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If a person is hurt by the wrongdoing or negligence of another person, they can file a personal injury claim. However, when the injuries are so severe that they end someone’s life, the case is considered to be wrongful death, instead of personal injury. Wrongful death is a loss of a person’s life that is caused by an unjust action or negligence of another person.
If Your Loved One Was a Victim of Wrongful Death, Here is What You Need to Know
1. In New York State, since the person who passed away is not able to file a claim, a personal representative of the deceased can file a claim on behalf of the deceased. A personal representative could be either a legal representative, a trusted friend, or a family member, but that person must be the one who is put in charge of the deceased person’s financial affairs.
2. A wrongful death claim in New York State must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. If the claim is filed after two years, it may be dismissed. Therefore, it is very important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you have been injured. At The Law Offices of Jason B. Kessler, our experienced attorneys can review the details of your case, and if necessary, help you file a claim before time runs out.
3. In order to prove a wrongful death case, the following must be established:
*The defendant (doctor, dentist, driver of another car in the case of a collision, mass transit authority, etc.) had the duty of acting with reasonable care toward the deceased. For example, a healthcare professional has a duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to their patient. A driver on the road has the duty to drive responsibly, following the speed limits and not texting while driving. The MTA has a duty to maintain their trains, buses and ferries, and make sure that they are operating safely. In other words, the defendant must have owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
*The plantiff must show that the duty of care was breached. For example, a healthcare facility did not follow the standards of medical care. Another example is that a driver on the road was using a hand-held cell phone while driving, and wasn’t paying attention to the road. A third example is if the MTA was aware of treacherous conditions at one of their subway stations, but neglected to fix it.
*The plaintiff must show that it was the breach of duty that caused the deceased person harm. In other words, the defendant’s negligence, careless behavior or failure to follow proper procedures and standards of care directly caused the deceased person to lose their life.
*The plaintiff must show that the deceased person suffered damages, which are obvious in a wrongful death case because the person lost their life.
If you feel that your loved one’s life was taken by someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, our experienced attorneys can help you get the monetary benefits you deserve for your loss. Call The Law Offices of Jason B. Kessler at 914-220-1088 today for a free consultation.