In New York, families that have suffered through wrongful deaths have to deal with strict personal injury laws. The rules are standard in most court cases, so it’s important to know who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who can file
There are certain individuals who are authorized to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a deceased person in New York. A personal representative, such as a family member or lawyer, is authorized to file if he or she has been appointed by a state court.
Deciding who can file also depends on the terms written in the decedent’s will. A personal representative is often the executor of the will. If there is no will, the court has to appoint a personal representative who is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
When to file
There are statutes of limitations for most civil court cases. A wrongful death that involves negligence, such as a car accident or workplace injury, must be filed within two years after the wrongful death occurs. If the death involves a criminal act, the personal representative has to file a claim within one year after the criminal prosecution ends. In the case of medical malpractice, the deadline is two and a half years from the incident.
Filing on behalf of the deceased
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit correctly depends on the laws in your state. New York is fairly restrictive in who can file and requires the person to be appointed or designated in a will. The next step would be to apply the state’s personal injury law to the unique situation.