New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts law requires certain items to establish a claim for wrongful death:
– a death,
– the appointment of an Executor and/or Administrator for the decedent’s estate;
– a claim that the death of the decedent was caused by the negligence of a third party; and
– survival by one or more persons who have suffered a loss as the result of the death.
It is always wise to determine the assets of a proposed defendant before commencing a wrongful death action. If the defendant has no assets and/or no insurance, although the claim may be viable, there may be little or no recovery.
Who May File a New York Wrongful Death Claim?
New York places the responsibility for filing a wrongful death claim on the shoulders of the “personal representative” (Administrator of Executor) of the deceased person’s estate. Unlike many other states, New York will not allow a family member to bring a wrongful death claim to court unless that family member is also the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
Damages awarded in New York wrongful death cases depend on the specific facts that are demonstrated in court. However, damages have been awarded in New York wrongful death cases for losses like:
– Funeral and burial expenses
– Reasonable medical, nursing, and other health care expenses related to the deceased person’s
Final injury or illness
– Wages and benefits lost between the deceased person’s final injury or illness and his or her
– the value of support and services the deceased provided to family members
– the value of parental nurturing, care, and guidance to surviving children
– lost inheritance suffered by surviving children and
– conscious pain and suffering endured by the deceased due to the final injury or illness.
Time Limits for Filing a New York Wrongful Death Claim –
A wrongful death claim in New York must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. This rule, known as a statute of limitations, bars wrongful death claims from being filed in New York courts if more than two years have passed between the date of death and the date of filing, although this date may be extended in certain circumstances.