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New York Wrongful Death and Survivorship

New York Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You Seek Maximum Compensation

When someone dies in an accident or other tragedy in New York, the family of the deceased might wish to pursue a claim for damages from the responsible party. Law.com published an article in September 2020 discussing the different types of damages a family might be able to seek when someone’s death is the result of negligence or other actionable conduct.

Survivorship actions and wrongful death lawsuits are two ways that living relatives can seek damages after a loved one’s death. A survivorship cause of action is one in which the decedent’s estate might file to collect compensation for any pain and suffering the decedent experienced before they died. A wrongful death action allows the family to seek damages for financial or pecuniary losses that resulted from their loved one’s death.

Wrongful Death Actions and Survivorship Actions Have Different Time Limitations

Different statutes of limitations apply to different death actions in New York. The statute of limitations for a survivorship action is three years from the date of the accident or one year from death. The longer time period is the one that applies.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in New York is generally two years from the date of death. There can be exceptions to the statute of limitations, like when there is a criminal case against the wrongful death defendant and when the person seeking relief is a minor.

What is a New York Wrongful Death Action?

Filing a lawsuit for wrongful death means trying to prove that someone’s negligence caused the death of a loved one. The claim is filed by the decedent’s surviving statutory distributees who have suffered monetary losses because of the death. There can be one plaintiff or several in a wrongful death action.

The elements of a wrongful death action in New York include:

  • Death
  • Caused by someone’s wrongful conduct
  • Giving rise to a legal cause of action the deceased could have filed if death had not resulted
  • Survival by one (or more) individuals who suffered a pecuniary loss because of the death
  • Damages the estate can recover

Damages in wrongful death actions are limited to pecuniary injuries. Damages can cover things such as:

  • Loss of support
  • Medical expenses related to death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of possible inheritance and expected future income
  • Loss of services

What is a Survivorship Claim in New York?

A survivorship action is one brought by the decedent’s estate. It is a lawsuit to collect damages related to pain and suffering experienced by the victim before death.

A successful survivorship claim must offer sufficient evidence that the decedent consciously suffered prior to death. There must be proof of cognitive awareness before death.

Damages in a survivorship action can include:

  • Pain and suffering of the decedent
  • Fear of impending death
  • Lost earnings
  • Medical expenses

Contact Levine and Wiss, PLLC, if Someone You Love Died Because of Negligence

At Levine and Wiss, our lawyers understand your options when negligence results in the death of a loved one. We can patiently and compassionately guide you through the process of filing the appropriate claim to collect the maximum damages allowed by law.

Call Levine and Wiss today at 888-GOT-HURT to schedule your free case evaluation. Let our dedicated wrongful death lawyers help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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