While everyone must die sometime, sometimes when you lose a loved one, you are left feeling they should still be with you.
If you feel someone’s death was unjustified, you may be able to claim wrongful death. It means that you file a claim against someone whose negligence or unlawful act led to the death of your loved one.
New York limits who can bring the case to the following:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
- The deceased’s parents
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
Who gets priority?
You cannot all file a claim. The right to do it matches the order above. In other words, if there is a surviving spouse, they should file. If there is no spouse, the children should file and so on.
Does that mean the children might not get anything?
No. The order of distribution puts the spouse and children first. They would typically share any money awarded. A parent, however, usually only gets something if there is no spouse or children.
The time limit for filing may be about to increase
The statute of limitations, which means the time you have to file, is currently two years from the person’s death. However, that might be about to change. A new bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature as we speak. If approved, it will expand the time limit to three and a half years.
It would also allow other family members such as grandparents, step-parents and brothers and sisters to claim something.
If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, seek legal help to understand more about the current situation.