New York’s Wrongful Death Law


If you lose a loved one to another’s negligence in New York, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While your family will naturally be grieving, you should know that the statute of limitations in this state is two years from the date of death. It is especially important that families try to file a wrongful death suit when the decedent was their primary financial provider.

A successful wrongful death lawsuit could reimburse your family for pre-death medical bills, loss of income, funeral and burial costs, and loss of support. You may even sue for any pain and suffering inflicted on the victim before he or she died. As the plaintiff, you will have to prove that the decedent was the victim of the other party’s negligence or recklessness.

In cases when the defendant engaged in outrageous conduct, plaintiffs may sue for punitive damages, which go beyond compensatory damages and are meant to punish the defendant. Punitive damages do not become available, then, for just any case. Other non-economic losses may or may not be covered; it all depends on the nature of your case.

A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed after a fatal traffic crash, a fatal slip and fall accident or some other occurrence. Many times, the legal concept of premises liability is behind the fatality. Under premises liability law, property owners have a duty of care to all lawful entrants, including customers, guests and employees. If your loved one died because a property owner failed in this duty, you may want a lawyer to evaluate your case.

The attorneys at our firm have more than 40 years of combined experience in these types of matters. To learn more about how we might be able to help you, you are invited to visit our page on wrongful death lawsuits.