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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? FAQs

If someone close to you has passed away, you might be wondering if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf. It’s important to note that only specific individuals are permitted to file a lawsuit for someone who was fatally injured in an accident.

According to New York law, only the children, parents, spouse, and estate executor of the deceased are allowed to file. A Buffalo wrongful death lawyer from Richmond Vona, LLC, can help you determine if you’re eligible to file a claim. If you are, our team can work tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When someone passes away in an accident caused by another person or entity’s negligence, the victim’s family may be entitled to pursue compensation from the party that caused the accident. Family members generally file a wrongful death suit to obtain compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and other challenges they’re facing due to their loss.

If your loved one has passed away in an accident they didn’t cause, you may be entitled to pursue damages by filing a lawsuit. However, you probably won’t be able to seek financial remedies if you are the decedent’s close friend or distant relative. That’s because New York law is very specific about who can file such an action.

Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York

New York Consolidated Law §4-1.1 states who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. According to the law, only the following parties are permitted to take legal action on behalf of someone who passed away in an incident caused by another party:

If you have one of the relationships mentioned above with the deceased individual, it’s highly likely that you’ll be eligible to pursue compensation. That said, a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can offer further guidance on this matter. An attorney can review the details of your case and determine if you should move forward with a civil suit.

Compensation You Can Receive from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you’re eligible to file a wrongful death suit, it can be helpful to gain a full understanding of the forms of compensation you could receive from a winning case. Depending on the challenges and financial setbacks you’ve endured due to your loss, a successful suit could yield several or more of the following damages:

  • End-of-life medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These damages can give you the support you need to cover financial losses associated with your loved one’s passing and give you the support you need to focus on grieving your loss. An experienced lawyer can determine which damages you’re eligible to receive and calculate the total value of your claim.

Filing Deadline for Wrongful Death Suits in New York

If your loved one has passed away in an accident and you’re one of the parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf, you’ll want to get started on your case ASAP. That’s because there are laws that limit the amount of time you have to take legal action.

According to EPTL §5-4.1, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a civil suit against the liable party. If you don’t file within the two-year timeframe, you’ll be barred from pursuing the damages you and your family need to pay for funeral services and move forward.

Importance of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer

Filing a strong wrongful death action requires a great deal of effort, experience, and resources. As a result, taking legal action without an attorney is highly inadvisable, as it may result in mistakes that cost you your compensation. Instead, you’ll want to hire an experienced attorney who has a history of obtaining favorable case results for clients dealing with similar situations.

Here’s what a skilled wrongful death attorney can do to make your case successful:

  • Investigate the incident your loved one was fatally injured in
  • Collect eyewitness testimony, photos of the accident scene, medical records, accident reports, and other forms of evidence
  • File a compelling wrongful death suit on your behalf
  • Represent you in court and fight for a fair verdict
  • Explain what forms of compensation are included in the average wrongful death settlement
  • Offer legal counsel throughout your case

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Wrongful Death Lawyer

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our team understands how difficult it can be when a loved one passes away in an incident caused by the reckless actions of another person. That’s why we’re here to help you get access to the financial resources you need to recover any financial losses you’ve taken on and deal with the emotional pain you’re experiencing.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Buffalo wrongful death lawyer. An attorney from our firm can offer more information regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If we find that you’re eligible to pursue compensation, we’ll fight tirelessly to get the results you deserve.

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