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Paramedic attending to an injured person covered with a thermal blanket on a stretcher, illustrating the emergency response after an accident potentially leading to claims of pecuniary loss.
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Posted in Wrongful Death

When a loved one’s life is prematurely taken due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another, the emotional and financial toll on surviving family members can be immense. In such cases, understanding the legal concept of wrongful death in New York, and the notion of pecuniary loss becomes crucial in seeking justice and financial compensation.

Pecuniary Loss and Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. This could include incidents such as car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, defective products, or even criminal acts. In New York, the law allows certain family members to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased.   

In a claim arising from the death of an individual, the damages are broken down into categories, conscious pain and suffering, and wrongful death.  Conscious pain and suffering is meant to compensate the Estate of the deceased for the pain and suffering they endured between the happening of the incident and their death.  Wrongful death is meant to compensate the distributees or heirs of the deceased for their pecuniary loss, as defined by the law.

Pecuniary Losses: Quantifiable Financial Harm

Pecuniary losses represent the most straightforward type of damage in personal injury or wrongful death cases. They refer to tangible financial losses that can be calculated and proven. Here are some of the most common categories:

  • Lost income and earning capacity: If an injury prevents a person from working, or forces them to take a lower-paying position, they may be entitled to compensation for the difference in income. This applies to past lost wages and the potential for diminished earning capacity in the future.
  • Medical expenses: A claim should cover the full cost of necessary medical treatment related to the accident or injury. This includes hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation therapies, and any ongoing care the person may need in the future.
  • Property damage: If a person’s vehicle, personal belongings, or other property was damaged due to the incident, they are entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Cost of household services: If an injury prevents a person from performing basic household tasks, their claim may address compensation for hiring help with cleaning, cooking, childcare, or other routine needs.

Documenting Pecuniary Losses

Unlike some damage types, pecuniary losses are relatively easy to document. To support your claim, ensure you keep careful records of:

  • Medical bills and receipts
  • Proof of income (pay stubs, tax returns)
  • Repair or replacement costs and estimates
  • Bills for household help or other services

Having clear documentation strengthens your case and makes it easier to secure the full financial compensation that you deserve.


Navigating the legal complexities of a wrongful death claim in New York can be daunting, especially for grieving families. It’s crucial to seek the guidance of experienced personal injury attorneys who specialize in wrongful death cases. These legal professionals can provide compassionate support while advocating for the rights of the bereaved family members.

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of death. Therefore, it’s essential to act swiftly to preserve your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

At Grandelli & Eskenasi, we understand the immense pain and suffering that accompanies the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death. Our team of dedicated attorneys is committed to providing compassionate legal representation to families in New York City and its surrounding areas, seeking justice and fair compensation for their devastating loss.

 Wrongful death cases are among the most emotionally challenging and legally complex matters in the field of personal injury law. In New York City, families grappling with the aftermath of such tragedies need reliable legal guidance to navigate the intricacies of the legal system and secure the compensation they deserve.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, don’t hesitate to reach out to Grandelli & Eskenasi for a free consultation.


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