Losing a loved one is a deeply tragic event, and when that loss is due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another person or entity, the pain and frustration can be overwhelming. In such cases, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit becomes a crucial avenue for seeking justice and holding the responsible party accountable. Each state in the United States has its own specific laws and regulations regarding wrongful death claims.
Understanding Wrongful Death in New York:
In New York, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party. Unlawful death claims aim to compensate the surviving family members for the losses they have suffered due to the early death of their loved one. These claims can arise from a variety of circumstances, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, or even criminal acts.
Who Can train an Unlawful Death Action in New York?
According to New York law, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is limited to specific family members of the deceased. Typically, the following individuals are eligible to bring forth a claim:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York.
- Children: If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children can file a lawsuit.
- Parents: In the absence of a spouse and children, the deceased’s parents may pursue a wrongful death claim.
- Personal Representative: If none of the above-mentioned individuals exist, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate and beneficiaries.
Time limit to file a lawsuit:
In New York, there is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. The enactment of limitations for unlawful death cases is two years from the date of the person’s death. However, there are exceptions and circumstances that can affect the time limit. For example, if the death was caused by medical malpractice, the clock may start ticking from the date of the negligent act rather than the date of death. It is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to understand the specific deadlines that apply to your case.
Damages and Compensation:
The damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit aim to compensate the surviving family members for their losses, both economic and non-economic. Economic damages may include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, loss of financial support, and loss of inheritance. Non-economic damages can encompass the pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress experienced by the surviving family members.
Relative Negligence Rule:
New York follows the doctrine of comparative negligence in wrongful death cases. This means that the amount of compensation awarded to the plaintiff may be reduced if they are found partially at fault for the accident or incident that caused the death. For illustrations, if the court determines that the deceased was 20% responsible for the accident, the damages awarded to the surviving family members will be reduced by 20%.
Losing a loved one due to the negligence or unlawful conduct of another is a ruinous experience. Wrongful death lawsuit legislations in New York provide a legal framework to hold responsible parties accountable and seek compensation for the damages suffered by the surviving family members. Understanding the specific laws, regulations, and procedures involved in pursuing a wrongful death claim is crucial for ensuring that justice is served and that the rights of the surviving family members are protected. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases to guide you through the legal process and advocate for your rights during this difficult time. You can now schedule a free consultation with experienced lawyer at US Legal Law to help you get through this.