The death of someone you love is traumatic, and it’s even worse if that death was wrongful – which happens more in New York than you may think.
In Long Island, for example, the family of a high school basketball star is suing a town for his wrongful death. They maintain the crash could have been prevented if the town had maintained the roads better and had road proper signs.
Another Syracuse wrongful death suit alleges that a man in a nursing home was not fed a proper diet, nor was his legal guardian notified that he had fallen. He died the next day, and now the family is suing the nursing home.
Finally, a widow of a mass shooting in South Carolina is filing a wrongful death suit against the estate of the shooter.
There are many different scenarios under which wrongful death may apply in New York. Here are some of the most common wrongful death claims in the state and how you can pursue a wrongful death suit.
What Is Wrongful Death in New York?
In New York, wrongful death is deemed an act of carelessness or negligence that causes in the death of someone. There are five elements that must be proven in order for someone seeking a wrongful death claim to be successful in New York, which include:
- A death occurred
- The death in question was the result of a negligent or wrongful act of someone else
- The person who died would have grounds to bring a personal injury claim if they were alive
- The death resulted in losses for one or more people
- The estate is able to recover damages
There is one exception to these elements: the death of a fetus before they are born. When a negligent act occurs that causes the death of a fetus, the responsible party cannot be held liable for their death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
There are only a specific set of people who can file a wrongful death claim. It’s not enough to simply know a person who died as a result of a negligent act. Even being a family member to the deceased does not qualify you.
In New York, the only people who can file wrongful death claims are personal representatives of the estate of the deceased person. This is a person who is named in the estate plan or the will as the representative. In cases where there was no will or estate plan left behind, a court appoints a representative.
Personal representatives can file claims on behalf of the family in an attempt to recover damages for them or to file for damages on behalf of the estate.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims in New York
There are many different types of wrongful death cases handled in New York. Some of the most common types of cases include:
- Death in a nursing home
- Death on construction sites
- Car accidents
- Premises liability deaths
- Deaths due to medical malpractice
- Playground accidents or daycare deaths
When deaths occur in conjunction with a wrongful death New York, it is strongly advised that those family members left behind contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help navigate these complex cases.