Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P.

Upstate New York Wrongful Death

The loss of a human life, especially when it is caused by another individual’s negligence, simply cannot be excused. In the case that the death under consideration was the result of an individual’s negligence, he or she must be held accountable for the consequences for their actions. The loss of a loved one is extremely difficult for a family to deal with, especially if the death was unexpected. In addition to the emotional consequences of such an occurrence, a death can also cause considerable financial strain on the family. It may, in certain cases, result in a significant loss of income for the family coupled with expensive medical bills.

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool understand the emotional and physical strain caused by death. While we can do little to alleviate the sense of loss, we can attempt to ease your transition by securing a deserved compensation on behalf of the deceased in court. In the case that the death of your loved one occurred due the negligence of another, you might have grounds for a valid wrongful death lawsuit.

Nature of Compensation

Wrongful death claims are specific to cases in which the death occurred due to another individual or party’s negligence. According to the common law negligence principles applied in these cases, the allegedly responsible party can be found liable if it can be proven that the death was caused due to the party’s failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances of the incident. A wrongful death can occur through various types of accidents including automobile accidents, construction accidents and medical malpractice.

New York State has fairly restricted and nuanced laws in place when it comes to wrongful death claims. Thus, the caliber of your attorney is of the utmost importance. One of the most striking limitations if that New York is one of the few minority states that does not permit monetary compensation in lieu of the emotional distress suffered by the family of the victim. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool we believe these laws to antiquated and unfair and are in a constant effort to lobby the New York legislature to amend them and allow for monetary compensation for the emotional distress caused by a loved one’s death. The zone of danger rule is another one of New York State’s nuanced statutes surrounding wrongful death claims. This is an exception to the general rule, which precludes compensation for negligent infliction of emotional distress. This exception applies if a family member was present and/or witnessed the death of the victim. In such situations, because the family member was in zone of danger he or she is entitled to monetary compensation for the emotional distress caused by the negligence actions fo the Defendant.

Wrongful death cases in New York states are governed by The New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Laws (EPTL). Section 5-4.1 of the EPTL is entitled "Action by personal representative for wrongful act, neglect or default causing death of decedent." This statute authorizes a representative of the estate (usually a surviving family member) to bring a legal action for wrongful death. In simpler terms, a family member is customarily appointed administrator of the decedent's estate and is in effect the Plaintiff bringing the lawsuit. However, it should be noted that the person appointed administrator is not determinative of how much compensation the they or other family members may be entitled to as a result of the death of a loved one. Section 5-4.3 of the EPTL governs the type of losses that can result in monetary damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute is a pecuniary loss statute, which means that all allowable damages under this statute are limited to, and measured by, economic loss.

The most common examples of economic loss involve the death of a loved one that financially supported the family. In such cases, our firm will retain and economic expert to ascertain the economic loss sustained by the next of kin as a result of the victim’s death. This process does not simply involve the accumulation of foregone wages, but also takes in to account annuity and medical benefits in addition to pension payments. Additionally, the personal consumption of the deceased must also be deduced since the loss to entire family is the income of the deceased less any amount they would have personally consumed. It is imperative that an estimate is presented in Court in order to avoid the Defendant’s attempts to distort the figures and mar credibility.

Although The Estates, Power and Trust Laws restrict compensation to economic and pecuniary losses, a family’s economic loss can be measured in ways other than the deceased’s income. For example, there is an economic value of the loss of services of the decedent to the surviving spouse. A jury can evaluate such services and assign an economic loss to it, which serves as a measure of economic damages that can be recovered by the surviving spouse. Similarly, if the decedent had children, there is an economic value that can be attributed to the loss of parental guidance the child is forced to forgo. In such cases, monetary compensation is heavily dependent upon the age of the child. For example, a younger child is entitled to a greater compensation than an older one.

The family of the deceased individual may also be able to recoup compensation for our firm usually retains forensic experts whose job is to determine the length and nature of the pain and suffering involved. It is extremely important to thoroughly and meticulously prepare a wrongful death case and to hire appropriate experts for areas of potential loss.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In order to have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit it must be illustrated that the responsible party acted negligently. For the responsible party to act negligently, they must have violated their duty of care. Duty of care if the legal obligation an individual or party has to proceed with caution and according to certain accepted standards whilst performing acts that could be potentially harmful to others. Additionally, it must be proven that the responsible party’s negligence directly caused the death. Lastly, it needs to be demonstrated that the victim’s death resulted in economic and non-economic damages.

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool handles all forms of wrongful death claims including, but not limited to:

  • Premises liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Construction Accidents
  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Police brutality
Upstate New York - Infant Death Attorneys

Parents have a natural instinct to care for and protect their children. Consequently, following the wrongful death of their child, parents may feel extremely helpful as well as justifiably angry. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool have been helping parents hold negligent parties accountable for the death of their child for over five decades. While we understand that no amount of monetary compensation can bring back your child, there is some measure of comfort achieved by ensuring that your child attains justice. Additionally, it is imperative that negligent individuals may be held accountable for their actions so that such a tragedy can be prevented from occurring in the future.

Causes of Fatal Birth Injuries

Medical malpractice during prenatal care, birth or postnatal care can result in the death of an infant. Some common birth injuries and instances of malpractice include:

  • Forceps damage to the skull and brain
  • Brain damage
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • C-Sections errors
  • Hypoxis-anoxis encephalopathy
  • Failure to perform a C-section
  • Medication errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Infections

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will wok with medical experts to review the medical records of your child and conduct an investigation to determine the cause of your child’s death. Depending on the results of the investigation, your family may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses and the loss of a loved one.

Upstate New York - Accidental Death and Dismemberment Attorneys

The loss of a loved one is an extremely tragic and trying experience for his or her loved ones. However, when the death is sudden and unexpected, the trauma and grief experienced by the family can increase exponentially. The death of a loved one caused by the negligence of another individual or party can caused the family to experience significant emotional and financial stress.

In the case that you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, you will require the assistance of a law firm with skill and reputation to represent you in Court. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool has been representing wrongful death victims for over fifty years and our attorneys pursue each case with the compassion and attention it deserves.

There are serious financial consequences associated with an accidental death. Our firm will retain experts to determine the compensation that you will require to cover your expenses. We will work with the experts to deduce the loss of the victim’s future earnings as well as the family’s future expenses. Compensation may cover loses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral costs
  • The loss of a loved one/emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering sustained by the victim, when appropriate
  • Lost wages

Our attorneys also assist victims that have suffered an accidental dismemberment such as the amputation of an arm, leg or foot. This type of permanent disability will incur significant medical costs. The victim an his or her family deserve compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income.

People who are faced with an accidental dismemberment or death will require expert legal representation in order to obtain compensation from the negligent party as well as from their own insurance company. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys are very well experienced in this particular field of litigation and take on negligent actors and entities and insurance companies on a daily basis.

Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Today

Our cases are taken on a contingent fees basis, that is no compensation is recovered from you unless and until we are able to secure a favorable verdict. In which case, our legal fees will be a mere fraction of the amount that our firm has secured on your behalf.

In order to avoid any conflicts with the statute of limitations it is imperative that concerned individuals contact an attorney today. The statute of limitations is legislation that limits the time period within which a victim can bring forth a wrongful death claim against the allegedly responsible party. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is usually two years. Failure to file a lawsuit within the designated time period results in the victim being forever barred from attaining justice and compensation for the damages that they have sustained. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys are familiar with the time constraints and process all cases in a timely manner in order to avoid any issues.

If your loved one has suffered from a wrongful death that might have occurred due to the negligence of another, you might have grounds for a valid wrongful death lawsuit. Contact the New York law office of Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool today at 212.406.1700 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.

Client Reviews
"I would not go anywhere else if I had a personal injury case in New York again." Oscar G.
"My contact with them was always smooth and trouble-free." Orlando B.