It is an extraordinarily difficult period anytime a loved one passes away, especially when it is unexpected. The emotional burden of losing someone close to you so soon can be very hard to cope with. What may make matters worse is knowing their death was completely unnecessary and preventable. Regardless if it was intentional or not, the person or entity responsible for their death may be liable for their wrongful death.
Depending on the situation, as well as your relationship with the deceased, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party based on New York’s statutes regarding cases of this nature. If you wish to pursue a lawsuit against the party responsible for the death of a loved one, do not hesitate to contact the Queens personal injury attorneys from The Law Offices of George Poulos to learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in New York?
According to New York state law, wrongful deaths are typically defined as deaths caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default. Usually, the nature of the action would have been something the decedent could have filed a personal injury claim against if they had not perished due to the incident. This means that the grounds for a wrongful death claim can be due to events caused by negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional acts.
However, unlike a normal personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death claim must be filed by someone else on behalf of the deceased. In New York, eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit is reserved for the spouse, children, parents, and personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Unfortunately, other relatives like siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and significant others that were not legally married can not file a claim unless the deceased had chosen them as their personal representative.
It should also be noted that while the statute of limitations for typical personal injury lawsuits in New York is three years, it is only two years for wrongful death claims. Although, there are exceptions to this rule. The statute of limitations can be raised to two and a half years if the death was caused by medical malpractice. If the death was the result of a criminal act, a claim can be filed against the offender within one year after the end of their separate criminal case.
Compensation in successful wrongful death claims is awarded to the surviving relatives of the decedent as well as the beneficiaries of their estate. In order to win lawsuits like this, strong legal representation will always be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.