Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or intentional actions is a devastating experience. In such cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help provide some measure of justice and financial compensation for the surviving family members. However, understanding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York can be complex. In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and the essential steps to take.
1. Spouses and Domestic Partners:
If you are the surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased, you have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes same-sex partners recognized under New York law. We recommend gathering all relevant documents, such as marriage or domestic partnership certificates, to establish your relationship.
2. Children and Parents:
In the absence of a surviving spouse or domestic partner, the deceased's children and parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes biological, adopted, and stepchildren. However, it's important to note that parents can only file a lawsuit if the deceased did not have a surviving spouse or children.
3. Personal Representatives:
If none of the above parties are available or willing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the deceased's estate can step in. The personal representative is usually appointed in the deceased's will or by the court. They act on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members.
4. Financial Dependents:
In some cases, individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This can include individuals who rely on the deceased for financial support, such as elderly parents or disabled siblings. However, proving financial dependency can be challenging, so it's crucial to gather the necessary evidence.
5. Time Limitations and Exceptions:
Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In New York, the general rule is that you have two years from the date of the deceased's death to file a claim. However, there are exceptions, such as cases involving medical malpractice. It's essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to ensure you meet all deadlines.
The Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C. Is Here for You
Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, and seeking legal recourse may be the last thing on your mind. However, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide financial stability and hold the responsible party accountable. If you believe you have a valid claim, it's crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases.
At the Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C., we understand the emotional and legal complexities surrounding wrongful death lawsuits. Our team of compassionate attorneys is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us guide you through this challenging time.