Wrongful death claims are a way to help surviving family members deal with the death of a loved one. If the death was the result of someone’s recklessness or negligence, your loss is especially tragic.

Before commencing this civil action, you need to determine if a wrongful death claim is an appropriate option for your family.

When the injury that caused death is the result of the actions of another

According to the New York Code, wrongful death lawsuits are viable if the death of a person results from wrongful conduct or negligence. Additionally, the negligent action must have its own standing as a separate lawsuit in which the injured person could have recovered damages if he or she did not die. If a case meets all of these requirements, then the surviving family likely has grounds for a wrongful death suit.

Wrongful death actions can arise from surgical errors, defective products, drunk driving accidents, workplace injuries or other fatal accidents.

When the claim is within the statute of limitations

In New York state, wrongful death claims are time barred by a statute of limitations. You must file suit no later than two years from the date of death of your family member.

When surviving family members bring the action

The surviving spouse, children, parents and a representative for the state of the decedent may recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. These survivors must demonstrate specific damages due to the death such as loss of support, medical expenses, lost earnings and funeral and burial costs.