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  • $30.1 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $15 Million Manhattan - Medical Malpractice Case
  • $3 Million Queens - Wrongful Death Case
  • $5.5 Million Bronx - Birth Injury Accident
  • $7.75 Million NYC - Medical Malpractice Case
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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

A basic introduction to wrongful death

By Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. posted in Medical Malpractice on Monday, November 14, 2016.

While some cases of medical malpractice may be relatively manageable, some cases result in the death of a patient. If an individual dies as a result of the misconduct or negligence of a medical practitioner, their surviving relatives may have grounds to sue for wrongful death.

While some cases of medical malpractice may be relatively manageable, some cases result in the death of a patient. If an individual dies as a result of the misconduct or negligence of a medical practitioner, their surviving relatives may have grounds to sue for wrongful death.

Each state has its own statutes regarding wrongful death that define exactly what requirements the situations must meet for it to be considered. According to the laws of state of New York, five elements must be proven for a legitimate wrongful death claim.

1) There must be a death.

2) That death must have been caused by the conduct of the defendant.

3) The conduct of the defendant must have been prosecutable if the individual had not died.

4) The relatives of the deceased must have suffered loss due to the death of the deceased.

5) The damages must be recoverable by the estate of the deceased.

In addition to these requirements, the suit must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased's estate. In many states, a family member can file a wrongful death suit, but the state of New York requires that the person filing the suit must be the personal representative of the deceased's estate. A family member can also be a personal representative.

When suing for wrongful death, the personal representative of the deceased's estate is attempting to collect damages. In wrongful death suits, the damages are generally in the form of pecuniary, or financial, injuries. Pecuniary injuries have been recognized in many forms including funeral expenses, medical expenses, loss of support, loss of potential inheritance, emotional suffering and lost wages and/or benefits, etc.

Determining pecuniary injuries can be a difficult task due to the amount of factors that are involved in what an individual was able to provide, but courts and juries will often base their decisions off of the state of the deceased prior to death. This means considering income, potential income, life expectancy and general health to list a few. There are many more things that could factor into a final decision. Some trials will even call upon an economist as an expert witness to assist in determining the value that was lost when the deceased died.

Wrongful death cases have the potential to be very complicated and to involve many different types of law. They may have requirements that take a particular skill set to fulfill adequately. The assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional will be of great service if you find yourself in situation that may call for a wrongful death suit.

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Our client, a 5-year-old patient, receives almost $8 million in compensation from an NYC hospital in a medical malpractice claim won by Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolf. Representing the injured child with his team of legal and medical experts, Daniel Minc said, "It was great day for the family."

The case involved negligent care on the part of the hospital pediatric intensive care unit for failing to observe bleeding from a simple biopsy wound which caused neurological damage.

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