What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in New York?

Last updated on: April 16, 2024

Wrongful death is defined as a fatality caused by the wrongful conduct, negligence, or default of another party. This can encompass a wide range of circumstances, from medical malpractice to accidental incidents such as car crashes or workplace accidents. Under New York law, certain conditions must be satisfied for a death to be legally recognized as wrongful, including the requirement that the deceased would have been entitled to pursue legal action if they had lived. Understanding these legal nuances is crucial for families seeking justice and compensation for their loss.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death in New York, it is crucial to seek legal help for closure and to protect your rights. At K L Sanchez Law Office, our experienced Queens wrongful death attorneys are equipped to handle the complexities of New York’s legal framework, providing compassionate legal advice and strong advocacy. We can help determine if your case meets the qualifying criteria and guide you toward achieving a resolution and possible compensation. For assistance, reach out to us at (646) 701-7990.

Historically, if someone caused the death of another person, they could only be charged under a variety of criminal laws, depending on the circumstances. This would punish the perpetrator and perhaps even lead to jail or prison time. In the meantime, the family of the deceased was left with their loss and the costs associated with that loved ones’ death. The at-fault party was in jail but this did nothing for the grieving family.

Now, the family of the deceased has recourse for those damages in the way of a wrongful death lawsuit. Today, every state in the nation has some form of wrongful death law that allows the family of the deceased to collect compensation from the negligent party for various things relating to their loved one’s injuries and death.

In New York, the most common wrongful death claims are due to fatalities caused by

  • Construction accidents
  • Workplace injuries, including those on construction sites
  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal activity
  • Exposure to hazardous and dangerous substances at work

It is normal to go through a grieving process if a loved one has passed away due to an incident on a construction site, a car accident, or anywhere else. While a talented wrongful death lawyer, unfortunately, can not help with your loss, they can help minimize the financial stress you may be feeling. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in wrongful death, please call Keetick Sanchez for a free consultation and advice.

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Defining “Wrongful Death” in New York State

In New York, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act of another, either accidentally or intentionally. Wrongful death claims have very specific criteria and compensate for very specific losses.

In fact, a wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim. The primary difference is that the person who would normally be entitled to personal injury benefits is no longer alive to do so. The family is now responsible for the damages and losses of the deceased person, as well as their own losses due to the death.

What Are the Elements of Wrongful Death in NY?

In New York, a wrongful death claim refers to a legal action seeking compensation for a death caused by someone else’s wrongful actions. This includes situations such as construction accidents, medical malpractice, car crashes, police misconduct, or product liability involving defective products. For a wrongful death claim to be successful, certain elements must be established:

  • Negligence: It must be shown that the defendant acted negligently, meaning they breached a duty of care owed to the deceased.
  • Causation: The negligence must be the direct cause of the death.
  • Survivors: There must be surviving beneficiaries or dependents, such as a spouse, children, or others who were financially dependent on the deceased.
  • Financial Loss: These survivors have experienced financial hardships as a result of the death.

Only the personal representative, designated by the Surrogate’s Court, is authorized to submit this claim. It’s essential for surviving family members to consult with a skilled Queens wrongful death attorney promptly, as there are time limits for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. At K L Sanchez Law Office, our knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of wrongful death cases and are dedicated to assisting families in seeking justice and fair compensation for their loss. Contact us today for compassionate legal guidance and advocacy.

What Damages Can You Be Compensated for From a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

In a wrongful death case, one or more family members may be able to collect compensation for a variety of different damages, depending on the situation. They can include:

● Any medical costs for the care of the deceased person before their death
● Any funeral expenses or burial costs for the deceased
● Loss of the loved one’s future income
● Loss of the support and services that the deceased provided to the family
● Loss of the loved one’s companionship
● Loss of parental nurturing, care, and guidance for the surviving children
● Loss of the loved one’s inheritance value for the surviving children
● Pain and suffering that the deceased endured before his or her death

Compensation Options From a Wrongful Death Claim in New York Description
Medical Costs Compensation for medical expenses incurred for the care of the deceased person before their death.
Funeral and Burial Expenses Coverage for the costs associated with the funeral and burial of the deceased.
Loss of Future Income Compensation for the income the deceased would have earned in the future.
Loss of Support and Services Compensation for the loss of support and services that the deceased provided to the family.
Loss of Companionship Compensation for the loss of companionship resulting from the death of the loved one.
Loss of Parental Nurturing, Care, and Guidance Compensation for the absence of parental nurturing, care, and guidance for surviving children.
Loss of Inheritance Value Compensation for the lost inheritance value for surviving children due to the death of the loved one.
Pain and Suffering Compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death.

Who May File a New York Wrongful Death Claim in New York City?

Under New York laws, only certain family members may bring forth a wrongful death claim. These are

● The spouse of the deceased party
● The children of the deceased person
● The parents of the deceased party
● The personal representative for the estate of the deceased

Generally speaking, other family members do not have the right to file a wrongful death case unless they have been named the personal representative of the estate or guardian of the deceased party’s children.

How do You Prove Wrongful Death in a Case?

Negligence is the most popular legal grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important for a claimant to must show that the defendant (the entity or person sued) caused the death of the victim. For this, they must generally prove four elements:

(1) The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased.
(2) The defendant violated this duty.
(3) The wrongful death was caused by a breach of duty.
(4) Family members were affected by the loss of their loved ones.

Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is hard especially if it is caused by someone else’s negligence. However, if you delay in asserting your rights and seeking compensation for the wrongful death you may lose valuable compensation. This could make the situation more difficult than necessary.

New York’s statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is two years from the death of a loved one. You must file a claim at your local court. The date is for the death of the loved one and not necessarily for the accident.

If you’ve lost a loved one, this is a difficult time for you and your family. The team of personal injury attorneys at the law office of Keetick L. Sanchez may be able to help. We will work hard to take care of your case while you focus on healing. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim in Queens or Bronx?

Although filing a wrongful death claim after the death of your family member may seem emotionally uncomfortable, it can serve a few different purposes.

● It will hold the person responsible for causing the death of your family member.
● It will offset the costs and financial burdens associated with your loved one’s death.
● It may help provide closure for you and your family.

It’s important to keep in mind that the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in New York is two years. You should speak with a wrongful death attorney to understand if you qualify for these benefits.

If you have lost a family member due to the negligence of another party in New York, get the advice of a qualified wrongful death attorney to understand if you have a valid claim. Contact the law firm of Queens personal injury attorney Keetick L. Sanchez for a free consultation.

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