is settled out of court, as this will save the lawyer time and provides flexibility for the New York wrongful death lawyer to pursue the needs of other clients.
The New York wrongful death lawyer may charge flat fees, combined with hourly fees for the use of the lawyer’s time and ancillary fees for the use of the lawyer’s staff, such as paralegals.  No lawyer will accept a flat fee to pursue the entire wrongful death case.  The flat fee would be for case evaluations, contract review and other legal advice work.
A retainer is a possible but rare arrangement for this type of case.  The retainer is fee that remains in a trust account that the lawyer bills every time he or she performs a service related to your case.  This account can be refilled at the discretion of the attorney.
Interviewing your attorney
The following questions are important when interviewing your attorney:
Do our existing agreements with the other party prevent us from filing suit against the other party?
Can you review our agreements with the other party?
How much am I paying for an initial consultation?
What percentage contingency will you collect and is that percentage higher if we collect damages in excess of a certain threshold?
Do you accept a lower contingency if we settle out of court?
Can I contact you directly if there is a problem?
Who will I speak to if I have a legal question?
What is your experience with my circumstances?
If you cannot handle my case, can you refer me to a lawyer that can?

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