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Who Gets the Money in a New York Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your loved one lost his or her life as a result of another’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to help cover the losses you incurred as a result of the death.

Unfortunately, not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a decedent in the state of New York. Only the estate’s personal representative has the authority to file a wrongful death case.

So where does the money from a New York wrongful death lawsuit go? Read on to find out.

How Compensation From a New York Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Distributed

The distribution of compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit in New York is based on the monetary losses resulting from the fatality. The settlement documents will provide details regarding how much money goes to each individual impacted by the death.

Oftentimes, the decedent’s spouse and children are the distributees (legal heirs to inherit the estate) of the wrongful death awards, but this is not always the case. The distributees will depend on who the decedent provided financial support for when he or she passed.

The decedent’s estate will be awarded damages for conscious pain and suffering or for fear of impending death.

Then, the estate will be distributed according to the specifications listed in the decedent’s last will and testament. If the decedent did not have a will when he or she passed, the estate will be distributed according to the New York intestate law:

  • If a decedent passes with a spouse and no children, the estate will go to the spouse.
  • If a decedent had a spouse and children upon their passing, $50,000 and half of the balance will go to the spouse and the other half will be split equally between the children.
  • If a decedent had children and no spouse, the estate will be distributed equally among the children.
  • If a decedent had living parents and no spouse or children, the estate will go to the parent(s).
  • If a decedent had siblings but no spouse, children, or parents, the siblings will divide the estate evenly.

If for some reason your wrongful death lawsuit enters a jury verdict, rather than settled out-of-court, the jury will decide how to distribute the award.

We’re Here to Help

If you lost a loved one due to another’s recklessness or willful disregard, you may be owed compensation for your losses. Let our team see if we can help you obtain justice for your family member.

Call The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. today at (631) 250-4212 to speak with an attorney about your case.

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