Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

We will work diligently to protect your rights.

The Law Office of Jim A. Trevino provides dedicated and comprehensive legal representation in a variety of areas.

Wrongful death cases involve people who have died because of someone’s carlessness. In each case, the death is an untimely one. Were it not for the carelessness of someone else, your loved one would still be alive and living the life they had.

In a wrongful death case, the surviving family brings a lawsuit for two different claims. First claim: The first is a claim for the victim’s loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering they experienced from the date of the accident or malpractice until their death.

Second claim:

For financial loss to the family. Included within this claim is the loss of guidance and support to the family. Unfortunately in New York, the law does not permit the surviving family to recover any compensation for the suffering the family has experienced. This is a draconian way of saying that the family that survives and witnesses their loved ones killed, maimed or injured because of someone else’s carlessness, do not deserve any compensation for their grief. (There are limited instances where a close family member who actually witnessed the devastation and destruction of a loved one can bring a separate claim for emotional distress for being in the ‘zone of danger’ at the time of the incident.)

We regularly encourage our clients to lobby their local politicians to change the way the law looks at surviving families from tragedies where a death is involved. So far, most politicians don’t have this issue on their radar screen. As a trial lawyer, it saddens me that the law is so callous toward the victim’s families. It makes it even worse when I must explain this fact to the surviving family members that come to me for help. Even more insulting is a case involving an infant who has died. In those cases the law callously looks to see what type of financial loss the family has suffered. Ironically, there is no actual financial loss yet incurred, since the baby or child was not yet earning a living. The only alternative method available is to project out what we believe the child would have earned had he had a normal healthy life. We look at the parents and whether they are educated, what types of jobs they have; whether other children in the family have gone to college, whether it is likely they would have gone on to higher education, as well as their living environment. While this is harldly an exact method of calculating potential future earnings, it is the only thing we have to work with to evaluate the child’s financial loss to the family.

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