Wrongful Death Eligibility
To be eligible to file a
wrongful death lawsuit in New York, a death of a loved one must occur under negligent
and reckless circumstances in which the deceased could have pursued in
court if the death had not occurred. The deceased individual needs to
be survived by one or more persons who could recover damages for the deceased’s estate.
Who Can File a New York Wrongful Death Claim?
A “personal representative” of the deceased person’s
estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim. Unlike many other
states, however, New York
prohibits a family member to bring a wrongful death claim to court –
unless that family member is also the personal representative of the deceased
Furthermore, a New York wrongful death claim may seek monetary damages
for losses suffered by the deceased individual’s heirs, beneficiaries,
and devisees in addition to damages for any losses suffered by the deceased
person’s estate. If damages are recovered, the personal representative
is treated by the court as if he/she holds the damages award in trust
for the surviving family members of the deceased person.
Damages in a New York wrongful death lawsuit include, but not limited to,
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical and other health care expenses associated with the deceased individual’s
final injury or illness
- Loss of wages and benefits between the deceased individual’s final
injury or illness and his/her death
- The value of support and services the deceased individual provided to family members
- The value of care, guidance, and parental nurturing to surviving children
- Loss of inheritance suffered by surviving children
- Pain and suffering (however, surviving family members are not allowed to
recover their own damages for pain and suffering)
A New York wrongful death claim must be filed within
two years of the date of the deceased person’s death.
If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another party,
contact our Poughkeepsie personal injury lawyers at Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor,
P.C. and request a
free case evaluation today.