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Criminal act may be basis for a New York wrongful death action

Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one. Such a loss can be even more difficult when an individual is killed due to the negligent act of another. In cases where a criminal act is alleged, the underlying evidence may provide a basis for a victims’ family to file a wrongful death action in a New York civil court.

A New York man has been charged with multiple criminal offenses after he was involved in an accident that took the life of a 55-year-old woman. The accident occurred one afternoon when the 41-year-old man was said to have hit the woman’s vehicle head-on. The woman was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced dead later that day.

The man was believed to have suffered only minor injuries in the crash. New York police have charged him with several criminal offenses, including vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. No further information was released as to what his blood alcohol content was at the time of the crash.

An unexpected death caused by another individual’s negligence is difficult for any New York citizen to bear. The grief and anguish that a family will endure can never be properly compensated for. However, if the evidence supports the filing of a wrongful death action, a successful result based on proof of negligence may at least be able to bring some financial relief to the family who lost their loved one. Although any compensation achieved will never bring a person back, it may at least assist their family in ensuring that all of the victim’s expenses, including medical and funeral costs, are paid. A death shouldn’t force a family to endure financial hardship in addition to the personal grief they have already suffered.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Central NY man charged with DWI after fatal crash,” Aug. 30, 2012