The Latest NYC Fatality- Women Hit By Police Vehicle
The tragic death of the 53-year-old woman in Far Rockaway after being hit by a NYPD cruiser has resulted in a tragic fatality. The family of the deceased has an absolute right to seek justice and compensation for their loss, family member's untimely passing. It is unacceptable that such a preventable tragedy has happened,
Wrongful death lawsuits in New York are complicated cases, particularly against the City of New York. New York law involving death cases and cases against the City of New York are a labyrinth of procedural hurdles that families seeking justice need to jump through, at a time when they should be grieving the loss of their loved one. But our experienced NYC wrongful death attorneys can help families get the answers they deserve and help them receive just compensation. A few of the procedural hurdles that grieving families have to deal with are as follows:
THE ESTATE PROCESS
In New York, a lawsuit for wrongful death can only be brought by the Estate of the decased, not the next of kin. In fact, if anyone other than an estate representative brings the lawsuit, it will be dismissed because it was not commenced by someone who has the capacity to maintain a lawsuit. So one of the first questions that are often asked is Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. The answer is found in New York's Estate Law. The first step is to set up an Estate with the New York Surrogates Court and either the executor or the administrator of the Estate needs to be appointed as the Estate representative. The first step in determining who can be the Estate representative is to determine whether the decedent left a will, in which case the executor has the right to file to be the Estate representative. If there was no will, then in general the right goes by the rank of distributees under the Intestate law. For example, if there is a spouse or child, they have the first right, and then parents, sibilings and more distant relatives. If there is no one willing to serve, then any qualifled person can be named. Once an Estate representative is named, then a wrongful death case can be filed.
WHO HAS A RIGHT TO COMPENSATION
Just because a person is named as executor, they do not necessarily have the right to recover. The Estate of the deceased has the right to seek compensation for the pre-death pain and suffering and anyone who received support, including services, has the right to recover through the lawsuit. So while the executor may have the right to control the lawsuit, the decedents have the right to the ultimate recovery.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO SUE THE CITY
New York's General Municipal Law 50, requires that to bring a lawsuit, a notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the occurrence. Often times an Estate representative has not yet been appointed by this time, so it is advisable, that the next of kin or any descendent or the anyone who can recover file the notice of claim against the City. If the 90 day time line has expired, the family is not necessarily out of luck, but the next step is to file a special proceeding in the New York Supreme Court for leave to file a late notice of claim. Additionally, the general statute of limitations against the City of New York is one year and ninty days.
THE GREIVING FAMILIES ACT
New York has a stringent and archaic law, that limits the amount that can be sued for to pre-death pain and suffering and the economic loss caused to dependents. This means that the families who have lost a loved one cannot sue for their emotional distress or grief. There was a new bill in New York called the grieving families act, which unfortunately was vetoed by the Governor, who caved into pressure by the Insurance companies.
According to the National Safety Council's most recent estimates, New York had 848 road deaths in 2018. Of these fatalities, 678 were due to car accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of wrongful death in the state and account for more than two thirds of all traffic fatalities. In addition to these tragic losses, an estimaeted 45,000 people were injured as a result of car crashes in New York in 2018. It is important to note that these numbers are only estimates, and the actual figures may be much higher.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to negligence or carelessness related to a car accident in New York State, contact an experienced New York City attorney right away. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to negligence or carelessness related to a car accident in New York State, contact an experienced New York City attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected.