Buffalo, NY Wrongful Death Lawyers Helping Families Throughout Erie County and Western New York

Losing a loved one is devastating under any circumstances, especially when the death is unexpected. When the loss of a loved one occurs because of another party’s negligence or wrongful act, it can be even more difficult to come to terms with what happened. In situations like these, wrongful death law in Buffalo allows the family members of the deceased to be eligible for financial compensation when a personal representative of the deceased’s estate files a claim. To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim, you should speak with a Buffalo wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

image to people shaking hands - click to play video play video icon - click to play video

“He is a miracle worker. He found someone who knew my Dad who had passed away over 50 years ago. No easy feat. He works very, very hard for his clients. Knowledgeable and kind. I highly recommend him”

Colette M.

What is Wrongful Death Law in Buffalo, NY?

Wrongful death law is closely related to personal injury law. Like personal injury law, wrongful death law recognizes the right of a person (or persons) to be compensated for economic and non-economic losses after suffering injuries caused by someone else’s careless or intentionally harmful behavior by filing a civil lawsuit. These two areas of the law differ, however, when it comes to who files the claim and who receives compensation.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person is eligible to file a personal injury claim. When a person dies as a result of his or her injuries, that person no longer is able to file a claim for himself or herself. As such, wrongful death law in New York recognizes that the “personal representative” of the estate can step into the shoes of the deceased and file a claim. In other words, the law recognizes that, since the deceased is no longer alive to file a claim himself, the personal representative can do so in the deceased’s absence. The personal representative then can seek damages for the close surviving family members and others who have suffered losses as a result of the death.

Both Keith and John were named to the Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in New York by The National Trial Lawyers.

John was named to the Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in New York by The National Trial Lawyers three consecutive years in a row.

John and Keith were both selected as Upstate New York Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication.

$100M Settlements

Keith has been involved in trial verdicts totaling in excess of $17 million and settlements valued at more than $100 million on behalf of his clients.

United States Marine Corps & Police Officer

Keith has served in the United States Marine Corps and worked as a police officer for the City of Buffalo, where respect and honor are two of the foremost values.

Who Can File a Buffalo Wrongful Death Claim?

Unlike some other states, New York law requires that a personal representative of the deceased’s estate file a wrongful death lawsuit. While other states permit family members like a surviving spouse or child to file a claim, New York only allows a personal representative of the deceased to do so. It is possible for a surviving family member to file the claim if that surviving family member is also the personal representative.

If you have questions about filing a claim, you should discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney in Buffalo as soon as you can.

Damages in a Buffalo, NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In a wrongful death lawsuit in Buffalo, the personal representative can seek compensatory damages. Like the name suggests, compensatory damages are designed to compensate. There are two different kinds of compensatory damages that may be awarded in a New York wrongful death case: economic damages and non-economic damages. We will provide you with more information about each of these:

Economic damages compensate for economic losses, otherwise known as objective financial losses (e.g., hospital bills for the deceased after injury but prior to death, funeral and burial expenses for the deceased, lost wages while the deceased was injured but prior to death, and future lost wages).

Non-economic damages compensate for subjective losses that do not have an objective dollar amount (e.g., the deceased’s pain and suffering after injury but prior to death, and value of parental care).

To be clear, under most circumstances New York law does not permit surviving family members to recover non-economic damages for their own psychological injury or suffering. In other words, while non-economic damages may be available for the deceased’s pain and suffering, a spouse or child cannot recover damages for his or her own pain and suffering.


Buffalo Wrongful Death FAQs

Wrongful death lawsuits raise many different types of questions. The following are a few frequently asked questions and answers we receive concerning wrongful death claims in Buffalo.

Can anyone file a wrongful death lawsuit when a loved one dies?

Only the “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate can file a claim, but that party can seek damages on behalf of the deceased and surviving family members.

How much time do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

The New York wrongful death statute of limitations is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the deceased’s death to file a wrongful death suit.

What kind of settlement or verdict can I expect?

Settlements and verdicts can vary widely depending upon the specific facts of your case. By getting in touch with a wrongful death lawyer in Buffalo, you can get a better sense of what kind of settlement or damages award you might be able to expect.

While it can be difficult to even consider filing a lawsuit after the death of a loved one, it is important to remember that filing a wrongful death claim can help you with some of the financial costs associated with the loss of your loved one. In addition, you can hold the responsible party accountable for your loved one’s injuries. An experienced Buffalo wrongful death lawyer at our firm can discuss your case with you today. Contact Richmond Vona, LLC for more information about how we assist families with wrongful death claims in the Buffalo area and throughout Western New York.

Google Map of Richmon and Vona Location