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Albany’s Boutique Litigation Firm

How much time do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one hurts, especially if someone else is to blame for the tragedy. Dealing with funeral arrangements, medical bills and the emotional toll can be overwhelming. That’s why you have a right to seek compensation for the injustice your family faced.

But while a loved one’s tragic demise can bring life to a standstill, it’s important to understand that you do not have the luxury to sue the liable party at your convenience. You must bring a wrongful death claim within a certain timeframe known as the statute of limitations period.

How well do you understand the statute of limitations?

Simply put, a statute of limitation sets the legal timeframe within which the plaintiff must sue the defendant. The statute of limitations serves two important purposes:

  1. It protects the defendant from an indefinite threat of a lawsuit.
  2. It acknowledges that evidence can be lost over time or that witnesses can become unavailable making it difficult for the plaintiff to get justice.

In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff can be an immediate or extended family relation (spouse, children or parents) to the deceased. Where the victim had no immediate family, their estate representative may bring the claim.

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death in New York?

Basically, the decedent’s family has two years from the date of death to take legal action against the at-fault party in cases involving private entities or individuals. If the death is attributable to a government agency’s negligence, however, a Notice of Claim must be submitted within 90 days.

Protecting your interests

A loved one’s sudden death can be tough to deal with. Understanding applicable laws can help you avoid missteps that can cost you the compensation you deserve following a loved one’s wrongful demise.