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How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, his or her survivors may not be thinking about whether they can file a wrongful death claim. However, depending on the circumstances of the fatal incident, you may need to act within weeks to receive legal compensation for medical costs, funeral expenses, and other monetary and nonmonetary damages. If your spouse or another family member lost his or her life because of the action or inaction of a third party, it’s important to understand the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New York.

Length of Time to File a Claim

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In most cases, the deceased individual’s family members must file a wrongful death claim within two years of his or her death. However, certain incidents are subject to a shorter or longer statute of limitations. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, you must submit a claim for no-fault insurance death benefits within 30 days. When the lawsuit names a government agency or institution as the defendant, such as a transit authority, the plaintiff must first submit a notice of intention to file a claim.

How a Wrongful Death Claim Works

In New York, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the person’s spouse, parents, or children as long as he or she is a personal representative of his or her estate. For a successful lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that their loved one’s death was caused by another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct for which the deceased could have recovered personal injury damages if he or she had lived.

Also, survivors must have experienced specific damages associated with the fatality, such as medical bills or burial expenses. They may also recoup damages for pain and suffering of the deceased, loss of emotional or physical support and services provided by the deceased, and loss of current and future earnings. However, family members cannot claim damages for their own pain and suffering. Wrongful death claims in New York are increased by 9% interest from the date of death.

When someone else’s negligence or fault contributed to your family member’s death, Leav & Steinberg LLP can help you seek legal compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Complete our online form to arrange a free consultation or call our offices at 212-766-5222 to get started.