Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death in New York?

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sue wrongful death new york

When coping with the untimely and preventable loss of a family member, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be an important part of the recovery process. Not only can legal action provide closure, but it can also provide much-needed relief from the financial strain stemming from your loved one’s death. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York is important, it is not easy. In addition to proving the at-fault party’s liability, family members have strict rules they need to follow, including the family members’ eligibility to file a claim and recover damages. For more information on who can sue for wrongful death in New York, please read on, then contact an experienced New York City wrongful death lawyer today.

Who is eligible to sue for wrongful death in New York?

New York law requires that the personal representative – sometimes called the executor – of the deceased person’s estate file the wrongful death lawsuit. Unlike many other states, New York does not allow a family member to bring a wrongful death claim to court unless that family member also functions as the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

What can an executor sue for in a wrongful death case in New York?

In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the court orders the defendant to pay damages to the deceased person’s survivors. Depending on the facts of the case, damages available in a New York wrongful death case can include compensation for losses such as:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Reasonable health care expenses related to the deceased person’s final injury or illness
  • Any financial support the deceased would have contributed to the family
  • The value of parental nurturing, care and guidance to surviving children
  • The survivors’ lost inheritance
  • The conscious pain and suffering the deceased endured due to the final injury or illness
  • Interest on the damages award, calculated from the date of death

Note that the Empire State does not allow surviving family members to recover their own damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of companionship.

How do you prove a wrongful death case in New York?

In  order to recover compensation for their loved one’s death, the plaintiff must prove that:

  1. The defendant owed the now-deceased person a duty of care
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care to the now-deceased person
  3. The defendant’s particular actions directly caused the wrongful death

Please reach out to a skilled New York City personal injury attorney if you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case.

Contact Our New York Legal Team Today

The Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum handles a wide variety of personal injury cases, including those involving auto accidents, catastrophic injuries, and more. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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