Wrongful Death

We are sorry if the death of a loved one has brought you to this page.….

We developed this page to assist those who face the life-altering emotional and financial consequences of losing a loved one because of another’s negligence or misconduct. Although we remain sensitive to our client’s emotional needs during this difficult time, our priority is taking care of their future financial requirements.

If you feel that your loved one has died because of someone else’s negligent, reckless or careless behavior, contact the Ziff Law Firm as soon as possible because prompt investigation of your case is critical to our success. We have a proven track record of achieving great results on behalf of our clients.

Our attorneys, Jim Reed and Adam Gee are familiar with the physical, emotional and financial damage that wrongful death can cause. We are a team of legal professionals that has provided skilled, aggressive and ethical legal services to residents of New York and Pennsylvania for more than 50 years.

Wrongful Death and Damages

In legal terms, wrongful death refers to a fatality that occurs because of the negligence or misdeeds of another person, corporation or entity. Part of the “personal injury” tort family, wrongful death holds an individual, group or corporation (defendant) accountable for causing injury to another person (plaintiff). The primary goal of a personal injury tort is to provide relief (damages) to the plaintiff and to deter the defendant from inflicting further harm to others. In a wrongful death action, consideration is given to the earnings the deceased would have provided to their family had they lived, and damages are awarded to survivors based on this monetary loss.

State laws vary as to who may pursue a wrongful death claim. Generally, it is the immediate family members (spouses, children and parents); however, some states allow grandparents, legal dependents or members of the extended family to file suit. The amount of damages awarded will depend on the plaintiff’s relationship to the deceased, while the compensation for damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Reimbursement for all medical expenses incurred as a result of the negligence.
  • Reimbursement for the loss of any future income.
  • Reimbursement for property damage, if applicable.
  • Reimbursement for any future services normally provided to you by the person who has died.
  • Reimbursement for loss of consortium, meaning a spouse’s right to the companionship, help and affection from the person who has died.
  • Reimbursement for any punitive damages if the negligence was found to be criminal.


Proving Negligence

Typically, wrongful death suits involve vehicular accidents (aviation, automobile, ATV, motorcycle, or railroad), defective products, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, and a number of other situations. The common element in most tort actions is negligence, which is characterized by inattention, thoughtlessness, inadvertence, and mistakes. Negligence must be proven in wrongful death cases and the Ziff Law Firm is skilled in helping clients prove that the four critical components of negligence exist in their claim:

  1. The defendant had a duty to the deceased;
  2. The defendant failed in that duty (breach of duty);
  3. That the fatality was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty; and
  4. That the survivors are entitled to damages as a result of the loss of their loved one.

In addition to establishing negligence, the joint life expectancy of the deceased and the survivor or beneficiary must be presented (to establish the loss of future earnings), and the relationship of the survivor and deceased must also be shown. Finally, effective presentation of the non-economical or emotional loss suffered by the survivor is critical to a fair award of damages.


Experienced and Understanding Representation

If you feel that you have the basis for a wrongful death suit, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. We will outline the documentation required, the decisions that must be made, and will continue to guide you through the legal process.

At the Ziff Law Firm, we recognize the deep trust placed in us by our clients, and we strive to uphold that trust by working hard and fighting hard for our clients. We do the best we possibly can for every client on every case. So, please call Ziff Law Firm at 800-ZIFF-LAW (943-3529), or save time with our online Contact Form.