You might have read in our other posts this week that a parent or guardian
may commence a suit on behalf of their child who was injured by someone
else’s negligence. In the same vein, a spouse or other close relative
may commence an action founded on wrongful death when a loved one has
been killed by another person’s negligence. Experienced Poughkeepsie
wrongful death attorneys have handled these types of cases before.
Wrongful death claims are filed subsequent to the untimely death of a person
which was caused by the wrongdoing of a company, government, and/or a
single person. A claim for wrongful death can be filed if the offending
party’s act was an intentional tort, unintentional tort, and/or
a criminal act. The family of the decedent is entitled to compensation
for their loss in terms of lost companionship, lost income, funeral expenses,
for the pain and suffering endured by the decedent prior to passing, and the like.
As stated above, only a relative of the decedent can file a wrongful death
action. “Family” typically refers to a spouse, parent, and/or
child. So long as the decedent was legally, biologically, and/or directly
close to the surviving relative in that the death caused compensable damages,
a wrongful death claim can be made.
Without a sufficiently close relation by blood or marriage, the plaintiff
bringing the suit on behalf of the decedent will lack “standing”.
Standing is a legal concept that requires plaintiffs to have a connection
and protectable right within the controversy at hand in order to receive
equity in a court of law.
If the proposed plaintiff has an injury that is direct and compensable,
then the experienced attorney will know that the proper person is commencing
the wrongful death suit. Note, however, there are a few instances in which
a direct family member is not required in order to commence the suit.
A court may appoint a legal guardian to bring a suit on behalf of a surviving
child if no other parent or guardian exists. Also, when representing the
estate of a decedent, the named executor may commence an action on behalf
of the decedent.
In addition to the types of losses, noted above, for which a surviving
relative may recover in a wrongful death action, plaintiffs may also ask
a court for punitive damages. Instead of compensating a surviving relative
for actual damages, punitive damages seek to punish the wrongdoer for
especially gross, wanton, and reckless acts.
In order to receive compensatory and/or punitive damages, New York requires
plaintiffs to file the wrongful death claim within two years from the
date that the decedent passed.
Are you interested in learning more about serious injuries caused by personal
injury accidents? Visit our latest article here covering multiple different
types of injuries and return each day this week for more information.
To learn more on traumatic brain injuries, visit our blog post here. Do
you know someone with a spinal cord injury? Learn about this type of injury
in our blog post here. Also learn more about the law and injuries to children
different in yesterday’s blog post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.