Every state has laws on wrongful death claims, and New York is no exception. In the guide below, clients will learn the most important parts of these laws, beginning with the definition of wrongful death. Clients of a wrongful death attorney in Nassau County, NY will also learn about the potential for economic damages and the time limit for filing a claim.
The Definition of a Wrongful Death
New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Code requires five elements to establish a wrongful death claim.
* A death must have occurred
* The death must be due to a defendant’s wrongful conduct
* The case must give rise to a cause the decedent could have acted on if they’d survived
* The decedent must be survived by one or more people who have incurred a loss because of the death
* There must be recoverable damages
There’s one notable exception to consider. The NY Court of Appeals ruled that the state cannot recognize wrongful death claims for fetuses who die before birth, even if the passing was caused by someone else’s wrongful actions.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York
Unlike other states, New York won’t allow a relative to file a wrongful death claim unless they’re the representative of the estate. However, a claim may request damages for losses incurred by the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs, along with damages for losses suffered by the estate itself.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Damages in these cases depend on facts demonstrated at trial. However, damages have been given for losses such as:
* Burial expenses
* Reasonable healthcare, nursing and medical bills related to the person’s final illness or injury
* Benefits and wages lost between the final illness or injury and the person’s death
* The value of services provided to relatives
* The value of parental care to surviving minors
* Lost inheritances for surviving children
* Pain and suffering the decedent endured
* Nine percent interest, determined from the date of the person’s death
Time Limits on Wrongful Death Cases
In New York, claimants must act within two years of a person’s death. The state doesn’t toll the statute of limitations if the estate representative is a minor or is otherwise incapable of filing a claim. In such instances, the child or ward’s guardian is expected to act. To hire a wrongful death attorney in Nassau County, NY,