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Who can bring a wrongful death claim in New York?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Wrongful Death

One of the most devastating experiences in life is losing a loved one in a preventable incident. If your loved one dies at the hands of another person or entity, you may be eligible for financial restitution for the resulting damages.

A wrongful death claim is a form of a personal injury lawsuit. If a person is hurt in an accident that is not their fault, they may sue the reckless party for damages. However, if those injuries lead to death, then someone else needs to pursue justice on behalf of the decedent.

But can anyone file this claim?

The simple answer is no. According to the New York wrongful death laws, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the following people:

  • The victim’s spouse
  • The victim’s children (biological or adopted)
  • The victim’s parents
  • The personal representative of the victim’s estate

It is important to understand that there is a 2-year window statute of limitations period within which you must file a wrongful death claim against the defendant. Missing this deadline can result in the claim’s denial.

Evidence in a New York wrongful death claim

Like with any legal matter, evidence is crucial when filing a wrongful death claim. However, not all evidence is admissible in a wrongful death case. New York laws specify the kind of evidence the plaintiff can present in court.

Some of the evidence that can be used in a New York wrongful death claim include:

  • A certified copy of the autopsy report and/or the death certificate
  • Police report
  • The defendant’s testimony
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Medical records detailing the victim’s injuries and cause of death
  • Expert testimony

Nothing can bring back a loved one. However, holding the liable party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit can help you get some closure while receiving applicable financial restitution for the resulting damages.