What Is My New York Wrongful Death Claim Worth?

When a family member dies because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, the family members may recover compensation under a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death action can help your family recover from the financial crisis caused by the sudden death of a family member. Filing a claim can also help you seek justice for the death of a loved one. Our New York wrongful death attorneys are here to help you and your family as you work to hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for the party’s actions.

What Damages Are Compensated in a Wrongful Death Claim?

When family members file a wrongful death lawsuit or claim, they are entitled to compensation for a variety of damages. Damages generally fall into one of two categories — economic damages and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages include the financial losses associated with a person’s death. Economic damages typically include medical expenses from the date of injury through the date of death, funeral expenses, and loss of future income of the deceased.

Noneconomic damages include the pain and suffering of the deceased before death. It also includes the losses sustained by family members because of the death of their loved one, including loss of companionship, love, support, and parental guidance. Noneconomic damages can be very difficult to calculate as it is impossible to place a dollar figure on the loss experienced by family members because of the death of a loved one. 

How Are Wrongful Death Claims Calculated?

Numerous factors impact the value of a wrongful death claim. The specific facts and circumstances of each case impact the amount of compensation the family might receive for a wrongful death claim. Factors that impact the value of a wrongful death claim include:


Amount of Medical Expenses and Funeral Expenses


In most wrongful death claims, the family receives reimbursement for all medical expenses incurred by the deceased person from the time of injury through death. For example, medical bills incurred after a car accident through the date of death. The family is also entitled to recover reasonable costs associated with the cremation, funeral, and burial of a loved one.


Date of Death


Whether the person died immediately or lingered for some time between the incident and death can impact the value of a claim. Under New York’s wrongful death laws, the family may recover compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering caused by the incident, as well as any mental anguish suffered by the deceased person if the person knew he or she was going to die. Also, the family may recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life for the deceased family member from the date of the incident through the date of death.


Loss of Income


The loss of future income earned by the deceased person is also recoverable in a wrongful death action. The person’s age, health, education, skills, and life expectancy impact the value of loss of income. Also, the economic outlook for a specific field could impact the value of this portion of the claim. In many cases, financial experts assist in estimating the loss of future earnings.




If the deceased person shared responsibility for the cause of the accident that resulted in his or her death, the value of a wrongful death claim could be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim. Insurance companies may attempt to blame the victim for the cause of his or her death to avoid paying a claim.

Contact Our New York Personal Injury Attorney for More Information

Wrongful death laws are complicated. Cases involving a wrongful death can be complex and difficult to litigate. A thorough investigation is required to uncover evidence of fault and liability. In many cases, we use medical experts and financial experts to help establish fault and to calculate the maximum value of a wrongful death claim.

If you have questions about a wrongful death or need help filing a claim, contact our New York personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.