Tragedy happens all around us. A plane crashes. A doctor fails to diagnose a patient's terminal illness. An employee is exposed to poisonous chemicals in the workplace. A bank robber shoots a security guard.
When human death is the result of someone else's negligence--or willful intent--there are laws in place to provide justice for the loved ones who are left behind. If you're thinking of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, here are a few things you need to know:
Who can file a wrongful death claim? In many states, a family member of a deceased person may file a wrongful death claim. However, in New York, the only person who may file such a claim is the personal representative of the deceased person's estate. This person may be a family member. Even if the personal representative is not a family member, they can still pursue damages for the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased person.
What are the time limits? The New York statute of limitations states that the personal representative must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the deceased person's passing. If the personal representative is, for whatever reason, unable to file during this time, the representative's guardian must file on their behalf.
What damages can be recovered? A wrongful death lawsuit can result in restitution for numerous damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person as well as the loss of support the deceased provided to their family members.
Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a painful experience, but having the support of an experienced personal injury attorney can ease the process.