While death is an inevitable part of life, losing a loved one is never easy. Especially when that person could still be alive if it weren’t for the wrongful acts of another person. Unfortunately, due to negligence, a person can lose their life unexpectedly. In New York, “wrongful death” is defined as a death that is caused by “a wrongful act, neglect or default,” and the deceased would have been able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived their illness or injury that was caused by another party. Wrongful death claims are extremely complex. Only certain parties are legally eligible to pursue wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of someone else, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our determined Westchester County Wrongful Death Lawyer who can help you recover damages for the wrongful act that took your loved one away too soon.
Who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one in New York?
In several states across the U.S., the only party lawfully entitled to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent is a spouse, a child, or a parent. Unless the decedent does not leave any surviving party’s as such, any blood or by marriage relatives who depended on the deceased can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, under New York law, the only party who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased is an appointed personal representative. Personal representatives are also known as executors. Personal representatives are typically outlined in the deceased person’s last will and testament. If the deceased did not appoint a personal representative, the court will appoint one on their behalf. Once the court appoints a personal representative, they are responsible for filing a wrongful death claim on the deceased person’s estate. Typically, states will allow only family members to represent the deceased person. However, New York does not allow family members to bring wrongful death claims. However, if the family member was designated as the personal representative of the departed person’s estate, they can pursue legal action.
How long do personal representatives have to pursue legal action?
According to New York’s statute of limitations for this type of claim, personal representatives have two years from the date of the person’s death to pursue legal action. The personal representative will be prohibited from pursing legal action in the future if they do not meet this deadline. This means they will lose their chance of recovering just compensation for the deceased person’s damages. However, there are exceptions to the two-year deadline. If the person’s death was the result of medical malpractice, personal representatives then have two and a half years from the date of death to pursue legal action.
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful acts of another person, get in touch with our skilled and compassionate team members who can help you seek justice on behalf of your deceased loved one.