Our Experienced New York City Wrongful Death Attorneys Explain Some Important Things You Need To Know About Wrongful Death Claims
The death of a loved one is difficult, regardless of the circumstances. However, when the death is a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, a car accident or in some other negligent way, the sense of injustice and needless loss can be overwhelming. In addition to emotional grief, your family may now be faced with financial worries, as well. If this has happened to you, you need to speak with one of our experienced New York City wrongful death attorneys for immediate help.
Our New York City Wrongful Death Attorneys Explain The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a legal claim made on behalf of the people who were financially supported by the person who died in an accident or by malpractice. This type of claim focuses on the amount of money and financial support that a person would have continued to provide to his or her family had they not died.
The claim does not cover the grief or sorrow experienced by family members. Instead, the claim looks primarily at the amount of money that a person would have provided for food, shelter, education and other financial support to each of their dependents, had the death not occurred. Dependents, or pecuniary beneficiaries as they are referred to in this area of the law, generally include a person’s spouse, children, and step children.
A wrongful death claim is different from a personal injury claim. Unlike a wrongful death claim, a personal injury claim looks at the damages suffered by the injured party before death. Claims for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, disability and other related damages are all commonly made in personal injury cases. However, once the injured person dies, a personal injury claim is no longer legally viable. Instead, the pecuniary beneficiaries have the right to commence a wrongful death claim seeking the types of financial damages detailed above.
Is there a Time Limit to File a New York City Wrongful Death Claim?
As a general rule, there is a 2 year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There is however, an important procedural step that must be taken before a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. Specifically, the law requires that someone be appointed to represent the Estate of the decedent before a lawsuit can be started. If the decedent died with a Will that named an Executor of the Estate, then the process is easier. However, when a person dies without a Will, the Court must appoint someone to represent the Estate in the lawsuit. This process can be time consuming and complicated especially when family members disagree on who should be appointed as Administrator of the Estate.
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If you have any questions about a New York City wrongful death claim, contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys by email or by calling (800) 762-9300. You can also fill out one of our case intake forms, and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.