Losing a loved one is never easy, and it can be especially difficult if their death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. In such cases, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable and seek compensation for their losses. However, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to file a claim, and the rules can vary from state to state. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and the factors that are considered when determining eligibility.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In New York?
A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed in New York when a loved one dies as a consequence of the reckless or negligent behavior of others in order to seek compensation for all losses that are lawfully allowable as a result of the reckless or negligent behavior. According to New York law, any of the following parties may file a claim for wrongful death:
- A child of the decedent,
- A parent of the decedent,
- A spouse of the decedent, and
- The personal representative for the estate of the decedent.
Generally speaking, unless they have also been designated as the guardian or personal representative of the decedent, siblings, sisters, and cousins of a deceased person do not have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York (but they may still not have a such right if there is a surviving, spouse, child, or parent of the decedent).
Evidence In A New York Wrongful Death Claim
As a family member of the deceased, you and your personal injury lawyer will need to show evidence that proves that:
- The negligent act would have entitled the victim to file a claim had they survived.
- There are surviving distributes, children, or dependents of the victim.
- Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
Recoverable Damages In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If another party’s carelessness was to blame for your loved one’s death, whether it was due to a car accident or a construction accident, the defendant may be required to pay you damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you could be able to obtain compensation for the following losses:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Costs of pre-death medical care
- Loss of services
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering endured by your loved one prior to their death
There are other sorts of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death case in New York in addition to these. When they represent you, an attorney can assist you in identifying any extra damages you may be able to recover and in estimating their value.
Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In NY
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the person’s death. This means that the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date the person passed away, or the claim may be barred forever.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule that may extend or shorten the statute of limitations depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the death was caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be shortened to two and a half years from the date of the malpractice or two years from the date of the person’s death, whichever is shorter.
How To File A Wrongful Death Claim In New York
Losing a loved one is always difficult, but when their death was caused by someone else’s negligence, it can be even harder to come to terms with. In such cases, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim to hold the responsible party accountable and seek compensation for their losses. If you believe you have a wrongful death case in New York, the following are the general steps to take to file a claim:
- Determine your eligibility to file a claim: In New York, only certain family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, including the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents. If the decedent did not have a spouse, children, or parents, then siblings or other family members may be eligible to file a claim.
- Hire an experienced wrongful death attorney: The first step is to find an attorney who has experience handling wrongful death cases in New York. They can advise you on your legal options, evaluate your case, and help you determine whether you have a valid claim.
- Investigate the circumstances of the death: Your attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, gather evidence, and determine who may be liable for their death.
- Determine damages: You and your attorney will evaluate the financial and emotional losses you suffered as a result of your loved one’s death, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages. This will help determine the number of damages you will seek in your claim.
- File a claim: Your attorney will file a claim with the insurance company of the party responsible for your loved one’s death. This will include a detailed description of the incident that caused your loved one’s death, the parties involved, and the damages you are seeking.
- Negotiate a settlement: Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, which can avoid a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to trial.
It’s important to note that the specific steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. An experienced wrongful death attorney can guide you through the process and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. If you believe you have a wrongful death case in New York, it’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
Benefits Of Hiring A Wrongful Death Lawyer
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a wrongful death lawyer:
- Legal expertise: An experienced wrongful death lawyer has the legal expertise to navigate the complex legal system, understand the applicable laws and regulations, and build a strong case on behalf of their client.
- Knowledge of the process: A wrongful death lawyer has a deep understanding of the legal process involved in pursuing a wrongful death claim. They can help their client navigate the process, from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement or taking the case to trial.
- Support during a difficult time: Losing a loved one is an emotional and challenging time, and a wrongful death lawyer can provide compassionate and personalized support to their client throughout the process.
- Investigation and evidence gathering: A wrongful death lawyer has the resources and expertise to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of their client’s loved one. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to build a strong case.
- Maximizing compensation: A wrongful death lawyer can help their client determine the full extent of their losses, including medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and emotional pain and suffering. They can also help their client pursue the maximum compensation possible.
- Legal representation: A wrongful death lawyer can provide legal representation to their client in court or during settlement negotiations. They can negotiate with the other party’s lawyers or insurance companies and advocate for their client’s best interests.
Overall, hiring a wrongful death lawyer can provide many benefits to the surviving family members. They can help guide their clients through the complex legal process, provide support and guidance during difficult times, and work tirelessly to secure the compensation their clients deserve. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, it’s important to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Resources For Filing For Wrongful Death In New York
Here are some online resources for filing a wrongful death claim in New York:
- The New York State Bar Association: The New York State Bar Association offers a searchable directory of attorneys, including those who specialize in wrongful death cases. You can also find information on legal resources, publications, and events related to wrongful death claims in New York.
- The New York State Unified Court System: The New York State Unified Court System offers a wealth of information on the legal process for filing a wrongful death claim in New York. Their website includes information on court rules, forms, and procedures, as well as a directory of courts and court locations throughout the state.
- The New York State Office of the Attorney General: The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides information and resources for consumers, including those who may be considering filing a wrongful death claim. Their website includes information on consumer rights, legal aid, and how to file a complaint.
- The New York State Trial Lawyers Association: The New York State Trial Lawyers Association is a professional organization that represents the interests of trial lawyers and their clients in New York. Their website includes information on legal resources, news and events related to wrongful death cases, and a directory of attorneys who specialize in this area of law.
- The New York State Department of Financial Services: The New York State Department of Financial Services regulates insurance companies in the state of New York. Their website includes information on insurance laws, consumer protection, and how to file a complaint against an insurance company.
These resources can provide valuable information and guidance for those considering filing a wrongful death claim in New York. However, it’s important to remember that the specific legal process and requirements for filing a claim can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. It’s always best to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can evaluate your case and provide personalized guidance and representation.