Timeline for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in NYC

A wrongful death occurs when someone is killed because of another’s intentional or negligent actions. After a wrongful death, the relatives of the deceased may recover crucial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the process can be a tiresome and complicated endeavor.

The timeline for wrongful death lawsuits in New York City can vary depending on several factors. Generally, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death at issue. After filing your case, you must collect evidence, establish fault, and negotiate a potential settlement agreement. If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, then you must present your case at trial. Accordingly, lawsuits can take from weeks to months to years to complete. The support of a wrongful death lawyer can be highly valuable when navigating the long road to recovery.

If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in New York City, get help seeking financial compensation. Contact our experienced Syracuse wrongful death lawyers by calling The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.

What to Expect From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in NYC

There are several stages to an NYC wrongful death lawsuit. Any misstep has the potential to hurt a plaintiff’s case. Fortunately, you can reach out to our NYC wrongful death lawyers for guidance during each of the following steps of the legal process:

Reviewing Your Case

The first step to any wrongful death case involves reviewing whether or not a plaintiff has a strong claim. The following elements must be present in order for a NYC wrongful death lawsuit to be successful:

  • There was a death
  • The death was caused by the defendant’s wrongful act
  • The victim’s family incurred damages because of the death

Evaluating these elements can be difficult without the assistance of our Utica wrongful death lawyers. Our team can assess the facts of your case to determine if you should proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit.

Filing Your Case

The next step of a wrongful death lawsuit involves bringing your case to court. However, under E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, NYC wrongful death lawsuits have to be filed by victims’ personal representatives. According to E.P.T. Law § 1-2.13, the personal representative is the person who received letters to administer the deceased person’s estate. Therefore, a victim’s family member cannot bring a wrongful death case to court unless they have also been named as the victim’s personal representative. If the case is successful, however, then damages may be distributed amongst the following family members under E.P.T. Law § 5-4.4:

  • Husbands and wives
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Cousins

Furthermore, according E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, plaintiffs typically must file their wrongful death lawsuits within two years of victims’ deaths. In addition to filing their claims on time, plaintiffs must attach supporting documents, pay necessary court fees, file in the correct courts, serve all named defendants, and refrain from filing frivolous claims.

Failure to comply with any of the aforementioned requirements could hurt plaintiffs’ chances at recovering monetary damages. Accordingly, you should contact our experienced Rochester wrongful death lawyers for support when filing your case. Our team can ensure all of the necessary conditions are met.

Collecting Evidence

The next phase of an NYC wrongful death lawsuit involves gathering evidence to support your case. You must collect evidence that shows the victim was killed because of the defendant’s wrongful act and that you suffered damages as a result. Several types of evidence can be used to establish these elements:

  • Physical evidence from the scene of an accident
  • Photographic evidence from the scene of an accident
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Accident reports
  • Surveillance photos
  • Expert witness statements
  • Personal recollections

The aforementioned types of evidence are all frequently utilized in NYC wrongful death lawsuits. Still, there are many other types of evidence that may be utilized in your case. Our experienced NYC wrongful death lawyers can help collect any type of pertinent evidence that may be valuable to your case.

Proving Fault

After gathering evidence to support their claims, plaintiffs must use that evidence to prove that the defendant is at fault. When awarding damages in a NYC wrongful death lawsuit, courts will follow the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. This means that damages may be reduced based on percentages of fault. For example, if a defendant was 60% responsible for a death while the victim was 40% accountable through his own negligent actions, then the defendant will only be ordered to pay for 60% of damages caused by the death.

Accordingly, many defendants and their insurance companies will attempt to prove that a victim caused or contributed to their own death. By shifting blame, insurers can avoid paying plaintiffs what their claims are truly worth. Fortunately, our Oyster Bay wrongful death lawyers can fight insurance companies and properly utilize evidence to prove that defendants were at fault.

Negotiating with Defendants

Before reaching trial, most wrongful death plaintiffs in NYC will face the difficult choice of either settling early or trying their cases. When parties reach a settlement agreement, a defendant agrees to pay a certain amount of monetary damages to a plaintiff for their case to be dismissed. Settling early can allow victims’ families to recover compensation more quickly. However, not all settlement offers are fair. Insurance companies frequently attempt to settle cases for as cheaply as possible. Our NYC wrongful death lawyers can lean on years of experience when negotiating with insurers on your behalf, so you may recover the full range of compensation you deserve.

Trying Your Case

Unfortunately, not all settlement offers are fair. If settlement agreements are not reached, then plaintiffs must take their cases to trial to recover additional monetary damages. Our attorneys can help you present a convincing case.

If Your Loved One Suffered a Wrongful Death in NYC, Our Lawyers Can Help

If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, seek help from our experienced Buffalo wrongful death lawyers by calling The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.