Wrongful Death Attorneys in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY

Accidents and injuries happen every day. When someone dies due to the negligence of another person or entity, a wrongful death claim may be filed to recover for damages arising from the negligence.

If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligent behavior, it is important to contact wrongful death attorneys. A trusted legal expert will build a powerful case to recover the compensation that your family deserves.

The loss of a loved one or family member is one of the most difficult experiences that anyone can face. This is especially true when the death was the preventable result of carelessness.

Wrongful death cases occur in a number of different situations, including auto accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. The point of a wrongful death case is to secure full and fair compensation to survivors of injured victims.

No amount of financial compensation can make up for the loss of someone you love. But speaking with a personal injury lawyer from Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, can help you to move forward after a wrongful death.

Understanding Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases are slightly different from other types of tort lawsuits. In this type of claim, there are certain elements that the claimant must prove in order to recover compensation.

The plaintiff must show that the liable party acted negligently toward the decedent. The claimant must also prove to the court or insurance provider that this negligent behavior contributed to the victim’s death.

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Buffalo, NY Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford

The wrongful death attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC have plenty of experience representing the surviving families of accident victims. Let our team recover the financial compensation that you need to get your life back on track.

One of the key elements of wrongful death cases is the legal concept of “negligence.” For a wrongful death case to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that the other party behaved negligently.

Proving negligence in a tort case involves the following four elements:

Duty of Care

The plaintiff must prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. This type of duty can be implicit or explicit.

For example, a driver on a roadway has a duty of care to other motorists and pedestrians. While operating a motor vehicle, drivers have the duty to maneuver in reasonably safe and legal ways.

Breach of Duty

The claimant must also provide evidence that the defendant’s actions breached the duty of care. When someone drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, they are breaching the duty of care that they have toward other motorists.

There are many different contexts in which a negligent party can breach their duty of care toward others.


To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the at-fault party’s breach of duty caused harm to the victim. In wrongful death cases, the liable party’s actions must have contributed to the death of the victim.

If the liable party’s actions were not a contributing factor to the person’s death, the claimant will not be able to establish negligence.

Damages and Injuries

The claimant must prove that the liable party’s negligent actions caused harm and damages to the victim. In these cases, the plaintiff must show that these injuries led to the death of the victim.

Certain types of wrongful death cases involve different sets of criteria. For example, the conditions for defective products and assault cases are distinct.

Each wrongful death case is unique. That is why it is vital to consult with a legal professional.

If you have questions about a claim in Buffalo, NY, contact experienced wrongful death attorneys.

The accomplished personal injury lawyers at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC will carefully assess the facts of your case. We will help establish your wrongful death claim. Our team will also help determine the value of your case.

Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Personal injuries can lead to death in many diverse contexts. When someone behaves in a negligent way, their actions can cause damage to others.

Some of the most common types of accidents that result in wrongful deaths include:

Car Crashes

Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death cases each year. In the state of New York, more than 1,000 people are killed in motor vehicle collisions annually.

Other types of vehicular collisions can also result in wrongful deaths. Some examples include:

  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Boating mishaps

If someone you love has been killed in a motor vehicle accident, reach out to the accomplished wrongful death attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC.

Nursing Home and Medical Malpractice

When an elderly person resides in a long-term care facility, their family should be able to trust that they will receive appropriate care. If nursing home negligence results in someone’s death, their family can pursue a wrongful death claim.

Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful deaths. Doctors have a duty to provide their patients with reasonably safe standard of care. Wrongful death suits can arise when a physician fails to uphold a reasonable standard of professional behavior.

Construction Injuries and Accidents

Many construction site accidents happen in New York every year. Oftentimes, these mishaps result in personal injuries for victims.

Sadly, construction site accidents are a common cause of fatal injuries. When a worker dies because of a company’s negligence, their loved ones have the right to seek compensation.

Defective Products

When a product is brought to market, consumers should be able to trust that it is safe for use. Unfortunately, many defective products result in injuries and deaths.

Examples include malfunctioning automotive components and contaminated foods. Deaths caused by defective products can be the basis for valid wrongful death cases.

Falling Accidents

Some slip and fall accidents only result in frustration and embarrassment. But slip and fall accidents can also result in severe injuries or death.

Some falling victims experience traumatic brain injuries that ultimately end their lives. Young children and the elderly are at the greatest risk for fatal falling accidents.

When someone’s negligence contributed to a fatal falling accident, the surviving family can pursue financial recovery with the help of wrongful death attorneys.

Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

“Damages” is the legal term for payments made by the liable party to the victim or their family. Typically, damages are awarded as the result of a wrongful death trial or settlement. Oftentimes, these payments are provided through the negligent party’s insurance provider. In New York State, damages are awarded for the pecuniary injuries resulting from the victim’s wrongful death. N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.3 (Consol., Lexis Advance through 2021 released Chapters 1-599)

  • Economic Damages- These damages include medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and future income.
  • Pain and Suffering Damages- These damages include conscious pain and suffering, both physical and mental, that the decedent experienced prior to his or her death.
  • Punitive Damages- Though New York State does allow punitive damages in wrongful death cases, they are uncommon. The claimant must prove that the defendant acted in a willfully negligent or malicious manner

To determine the value of your claim, schedule a consultation with the wrongful death attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys will take the following facts into consideration to assess appropriate financial recovery in your case:

  • Age of the victim
  • Estimated future earnings of the victim
  • The victim’s health at the time of the accident
  • Estimated length of time that the victim might have lived
  • And more

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC will work tirelessly to recover financial compensation for all relevant damages in your family’s case.

Statutes of Limitations

Following the death of a loved one, it is vital to contact a legal professional as soon as possible. Each state places a legal time limit by which wrongful death suits must be filed.

In the state of New York, this type of claim must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. However, particular circumstances may influence the amount of time available to file a wrongful death claim. Time is always of the essence in a wrongful death claim.

It is important to schedule a consultation with a skilled wrongful death attorney as soon as possible following the death of a loved one.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Generally, in New York State, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death claim may seek damages for losses suffered by the deceased person’s survivors including the immediate family of the deceased, such as a widow and minor children.

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC we often pursue wrongful death lawsuits in our asbestos-related cases. A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit filed on behalf of someone who died as a result of mesothelioma. Many families decide to pursue wrongful death claims after a loved one dies as a result of mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer. Wrongful death lawsuits give the widow, or sometimes the children, the ability to hold the manufacturers and sellers of asbestos responsible and seek compensation on behalf of their loved one.

If the plaintiff in a mesothelioma personal injury action passes, the claim often turns into a wrongful death claim and the widow or surviving children are appointed the personal representative on behalf of the decedent. If your loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact Wrongful Death Attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC our experienced and compassionate team of wrongful death attorneys and staff recognize the difficulty of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We are here to help you through every step of the legal process. We understand the emotional and financial difficulties experienced after the loss of a loved one and will fight with you to get the compensation your family deserves.  If your loved one has died due to the negligence of another person or entity, we urge you to contact Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC to discuss your legal rights.

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There are surely many excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys and John Comerford and Zach Woods rank as those. What sets John and Zach apart from those other excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys are two factors. The first factor is passion. They truly care about what they do and they truly are in it to help people. The money they make (which is substantial) is a result of that passion and not the root of what drives them. The second factor is, for lack of a better phrase, simply “customer service.” If you call or email John or Zach, they will either pick up right away or, if they are busy, they respond quickly that “hey, we will get right back to you.” And then they get actually back to you. So if you have suffered a substantial, life-changing, catastrophic injury, the burden of that injury is enough. You shouldn’t also contend with passionless and aloof attorneys – and that is why you should choose John and Zach. – Justin C.