It can be easy to let time pass after the loss of a loved one. You need time to heal and mourn. If you wait to file a wrongful death claim, however, you may lose out on your right to bring a lawsuit.
In New York, every type of personal injury claim has a time limit. This is known as the statute of limitations. In general, if you do not file within that time period, you will not be able to bring a claim in court.
For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is actually shorter than the limit for other types of negligence claims. You only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in New York.
The sooner you prepare to file a claim, the better
Two years can seem like a long time. However, there are many steps that will need to be taken prior to filing a claim.
First, you will need time to look for an attorney to handle your case. You will want to do your research and speak with a number of attorneys. That way, you can find a lawyer who understands your goals and has experience in this area.
Once you begin working with an attorney, evidence will need to be gathered and witness statements may need to be collected. Over time, memories can fade. It is important to gather evidence and start your case as soon as possible.
Do you have a wrongful death claim?
If your loved one's death was the result of negligence, then you may have a wrongful death claim. For example, if you lost a loved one in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, then you can bring a wrongful death claim against that driver. An attorney can help determine if you have a claim and help you file your claim within the statute of limitations.