Determining Liability in a Long Island Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when the victim of an accident dies as a result of someone else’s negligence. The entity which oversees the assets of the decedent after they pass, also known as the estate, has the right to claim the decedent died because of the negligent actions and could be entitled to compensation for their damages. After the estate is established by directives in the will or by the state, the next step would be determining who holds liability in a Long Island wrongful death case. A dedicated lawyer could help you determine who was negligent in the accident that caused you to lose a loved one.

Proving Negligence

To recover compensation for a wrongful death, the claimant must prove that somebody was negligent, and that they were proximate cause of the injuries or the death of the decedent.

Usually when people pass away from an accident due to somebody’s negligence, it is evident that the death was caused by the accident. Sometimes it is not so clear, so the plaintiff must prove negligence and liability against the defendant.

Serious car accidents are the most common scenarios in which our firm sees wrongful death cases arise. We also see them in premises liability cases, burns in in a fire, injuries relating to a construction accident, or violent crimes.

How Concurrent Criminal Investigations Could Help a Wrongful Death Case

Concurrent criminal investigations could play into a wrongful death claim, particularly if the potential defendant gives a statement of liability. When somebody is involved in a car accident and there is a death, the Motor Vehicle Department usually holds an automatic hearing. Typically, those involved will have to give a statement as to what occurred, which could help prove the plaintiff’s civil case.

Police might open a major investigation and collect evidence, which could help the claimant prove liability in their civil case. When there are criminal investigations going on, witness statements and photos could be collected by the police which might not ordinarily have been sought in just a wrongful death case.

Does There Need to be Intent?

There does not need to be intent for the grounds to file a wrongful death action. It is a matter of whether there was negligence. If the accident was foreseeable, could the defendant have prevented it by reasonable measures? Since wrongful death is not a criminal case, the plaintiff does not have to prove intent, they just have to prove the defendant was negligent.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Case

In Long Island, wrongful death claims are different from other personal injury cases in several ways. For example, the statute of limitations on a wrongful death case in New York is two years. Somebody claiming that the decedent died as a result of somebody else’s negligence has only two years to bring that case. Usually in a personal injury case where nobody has died, the claimant has three years to bring that case.

Filing a Case Against the Government

The statute of limitations could be affected if the wrongful death claim is made against the government or an employee of the government, as there are preconditions for filing a lawsuit in these situations. In Long Island, a notice of claim must be filed beforehand. The notice could be filed by anybody, it does not have to be by the administrator or the executor of the estate. Once that notice of claim is filed, they have within either 90 days or, in some cases a year, to file a summons and complaint.

Contact a Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney for Help Determining Liability in the Case of Negligence

An experienced attorney could help you pursue your civil case and tackle any obstacles that could get in your way. They could help you determine liability using additional evidence from concurrent criminal investigations and navigate the statute of limitations.

Call a Long Island lawyer for help determining liability in your wrongful death claim today.

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