New York City Wrongful Death Attorneys
After the tragic death of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligence, no amount of money could ever compensate you for your loss. Filing a wrongful death claim is a legal means to seek justice for your loved one and recovery for your family’s future. At Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, we believe negligent parties should be held accountable for causing a wrongful death.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term referring to the death of a person caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of another person or entity. It denotes a civil action in which damages are sought against the party responsible for causing the death. A wrongful death claim can arise when the deceased victim would have had a valid personal injury claim against the defendant had he or she survived.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs when a fatality is caused by careless, reckless, negligent, or intentionally wrongful actions of another party. It may be caused by many different types of accidents and injuries. Common causes of wrongful death include the following:
- Car accidents: Many wrongful death claims arise from fatal motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers. For example, you may have a claim for wrongful death if your loved one was killed in a traffic crash caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred.
- Commercial truck accidents: The sheer size and weight of semi-tractor trailers can make truck accidents deadly. When a collision occurs between a fully-loaded big rig, weighing up to 80,000 lbs., and a 3,000 lb. passenger vehicle, the driver and passengers in the much smaller vehicle are likely to suffer serious injuries or death.
- Medical malpractice: Nearly $4 billion was paid out for medical malpractice claims in the U.S. in a recent year, as stated in the Diederich Healthcare 2018 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis. Of that astronomical sum, as categorized by severity of outcome, 30% was paid out for medical errors resulting in death.
- Construction accidents: Workplace accidents in the construction industry are a leading cause of worker injury and death. Of the 4,779 private industry worker fatalities in the U.S. in a recent year, 1,008 (21.1%) occurred in construction, as reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Defective products: Designers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be held liable under the law for making and/or selling defective and dangerous products. When someone dies from using such a product, responsible parties may be held accountable for wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim In New York?
The personal representative for the deceased victim, duly appointed in New York or another jurisdiction, may bring a wrongful action in civil court, under New York law, Section 5-4.1. For a wrongful death claim to be brought, the deceased person must be survived by distributees (individuals who will inherit property or receive distributions from a trust). The claim is brought against the person or entity that would have been liable to the deceased victim if death had not ensured.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?
As stated in the statute, a wrongful death claim must be commenced within two years after the death. This is known as a statute of limitations (time limit imposed by law). However, if criminal charges have been filed against the defendant for the same event or occurrence from which the wrongful death claim arose, you have at least one year from the termination of the criminal action to file a claim, even if the statute of limitations has expired or has less than one year remaining.
For skilled legal representation in a wrongful death claim, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP at 212-203-4795. Our New York City wrongful death attorneys are dedicated legal advocates for victims of wrongful death.