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Understanding when to file a wrongful death suit in New York

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Personal Injury

Losing a loved one is a profound and painful experience, especially when the death results from another party’s negligence or wrongful actions.

In New York, the law allows the deceased’s family members or representatives to file a wrongful death suit. This type of legal action seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, covering everything from lost wages to emotional distress. Knowing when you can file such a suit is crucial for those who believe that someone else’s actions or negligence caused their loved one’s death.

Who can file a wrongful death suit?

In New York, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death claim. This person acts on behalf of the deceased’s survivors, which typically include immediate family members such as spouses, children, or parents. The claim is intended to benefit the deceased’s dependents or beneficiaries and focuses on compensating them for their losses.

Criteria for filing a wrongful death suit

To file a wrongful death suit in New York, people must meet the following criteria:

  1. Death of a person: There must be an actual death of an individual.
  2. Caused by wrongful conduct: The wrongful conduct or negligence by another party must have caused the death, such as in cases of medical malpractice, car accidents, or criminal behavior.
  3. Survivors suffered losses: There must be survivors who have suffered losses due to the death. These losses can be financial, such as funeral expenses and lost income, or non-economic, such as loss of companionship.

An appointed executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate must file the claim.

Timing is critical

New York law stipulates that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death. This statute of limitations is strict, meaning that failing to file within this timeframe typically results in the loss of the right to sue.

Filing a wrongful death suit in New York allows families to seek compensation for their tragic loss. By understanding the steps, families can better navigate the process of seeking justice for their loved one. It’s an important step in finding closure and securing financial support for those left behind.


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