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Who can sue for wrongful death in New York?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Wrongful Death

If someone’s negligent or reckless actions lead to your injuries, you may pursue the liable party for damages through a personal injury lawsuit. However, if those injuries are severe enough to claim the victim’s life, then the case is treated as wrongful death rather than personal injury.

The death of a loved one can be very traumatic. However, if that death is attributable to negligence, you need to seek justice on behalf of your beloved. In New York, wrongful death is considered a direct injury to the victim, and this makes it a matter that requires personal action. However, since the victim is dead, someone else will have to step forward and file the claim on their behalf.

So exactly who can file a wrongful death claim in New York?

The following people can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant in New York:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s adult children
  • The decedent’s parents
  • The decedent’s siblings and close relatives

Generally, the decedent’s siblings and cousins may not bring a wrongful death claim in New York unless they are named as guardians or personal representatives. Even so, they may not have this right when the decedent is survived by a spouse, adult children or parents.

What must be demonstrated when filing a wrongful death claim in New York?

To successfully file a wrongful death claim, you will be required to prove the following:

  • That the defendant acted in a reckless, negligent or unlawful manner
  • That the defendant’s actions resulted in fatal injuries
  • That the decedent would have filed personal injuries claims had they survived
  • That the decedent’s family suffered specific economic and non-economic losses

Not many things are devastating as losing a loved one due to another person’s wrongful actions. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing a wrongful death claim in New York.