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Wrongful Death

When a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence or wrong-doing, the surviving family members are entitled to compensation for their financial and other losses. If the loved one suffered before he died, the surviving family members are also entitled to recover compensation for the pain and suffering he or she endured before death. The Auburn, New York wrongful death lawyers of Michaels & Smolak has recovered millions of dollars to compensate family members whose loved one suffered a wrongful death for financial losses, pain and suffering and more. Please contact us and speak to an experienced attorney who can help you recover for your losses. Find out more below.

Wrongful Death

What Kind of Compensation Can I Claim for the Wrongful Death of My Family Member?

At Michaels & Smolak, our attorneys build comprehensive wrongful death claims that cover everything our courts allow the dependants and surviving family members to recover, including medical expenses, lost income, pension, and the medical insurance that was provided by your lost loved one. But we go further. The surviving family members also have a right to claim loss of companionship, emotional support and parental guidance. These non-financial losses are often more significant than any financial losses you experience when a loved one suffers a wrongful death. In addition to the “wrongful death” claim itself, the family can bring a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased endured before he died. This is known in the legal world as a claim for “conscious pain and suffering”. We work hard to claim all these losses in every wrongful death claim we file. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to talk with bereaved families about their rights and options. Please contact us to find out more.

What do You Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case? The most common legal basis for a wrongful death suit is negligence. To prove that the defendant (the person or entity sued) negligently caused your family member's death, you must generally show four things: (1) The defendant had a duty to the deceased. For example, a car driver has a duty to stop at a stop sign. (2) The defendant breached that duty. For example, he did not stop at the stop sign. (3) The death resulted from the breach of duty. For example, the decedent’s head hit the steering wheel and caused an internal hemorrhage leading to death. (4) The family members suffered some economic loss because of the loved one’s death. For example, the decedent was a working man or woman who supported a family which has lost that support.

Can I Recover Compensation for My Grief and Emotional Suffering?

Unfortunately, New York is one of the few states that does not allow families of wrongful death victims compensation for their “grief”, that is, the emotional suffering. The Auburn, New York wrongful death lawyers of Michaels & Smolak has, with other lawyers, for years lobbied the New York legislature to change this harsh and unfair rule. One day, we hope to see New York families find full justice, which must include grief compensation, when their loved ones are killed through the negligence or wrongdoing of others.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death cases in New York?

In most cases, a wrongful death suit must be brought to suit within 2 years of the death of the loved one. The “conscious pain and suffering” claim must usually be brought within 3 years (for ordinary negligence against a non-governmental person or entity). Many exceptions apply. Contact us now to find out more.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

That’s impossible. A reputable personal injury attorney will not charge you for an initial consultation. Michaels & Smolak will give you a free consultation. If we decide to represent you, we will charge you on a contingency fee basis, which is usually 1/3 of the net recovery we obtain for you, whether from a settlement or from a jury. Since the initial consultation is free, why wait? So contact us today for a free consultation.

The Auburn, New York wrongful death lawyers of Michaels & Smolak have recovered millions of dollars for families of victims of wrongful death and for other injuries to cover their medical bills, lost earnings, and more. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal rights and maximize your compensation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
He is one of the top lawyers in central New York & has the accolades to show for this, but in my book he's the top lawyer in the country. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Bersani & to have had him on my team! Matthew
★★★★★
I admire the amount of background work he did which was instrumental in getting me a very good settlement. Also, having never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, Michael was very patient explaining the legal issues. You're in good hands with Michael Bersani and the firm of Michaels & Smolak. Richard
★★★★★
Dave took over my wrongful death case after it was badly messed up by another lawyer. He was dogged in his pursuit of all the information needed to make a solid case, and he succeeded in bringing it to a very satisfactory settlement. He was honest and straightforward, kind and compassionate through meetings, depositions, court appearances. I highly recommend him. Christine
★★★★★
Dave has handled our legal matters for over 20 years. Always there when we needed him. We were so happy with his professionalism and results that we referred him to several friends. If we ever need this type of service again, Dave will be the first and only call we make. Jackie