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How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in NY?

July 30, 2020

If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you’ve been dealt a tragic blow that is extremely difficult to recover from. While you deal with the aftermath of your loss, you may lose sight of filing a wrongful death claim that could help you recover on your losses and better travel the arduous path toward healing. An experienced NYC wrongful death attorney will help you build your strongest case in support of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled, but it’s important to recognize that a statute of limitations does apply.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death refers to a case that involves all of the following components:

  • The defendant’s negligence or recklessness directly caused your loved one to be killed.
  • Your loved one – had he or she survived the accident – would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim against the defendant.
  • You are an eligible survivor of the decedent (eligible to file a wrongful death claim).

Those eligible to file wrongful death claims in the State of New York include:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s children
  • The decedent’s parents
  • Someone authorized as a personal representative of the decedent’s estate

The Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations for wrongful death claims refers to the length of time in which a survivor can bring such a claim, and in the State of New York, it is two years from the date of the decedent’s death (not from the date of the accident that led to that death). If you haven’t filed your wrongful death lawsuit within this timeframe, any attempt to file will be barred from moving forward.

It’s also important to recognize that, in New York, this statute of limitations does not pause if the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is a child or is otherwise legally incapable of filing the case. In such instances, the guardian of the representative must file on his or her behalf within the two years, or the case cannot proceed.

Because wrongful death cases are as complicated as they are emotionally trying, working closely with an experienced wrongful death attorney who will help ensure that you bring your strongest case while meeting every legal restriction is the best path forward.

Protect Your Rights by Working Closely with an Experienced NYC Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one to someone else’s negligence, the path forward is difficult at best. Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled, however, is critical to your ability to reach your fullest recovery, and the dedicated wrongful death attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman are committed to helping you do just that. Our firm has been serving the legal needs of NYC residents for many decades, and our legal team has considerable experience helping clients like you obtain compensation that fully covers their financial losses. Your rights matter, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 for more information today.


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