Advocates For Justice In Staten Island & Across New York
Experiencing the unexpected loss of a loved one is an unimaginable hardship. When a person's life is tragically cut short due to someone else's negligence or wrongful actions, the surviving family is left to grapple with overwhelming emotional and financial burdens. At Davidoff Law, we are committed to assisting you in navigating these challenging times.
We acknowledge that no amount of compensation can ever truly heal the pain caused by your loss. Nonetheless, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible can offer a sense of justice and provide much-needed financial relief during this trying period. Continue reading to gain insights into the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, or reach out to our compassionate Staten Island wrongful death attorneys for a complimentary consultation at our office.
Defining Wrongful Death In Staten Island, NY
In Staten Island, New York, as well as throughout the United States, the term “wrongful death” refers to a situation where an individual's death results from the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful actions of another person or entity. Specifically, it means that the death could have and should have been prevented had it not been for the actions or negligence of someone else.
Examples of circumstances that may lead to a wrongful death in NY, can include:
- Medical Malpractice: When a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to provide a standard level of care, resulting in a patient's death.
- Car Accidents: When a person's death is caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, such as drunk driving, speeding, or texting while driving.
- Workplace Accidents: When a worker dies due to unsafe working conditions, inadequate training, or a failure by their employer to follow safety regulations.
- Criminal Actions: When an individual's death occurs as a result of a criminal act, such as homicide or assault.
- Defective Products: If a product is defective or dangerous and leads to a fatal accident, the manufacturer or distributor may be held responsible.
- Premises Liability: Deaths that occur on someone else's property due to dangerous conditions or negligent maintenance may be considered wrongful deaths.
Who Can Initiate A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In New York?
New York state has established guidelines regarding who may pursue a wrongful death claim. The claim must be initiated by the personal representative of the deceased's estate, representing certain surviving family members.
These eligible family members include:
- The decedent's spouse
- The decedent's child/children
- The decedent's parent(s)
- Any dependent, beneficiary, or heir of the decedent
While these family members can seek damages, they are not permitted to file the claim themselves. Only the personal representative of the estate can initiate the claim. If no personal representative was designated in the decedent's estate plan (e.g., in the absence of a will), the court will appoint one.
What Damages Can Surviving Family Members Recover?
In a wrongful death claim, surviving family members aim to secure compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the decedent's passing.
In New York, eligible family members may seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses incurred for the deceased's final treatment
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages, income, and benefits
- The value of family services and support provided by the deceased
- The value of parental care lost (for surviving children)
- Loss of expected inheritance
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their passing
Regrettably, New York law does not permit surviving family members to recover damages for their own mental and emotional distress stemming from their loved one's death.
Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations In NY
In most cases, New York law establishes a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. This means that you typically have two years from the date of the decedent's death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The two-year clock may start running from the date of discovery of the wrongful death, rather than the actual date of death, in cases where the cause of death was not immediately apparent.
There may be exceptions and variations to the statute of limitations based on the specific circumstances of the case, the identity of the responsible party, and other factors. Consult with a Staten Island wrongful death lawyer to understand how these exceptions might apply to your case.
Providing Compassionate, Proven Legal Representation
At Davidoff Law, we extend our deepest condolences for the loss you have experienced. Our Staten Island wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process and diligently pursuing the maximum compensation owed to you and your family. We are here to address any inquiries you may have. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you bear no financial burden unless and until we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.