The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit, which varies by case type and state. In New York, plaintiffs must file wrongful death claims within two years of the deceased’s passing.
Exceptions to the Rule
The exceptions to New York’s statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits are rare, but they allow claimants to file a lawsuit after the two years passed. Here’s a breakdown of exceptions to the rule:
- Medical malpractice and negligence cases: In the event of either of these occurrences, the statute of limitations is extended to two years and six months for medical malpractice and three years for negligence cases.
- The potential defendant is involved in a pending criminal case: Following the closing of the case, the claimant has one year from that date to file their wrongful death lawsuit.
- The sole beneficiary of the claim is a minor: In the event that the only beneficiary is under 18, the court will recognize a toll, or delay, of the statute of limitations until the child is appointed a guardian or turns 18.
The clock doesn’t necessarily always start at the time of death; the statute of limitations could be extended if new evidence is discovered related to the cause of the decedent’s passing, which could be months afterward.
Why You Should Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney
Winning a wrongful death case involves the same burden of proof the victim would have to bring in a negligence claim, which is why it’s important to have qualified legal counsel on your side. Without a wrongful death attorney’s expertise, you may overlook critical details or binding information that could risk your opportunity to recover damages from your loss. They also have the skills and legal knowledge to negotiate with an insurance company’s team of attorneys to help you receive proper compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Bring Your Claim to Leav & Steinberg
Work with wrongful death attorneys that are committed to helping you seek justice for the loss you suffered. The Leav & Steinberg LLP team includes multi-lingual staff members, and we’ve won millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the surrounding areas. Request your free consultation today to speak to a member of our legal team.