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Seeking Justice: Navigating Wrongful Death Claims in New York During Springtime

Spring is a great time of year because nature bursts with color and vitality. As the weather warms, people spend more time outside, traffic increases, and building projects ramp up. Unfortunately, these factors can contribute to an increase in accidents and, tragically, wrongful deaths. Navigating a wrongful death claim during this hectic season can be very difficult. This blog post will help you grasp the specific circumstances of resolving these claims in New York throughout the spring.

Wrongful Deaths lawyer in new york city

Why Is Navigating Wrongful Death Claims in New York During Springtime Unique?

Springtime in New York brings a variety of seasonal activities and changes that can increase the risk of accidents. The mix of increased outdoor activity, vehicle traffic, and construction activities produces a perfect storm of potential hazards. Recognizing these specific seasonal characteristics is critical for successfully managing wrongful death claims at this time of year.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

A wrongful death suit arises when a person dies as a result of another’s wrongful conduct, negligence, or default. In New York, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may initiate a wrongful death action to recover compensation for the beneficiaries. The claim must show that the defendant’s conduct was directly responsible for the death and that the survivors incurred financial losses as a result.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in the Spring

Outdoor activities, pedestrian traffic, and sporting activities all rise during the spring season. Furthermore, during this time of year, the weather becomes quite unpredictable. All of these elements contribute to a wide range of accidents, some of which can be fatal. Here’s a look at some of the most common causes of wrongful death in the spring.

Increased Road Traffic

With warmer weather, more people are on the road, whether commuting, traveling for pleasure, or engaging in outdoor activities. This increase in traffic often results in a higher number of car accidents, some of which are fatal.

Construction

Spring signals the start of the construction season in New York. Construction sites can be risky, and incidents involving heavy machinery, falls, or other risks can lead to wrongful death.

Outdoor Activities

As more people visit parks, hiking trails, and other outdoor locations, the danger of an accident rises. Fatal accidents involving bicycles, ATVs, and boats are more likely during this season.

Slip and Fall Accidents

As people engage in outdoor activities, the risk of slip-and-fall accidents increases. Uneven sidewalks, wet surfaces, or poorly maintained public areas can contribute to these incidents.

Sports 

Springtime sees a surge in team sports. Accidents during these activities, whether due to equipment failure or a lack of proper safety measures, can result in wrongful deaths.

Drowning Incidents

With the opening of pools and beaches, drowning incidents tend to rise in spring. Lack of supervision, inadequate safety measures, or unsafe swimming conditions can lead to fatal accidents.

Naturally, there are numerous other reasons for tragic deaths in the spring. However, it is critical to understand which ones are most common in order to take preventive steps against them.

Who can legally file a wrongful death claim in New York?

In New York, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may pursue a wrongful death claim. 

The personal representative, often known as the executor or administrator, has the legal authority to handle the deceased person’s estate. This person is in charge of submitting the wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and the remaining family members. This representative is often appointed by the court based on the deceased person’s will or, in the absence of a will, according to intestacy statutes.

While the personal representative files the claim, the damages awarded are for the benefit of the deceased’s eligible family members. In New York, these beneficiaries typically include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Children¬†
  • Parents
  • Other dependents

The court plays a crucial role in overseeing wrongful death claims in New York. It appoints the personal representative and ensures that the claim is filed correctly and within the legal time limits. The court also approves the distribution of any awarded damages to ensure that the beneficiaries receive their rightful share.

Navigating the complex legalities of a wrongful death claim can be difficult, particularly during a period of mourning. It is critical that you speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can walk you through the process, explain your rights, and guarantee that your claim is handled quickly and efficiently. 

What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

New York law imposes a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. The personal representative must file the claim within two years of the deceased’s death. Failing to meet this deadline can result in the forfeiture of the right to seek compensation.

It is worth noting that several situations can affect the time restriction for filing a wrongful death claim. Some of these include:

  • Medical malpractice: If the malpractice was not immediately discoverable, the clock may start from the date the malpractice was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
  • Claims involving minors: If the beneficiaries of the wrongful death claim include minors, the statute of limitations might be tolled (paused) until the minor reaches the age of majority (18 years old).¬†
  • Government-related cases: When a wrongful death involves a government entity or public employee, special rules and shorter time limits may apply.
  • Fraud: If the death was caused by an act of fraud or if there was intentional concealment of facts that prevented the discovery of the cause of death, the statute of limitations might be tolled.
  • Legal disabilities: In rare cases where the personal representative appointed to file the wrongful death claim is legally incapacitated or otherwise unable to act within the two-year period, the statute of limitations may be tolled until a new representative can be appointed or the legal disability is resolved.

While the general rule for filing a wrongful death claim in New York is two years from the date of death, various exceptions can apply depending on the specifics of the case. For this reason, it is imperative to seek legal counsel from a professional to ensure that you meet all deadlines.

How Do Seasonal Factors Affect Wrongful Death Claims in the Spring?

Seasonal issues such as increased traffic, construction activity, and outdoor events can all complicate wrongful death cases. The increase in accidents this spring implies that law enforcement and legal personnel may be busier than normal, potentially delaying investigations and trials. Furthermore, the unique conditions of spring-related injuries may necessitate specialized knowledge and proof, making it critical to consult with an experienced attorney.

How Can a Lawyer Help Navigate a Wrongful Death Claim During Springtime in New York?

An experienced wrongful death attorney can be quite helpful in understanding the complexity of a claim throughout the spring. They can assist in gathering and preserving essential evidence, identifying culpable parties, and ensuring that all legal deadlines are met. Lawyers also help grieving families understand their rights and options. Attorneys can use their skills to make a compelling case for the recompense that the survivors deserve.

Greenberg & Stein P.C.

Navigating the complexities of a wrongful death claim, especially during the busy springtime in New York, can be overwhelming. The dedicated team at Greenberg & Stein P.C. understands the emotional and financial challenges that families face after the tragic loss of a loved one. With our extensive experience and compassionate approach, we are committed to helping you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Don’t navigate this difficult journey alone. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.

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