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Losing a loved one can be devastating. However, it can be even more distressing when your loved one’s death results from a fatal car accident. While your top priority is likely laying your loved one to rest, you should take action to avenge their death by filing a wrongful death claim. This can help you recover the compensation that you need to help cover the financial devastation of unexpectedly losing someone. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car accident to another person’s negligence, it’s in your best interest to contact a compassionate New York City Wrongful Death Attorney who can help you get justice. Please continue reading to learn who can file a wrongful death claim in New York. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim Following a Fatal Car Accident in New York?

When your loved one’s death was the result of another’s negligent acts, you can file a wrongful death claim to hold that party accountable. Navigating life without someone you relied upon can be difficult, especially if the victim was a financial contributor or the primary earner for a household. That said, a wrongful death claim can help you get the compensation that you need to help cover the financial burden that comes when you lose someone. While New York doesn’t allow survivors to recover for damages related to their physical or emotional pain and suffering, even if the deceased is a child, they do allow survivors to recover compensation for the financial impact of the loss. If you have a valid wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to receive:

  • Compensation for the lost income
  • Compensation for the funeral arrangements, cremation, and burial
  • Compensation for medical bills and healthcare expenses related to the victim’s final moments
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the victim in their final moments
  • Compensation for lost inheritance for surviving children
  • Compensation for loss of parental guidance, the victim would have provided if they reached their anticipated life expectancy
  • Compensation for services that the victim provided, such as childcare
  • Compensation for 9% interest on the recovery award, starting from the date of death

It’s crucial to note that the age and life expectancy of the deceased and their distributees (surviving spouse, children, or parents) will impact how the financial losses are assessed. Nevertheless, New York statutes allow wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by:

  • A child of the decedent
  • A parent of the decedent
  • A surviving spouse of the decedent or,
  • A personal representative for the estate of the decedent

Unfortunately, in most cases, siblings and cousins of a decedent aren’t entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. However, there’s an exception. If they are named as the guardians or personal representatives of the decedent, they may retain the right to file a wrongful death claim.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car accident due to another person’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted New York City wrongful death attorney from the legal team at Swerling Law, who can aggressively fight to recover the just compensation you and your family deserve.


To a man who was assaulted at a restaurant and sustained a traumatic brain injury.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


To a man who sustained back injuries when he was a passenger in the car that rear ended another car.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.

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