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Who is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York State?

Updated January 17, 2024.

Nothing is more devastating than losing a loved one due to another party’s negligent or intentional act. That said, New York State law recognizes the emotional and financial hardship the wrongful death of a loved one can place on a person and their family, which is why they allow certain individuals to file wrongful death claims. Please continue reading and reach out to a compassionate Rochester wrongful death lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP to learn more about who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in NYS and how our legal team can help you through the process.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss. The death must be caused by another party’s wrongful act, negligence, or default. It’s imperative to know who can legally file this type of claim in New York, as the state has specific guidelines.

Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In New York State, the right to file a wrongful death claim is exclusively reserved for the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This individual could be named in the will or appointed by the court if there is no will. Unlike some other states, New York does not allow immediate family members to file a wrongful death claim unless they are the designated personal representative.

The personal representative acts on behalf of the beneficiaries, who may include spouses, children, or other dependents. It’s crucial for families to understand that the time frame to file a claim is limited; in New York, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of death.

What Damages Can Be Claimed?

The types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit vary. These can include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the deceased’s final illness or injury, lost wages and benefits, the value of support and services the deceased would have provided, and pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death. Additionally, the family may seek damages for loss of parental nurturing, guidance, and education for the children of the deceased. Understanding the full extent of damages is essential for fair compensation.

If you lost your loved one due to another party’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact Lacy Katzen LLP today. We are here to fight for the justice you deserve.


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