Grieving Families Act: A Much Needed Amendment to New York’s Wrongful Death Laws
Under New York law, if you lose a loved one as a result of someone’s negligence, you have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against them and seek damages. However, the law only allows you to recover economic damages and does not allow you to recover any damages for the pain and suffering caused by your loved one’s death.
To amend this unjust law, the NY State Senate and State Assembly Judiciary Committees have introduced a bill called the Grieving Families Act. If it is signed into law, families of wrongful death victims will be able to recover damages for their pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death Laws in New York
Currently, the law only allows families of wrongful death victims to recover what are called tangible or economic damages. These damages are calculated solely based on the earning capacity of the deceased person.
For instance, if a primary breadwinner of a family dies in an accident, the family can recover compensatory damages which might include:
- Expenses associated with treating the victim prior to their death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support caused by the victim’s death
- The value of services they would have provided to the family, had they been alive
- Reduction or loss of inheritance that the victim would have left for their loved ones
However, there is no provision to seek damages for the emotional turmoil caused by a loved one’s death. Experts have long argued that it is an unjust law, as it only values the lives of people who work and earn. If the victim happens to be a stay-at-home parent, a grandparent, or a child, the family might not be able to recover a substantial compensation, due to the lack of quantifiable economic losses.
The truth is that the death of a loved one is more than just the loss of an income source. The pain caused by the untimely loss of a loved one can be indescribable. The emotional anguish caused by their absence in your life might linger on for years. Based on this, it only makes sense for you to seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by your loved one’s death. It’s precisely what the Grieving Families Act aims to address and rectify.
Damages Recoverable under the Grieving Families Act
If the act is passed, families of wrongful death victims will be able to recover non-economic or intangible damages, which might include:
- Grief and emotional anguish caused by the victim’s death
- Loss of love
- Loss of support, protection, and assistance
- Loss of nurture, guidance, comfort, companionship, and consortium
Simply put, the act can considerably increase the scope of the damages that families of wrongful death victims are entitled to and is certainly a step in the right direction.
Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys in New York
If you have lost someone in your family due to another person’s negligence, the experienced New York wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff can help you get the damages you deserve.
Our personal injury attorneys bring unparalleled legal expertise and over 100 years of combined experience to the table and are willing to fight relentlessly to recover every penny you are entitled to under the law.
To discuss your claim with a seasoned New York wrongful death attorney, call us today at 212-962-1020 or contact us online and schedule a free and confidential consultation.