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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims typically occur when a person dies as a result of another person or party’s negligence. These legal actions must be filed by a person who acts as a representative of survivors who suffer as a result of the death of their loved one (most commonly the decedent’s family members). Often, the person filing the claim is the executor of the decedent’s estate or a direct relative.

Here are some examples of people who could pursue damages through a wrongful death claim:

  • The decedent’s immediate family — Spouses, children and the parents of children who are not married can all recover damages in a wrongful death suit. Adopted children are included as immediate family members.
  • Life partners and dependents — Anyone financially dependent on the decedent, as well as domestic/life partners have a right to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim.
  • Distant family — Grandparents, brothers and sisters are considered distant family in wrongful death claims. A common scenario would be a grandparent who is raising a child filing a claim after the wrongful death of the child.
  • Anyone who suffers financially as a result of the wrongful death — This stipulation allows for people not related to the decedent by blood to obtain the funds they need so long as they were receiving financial support from the decedent.
  • Parents of a deceased fetus — In some situations, parents can file a wrongful death claim if a fetus dies during childbirth. The parents can recover compensation for the emotional and financial losses suffered from the incident.

For more information about filing a wrongful death claim in New York City, speak with a lawyer.

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