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Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York?

Losing a loved one is devastating regardless of the circumstances. But the loss can be even more gut-wrenching when it was preventable. Family members often suffer tremendous emotional and financial harm when someone they love dies due to the negligence of others.

Under New York’s wrongful death laws, people, companies or other third parties accountable can be held responsible for negligent actions causing someone’s death. Spouses, children, parents and personal representatives of an estate can file these types of legal claims. While no amount of money can ease the grief of loss for those left behind, a financial recovery can help provide some financial security for the future.

When can a wrongful death claim be filed?

Wrongful death claims can be filed after negligent or intentional acts causing someone’s death, including murder. Most claims result from the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Premises liability accidents, such as slip-and-falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction site and other workplace accidents
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse
  • Defective product injuries

Fatality statistics are sobering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 1,000 traffic deaths annually in New York. Dozens of workplace deaths also occur, with one of four happening on a New York construction site. Nationwide, a Johns Hopkins study concludes 250,000 people die from medical mistakes each year, while other surveys put that number closer to 440,000.

What can a wrongful death claim provide to survivors?

Let’s be clear. No amount of money could ever make up for losing a loved one. But families can be left with significant financial difficulties, especially if the person who died was the primary source of income for the family. Experienced wrongful death attorneys work with financial experts and others to assess damages, including medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering.

New York’s complex wrongful death laws are out-of-date and limit the amount of money families can receive. Survivors deserve justice when someone’s negligence causes the death of a loved one. Lawyers who handle these types of cases can help hold responsible parties accountable and accurately calculate damages, but most importantly, provide compassionate guidance for your family.