When Can A Family Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on November 30, 2011

in Buffalo Wrongful Death Issues

The circumstances under which a Buffalo family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit are very diverse.  There are, however, some basic legal requirements that must be met before such a lawsuit may be pursued.

New York State law provides that the personal representative of a deceased person (such as the executor of a will or other individual legally responsible for the administration of the estate) may bring a wrongful death lawsuit so long as there are living distributees to the estate.  In other words, there must be family members entitled to the estate who have survived the victim of the wrongful death.  The wrongful death claim generally may be brought against any person who would have been liable to the decedent for their wrongful conduct if the victim had not died.

In most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit must be commenced within two years of the victim’s death.   When the actions of the defendant have also led to criminal charges being filed, however, the representative of the deceased person has at least one year from the conclusion of the criminal case to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, even if this extends beyond the normal two year time limit.

If you have lost a loved one due to another’s wrongful actions, please feel free to reach out to us at 716-542-5444.  We would be happy to answer your questions.

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