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New York State Laws for Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice

Feb 20, 2013 | Hospital Negligence

In New York State, a wrongful death case can be pursued by the deceased person’s family member in a manner, which the deceased person could have pursued in court had that person been alive.

Generally in wrongful death due to medical malpractice cases, one or more survivors of the deceased suffer significant loss as the result of the death, and should recover damages on behalf of the dead person’s estate. New York State does not allow a family member to bring a wrongful death claim unless this family member also happens to be the designated representative of the deceased person’s estate.

New York States’ approach to wrongful deaths due to medical malpractice

When medical malpractice leads to wrongful death of a victim, the incident warrants a legal action against the hospital or the doctor who caused the death. In such a situation, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate ought to file a lawsuit against the medical practitioner or the medical facility that caused the death to recover the financial damages suffered by the dependent members of the deceased person’s family.

As this case is pursued as a civil suit, the close family members can file the suit.

New York State’s EPTL

Wrongful death malpractice claims are typically proved by evidences of wrongful or negligent acts of a medical practitioner. In New York, The Estate Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) allows the representative of a dead person’s estate to sue for pecuniary (financial) damages suffered by the family members of the deceased. Typically, a New York county court will determine the "fair and just compensation" for the pecuniary losses suffered by dependent family members.

Damages in New York Wrongful Death Claims

In NY, damages awarded in wrongful death due to medical malpractice cases are based on the availability of facts during the court proceedings. Thus, the damages vary widely from one case to another.

Typically these damages may be defined as those that translate into a monetary value, such as burial expenses, incurred medical bills or nursing expenses, wages lost between the malpractice incident and the death of the victim, the monetary value of support provided by the deceased to other family members, the monetary value of parental care provided by the deceased to minor children, and lost inheritance.

In NY, damages are not awarded for the surviving members’ pain and suffering or loss of companionship. In case of death of a child, the parents can recover damages for the lost value of services rendered by the child.

Time Limits for Filing a New York Wrongful Death Claim

The wrongful death due to medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years from the date of the victim’s death in New York. Thus, if two years pass after a wrongful death, the family members lose the right to file a case. This is one situation where the statute of limitations is not stopped even if the personal representative of the deceased is a minor child. In that case, a legal guardian of the child must file the case within two years.

In a wrong death due to medical malpractice case, the victim’s family member should get the best legal advice available in a New York case to build the strongest possible case. So the client should contact the Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff Law Office known as RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. We will not quit until the wrongful death case victim and the family gets justice.

212 697 9280 – RMFW Law – you us nothing up front. We do not settle until you want us too. We are not paid until you are paid. We know how to win cases and do it regularly.