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Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Woman placing hand on casket while holding flowers

If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness, you might be looking for justice. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit with the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli can help you get it. Nevertheless, you must follow the law carefully to make a successful claim, and only certain individuals can file for wrongful death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in New York?

Sadly, those who have lost an unmarried partner or close friend will not be entitled to damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Further, not even family members can file on their own behalf. In New York, only the “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate can bring a claim to court.

Although damages can be sought on behalf of the deceased person’s heirs, the suit must be carried out by the representative of the estate unless there is no designated personal representative.

The only individuals who are entitled to file for and receive damages are:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The deceased person’s children
  • The decedent’s parents
  • The deceased person’s estate (or personal representative)

If you were dependent on your loved one for financial support, New York law will sometimes allow exceptions.

For more information, read our full blog, “Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York.” To discuss your case, call Attorney Charles R. Gueli at (516) 628-6402.

What Else Is Required?

Wrongful death suits are governed by New York Code Chapters 1-25, 55, and 59, also known as the Estates, Powers, and Trusts (EPT) section.

To have a valid claim, you must prove:

  • Your loved one died
  • Their death was caused by the wrongful conduct of the at-fault party (the defendant)
  • Your loved one could have pursued legal action if they were still alive
  • One or more survivors (you and/or your family) are suffering as the result of the death
  • Your loved one’s estate can recover damages to help you account for their loss

Proving all these components can be difficult and emotionally taxing, but you can and will get through it with our firm on your side.

Be Sure to File on Time

While filing a lawsuit may not be the first thing on your mind after a tragic loss, you must also adhere to New York’s statute of limitations.

Per state law, you must pursue legal action within two (2) years of your loved one’s passing. Nevertheless, the sooner you file suit, the stronger your case will be.

Take a moment to grieve, but when you are ready, please contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli at (516) 628-6402 or schedule your free consultation online.

We are available 24/7 and we are ready to walk by your side and put our 20+ years of experience to work on your behalf.

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