| Read Time: 2 minutes | Wrongful Death
How to file a wrongful death lawsuit in NY

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York can be complex, time-consuming, and meticulous. If you are seeking necessary financial compensation for losing your loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you have a lot on the line.

This article discusses three critical steps to filing a successful wrongful death lawsuit in New York state.

1. Speak with a New York Based Wrongful Death Attorney

If you believe your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligent conduct and you wish to seek reparations, the first thing you should do is consult an experienced wrongful death attorney to guide and assist you with filing your claim.

There are many nuances to a New York wrongful death claim, and pursuing one in New York is not relatively as easy as other states.

2. Determine Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death

Only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. Unlike most other states, where almost any family member or financial dependent can initiate a wrongful death suit, New York limits this right to just one individual: the personal representative. 

Personal Representative

A personal representative acts on behalf of the decedent’s beneficiaries (e.g., spouse, children). Often, this individual will be named in the decedent’s will and is a close familial relative such as a spouse or child. If no personal representative is named or there is no will, the court will appoint one.

This individual can then file a wrongful death claim for damages against the negligent party. 

3. Determine Liability 

You must determine the defendant’s liability to file a wrongful death claim. To file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York, the personal representative must show the defendant:

  • Acted negligently, and the deceased would have had a claim for damages had they survived,
  • Negligently caused the deceased’s death,
  • There is a surviving spouse, children, or other dependents or beneficiaries, and
  • The surviving family or beneficiaries suffered financial damage due to the defendant’s actions.

If the plaintiff is successful, the estate may be entitled to various types of damages, including medical bills related to the deceased’s injury or illness before their death, funeral expenses, loss of parental guidance and companionship, loss of anticipated inheritance, lost wages, and future earnings, pain and suffering and more.

Examples of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Three types of accidents that routinely result in valid wrongful death suits are motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and premises liability claims.

There are infinite types of wrongful death lawsuit examples, and almost any accident can give rise to a wrongful death claim.

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligent conduct, contact us to discuss if you might have a valid claim. 

New York Wrongful Death Lawyer

Since 2015, we have been selected to the New York Metro Attorney Super Lawyers List, a title that less than 5% of the lawyers in the state have achieved.

If you want to learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, contact us today to schedule your free consultation to see how we can assist you.

Author Photo

Theodore A. Naima

Theodore A. Naima is the founding partner of the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, a Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Law Firm based in New York. In 2015, Ted was awarded the prestigious AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the company that has long been recognized as setting the gold standard for lawyer ratings, signifying the highest degree of peer recognition and professional excellence.

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