Certain members of a family can sue for wrongful death in New York. According to New York Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) §4-1.1, the following family members may be able to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit under certain circumstances:
- A spouse
However, which of these family members may be eligible for compensation depends on who else in the family survives the decedent.
If your loved one died in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, a lawyer may be able to help you figure out if you are eligible to sue for wrongful death damages.
Who May Sue for Wrongful Death in New York
New York law prioritizes spouses and children in wrongful death cases. Below are some examples of who may sue for wrongful death and under what circumstances. Bear in mind that this is not a complete list. To know for sure if you have the right to sue for wrongful death, you may want to consult a lawyer.
If the deceased had:
- A spouse and children: then the spouse and children may collect compensation
- A spouse but no children: then the spouse may collect compensation
- No spouse and no children: then the parents may collect compensation
- No spouse, children, or parents: then the deceased’s siblings may collect compensation
- No spouse, children, parents, or siblings: then the grandparents may collect compensation
The Deadline to Sue in New York
A family can only sue for wrongful death damages in New York if there is still time to do so. EPT §5-4.1 sets a general two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits. In other words, if you do not file your lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death, you may no longer be allowed to sue at all.
A law firm that handles wrongful death lawsuits may be able to help you understand what specific deadlines pertain to your case.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit.
Whether your loved one passed away in a motor vehicle crash, a construction accident, or another type of accident, if another party’s negligence was the cause, they may owe you compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Depending on the details of your case and your relationship with the decedent, the following damages may be available in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Costs of pre-death medical care
- Loss of services
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering endured by your loved one prior to their death
These are not the only types of damages that may be available in a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. A wrongful death lawyer may be able to help you identify your potentially recoverable damages and estimate their value when they represent you.
The Benefits of Legal Representation
A lawyer may be able to provide you with a wide range of services. If you decide to work with a lawyer on your wrongful death case, they may be able to:
- Find evidence: your case may require evidence of the responsible party’s liability, as well as evidence of your damages. A lawyer can gather this evidence on your behalf.
- File paperwork: your lawyer can file your insurance claim and/or wrongful death lawsuit and handle all legal forms and documents in your case.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: after filing your insurance claim, your lawyer can meet with the insurance company to negotiate for a settlement.
- Represent you on trial: if the responsible party’s insurance company refuses to make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer may be able to take your case to trial and argue your case in front of a judge or jury.
- Answer questions: your lawyer may be able to answer your questions, provide you with legal advice, and discuss possible outcomes of your case.
Many lawyers handle wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency-fee-basis. This means your lawyer would only charge you for attorney fees if and when you win your case and recover compensation via a settlement offer or court award.
Call Morelli Law Firm Today
If your loved one passed away in New York due to another party’s negligence, Morelli Law Firm may be able to help your family file a wrongful death lawsuit. On behalf of the team at Morelli Law Firm, we are truly sorry for your loss.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800. If we believe that your family can sue for wrongful death based on the details of your case, we may be able to offer you representation on a contingency-fee-basis.
Our services areas include New York City, Long Island, and New York State up to Albany.