Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit As A Survivor Dependent

What is a wrongful death lawsuit? Who can file on in New York? What can you recover?

After a survivor dependent has lost a family member or loved one they frequently wonder what's next; is filing a wrongful death lawsuit the right step to take for them?  

This article will guide survivor dependents through the basics of a New York wrongful death lawsuit.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when a surviving family member sues another party, claiming their negligent or intentional behavior made them responsible for the killing of their loved one. Examples of negligent or intentional behavior could be drunk driving, poorly performed surgery, or a malfunctioning product.

What are the requirements for filing a wrongful death claim in New York?

There are 5 requirements:

  1. The victim must have died.
  2. The death must have been the result of a wrongful act committed by the defendant.
  3. There must have been a wrongful act that had the deceased person not died, they could have pursued legal action against the defendant.
  4. The deceased person must be survived by a person or persons who have suffered a loss of some kind due to the death of the deceased person.
  5. There must be damages that the deceased person's estate can recover.

Who may file a wrongful death lawsuit?

The laws pertaining to wrongful death claims differ in each state. In New York, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the representative of the deceased person's estate. This person cannot be a family member unless they are also the representative of the deceased person's estate. This estate representative can claim damages for family members, heirs, and beneficiaries.

What kinds of damages can be recovered?

  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering the decease felt due to the wrongful act
  • Medical expenses
  • Costs of any services the deceased performed
  • Loss of parental care
  • Additionally, 9% interest is added to the total damages awarded by the court beginning from the date of the deceased's death and ending with the date of the verdict.

What kinds of damages cannot be recovered?

In New York, family members are not awarded any recovery for emotional pain and suffering or loss of companionship.

What is the statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

In New York, a wrongful death claim must be filed in less than 2 years from the date of the victim's death. If the survivor dependent is a child, then the statute of limitations still stands and the lawsuit must be filed within 2 years by the child's legal guardian.

Questions? Send us a message about your case.


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