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The untimely loss of a loved one can be a traumatic experience and cause immense grief among the whole extended family, especially if the death was caused by someone else’s wrongful or negligent act. Unfortunately, despite the closest relatives being the ones who face the most emotional pain and financial burden upon the unexpected death, only certain family members are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit and benefit from any awarded damages. Please continue reading to learn who can file a wrongful death claim in New York and how a compassionate New York City Wrongful Death Attorney can help you navigate this difficult time. 

Who is Eligible to File a New York Wrongful Death Claim?

While some states allow anyone who is deeply affected by the loss to file a wrongful death claim, that’s not the case in New York. Under New York law, only the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is typically chosen during a person’s lifetime and named in a will. However, if a person dies without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative. Essentially, New York doesn’t allow family members to file wrongful death claims in court unless that family member is also the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

What Damages Are Available?

The personal representative of the estate can recover various damages on behalf of the bereaved family. The amount and types of damages awarded will depend on the unique circumstances of the case. Recoverable compensation generally includes:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Reasonable health care expenses related to the decedent’s final moments
  • Lost wages and other benefits lost by the death
  • The value of support and services the decedent would have provided for the family
  • The value of parental nurturing, care, and guidance to surviving children
  • Lost inheritance for surviving children
  • Any conscious pain and suffering endured by the decedent in their final moments
  • 9% interest on the recovery award (starting from the date of death)

Unlike other states, New York doesn’t allow survivors to recover for damages related to their pain and suffering mental anguish or loss of companionship. The state primarily focuses on the financial impact of the loss.

If you believe you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and need an attorney to assess your case, guide you through your legal options, and passionately represent and protect your rights, please don’t hesitate to contact Swerling Law today. Our New York City wrongful death attorneys are prepared to help you get the justice you deserve.

$10,500,000

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

$3,250,000

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.

$3,000,000

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

$2,325,000

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

$1,415,000

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

View More Results

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