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What is Wrongful Death?

Losing a loved one under any circumstances is tragic, but the loss of a loved one due to another party’s negligence can be truly devastating. When someone else’s carelessness or intentional action causes the death of someone you love, it is important to find out more about filing a claim against the responsible party. 

Although a lawsuit and monetary compensation will never be able to make you entirely whole after losing someone you love, obtaining damages can allow you to pay funeral expenses and to help account for your loved one’s lost wages, and it may help you to gain closure. This type of claim that can be filed against the responsible party is known as a wrongful death claim.

What is a wrongful death claim, and how does New York define a wrongful death? An Albany Wrongful Death Lawyer with Powers & Santola, LLP, can provide you with more information.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior results in the death of another person, that death may be a “wrongful death” that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. You should know that wrongful death law is an area of the law that is related closely to personal injury law. While personal injury law allows an injured person to file a lawsuit against the responsible party in order to seek compensation, wrongful death law recognizes that the deceased is no longer able to file a lawsuit and allows another party to step in for the deceased to file a claim.

Although some states allow surviving family members to be the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case, New York law requires the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to be the party who files a wrongful death claim. However, it is important to know that the personal representative will seek damages on behalf of the surviving family members.

Understanding Wrongful Death Under New York Law

How does New York define a wrongful death? According to New York law, wrongful death refers to circumstances in which a person dies as a result of the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another party. To be clear, wrongful death can refer to circumstances in which another party’s reckless or careless actions or omissions resulted in another person’s death (such as an accident or a medical mistake), or to circumstances in which another party’s intentionally harmful act resulted in another person’s death (such as an act of intentional violence).

Under New York wrongful death law, it may be possible for the surviving family members of the deceased person to obtain compensation through a lawsuit following a wrongful death if the defendant being sued “would have been liable to the decedent by reason of such wrongful conduct if death had not ensued.”

New York wrongful death lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations, and the clock starts ticking on the date of the deceased’s death. Once two years have passed from the date of death, the lawsuit will become time-barred in New York.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in New York

If you have questions about wrongful death claims in New York, you should seek advice from an Albany Wrongful Death Lawyer with Powers & Santola, LLP, as soon as possible. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP to learn more about how we can help with your case.

Call Today! (518) 465-5995

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