Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death in New York?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC July 20, 2023 Personal injury

We trust long-term care facilities to keep our family members safe and provide proper care. When an employee, owner, manager, or other nursing home affiliate’s negligence results in a patient’s death, a personal representative may file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.

Your loved one deserves justice and your family closure. If you are starting the wrongful death claim process in New York, we highly recommend speaking with one of our attorneys at Lever & Ecker, PLLC. We have years of experience handling claims in New York and are up-to-date on vital legislation. With our attorneys advocating for you and your family members, you will not be blindsided by unexpected legal strategies and roadblocks.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

While some states allow a deceased person’s relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit, New York legislation requires a personal representative, also known as an executor or administrator, to file a wrongful death claim. Whether named in a valid will or through legal action in the absence of a will, the personal representative will act on behalf of the deceased and will have specific responsibilities on behalf of the estate. They are also responsible for filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. If no personal representative is named in their documents, a judge may appoint one on the deceased’s behalf.

Whether you or another individual is appointed as a personal representative, taking action and seeking representation from lawyers is vital to protecting you and your loved one’s rights. Our lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, will advocate aggressively on behalf of the Estate to pursue the compensation the Estate deserves for the loved one’s wrongful death.

Understanding New York’s Grieving Families Act

New York is currently one of the few states which greatly limits compensation for non-economic damages in wrongful death claims. New York’s legislature is attempting to implement the Grieving Families Act to change the law and allow families to recover the proper compensation for their grief and loss. In January 2023, Governor Hochul initially vetoed the bill, stating she was doing so due to concerns about its underlying economic implications. As the amended bill addresses the Governor’s concerns, both chambers hope to pass the bill with Governor Hochul’s signature.

Compensation Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim

As of September 2023, the Grieving Families Act has yet to receive the Governor’s signature; consequently, the bill is not in effect, and families cannot recover proper non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim. Below are the current eligible damages families may recover through a personal representative and an attorney:

  • Conscious pain and suffering the decedent experienced from the wrongful conduct
  • The decedent’s fear of impending death
  • Medical expenses prior to the individual’s passing:
    • Medications
    • Nursing and attention
    • Surgical fees
    • Emergency transportation
  • Funeral expenses:
    • Transfer to the funeral home
    • Cremation fees
    • Fees for basic services
  • Other economic damages

Similar to other legal claims, New York’s legislature establishes a specific timeframe for submitting a wrongful death claim, commonly referred to as the “statute of limitations.” In New York, the statute of limitations for the majority of wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the individual’s passing (although this deadline, and other related deadlines, may be far shorter in certain circumstances). If you or the designated personal representative fail to initiate a lawsuit within this timeframe, there is the risk of losing both justice and financial reparation for the loss of your loved one.

Partner With a Lever & Ecker, PLLC, Wrongful Death Attorney in New York Today

Staying up-to-date with current wrongful death legislation is vital to secure the best possible outcome and compensation for a claim. Whether you are a personal representative or a family member, an award-winning lawyer at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, can provide you with expert representation and professional guidance. We have 65+ years of combined experience advocating for our clients and protecting our community.

By holding negligent individuals, large organizations, and government entities accountable for their actions, we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. We tailor our services specifically to our clients’ needs and are prepared to go to trial if necessary to secure rightful compensation. Trust our lawyers to provide the best possible representation for your claim, and schedule a free consultation today. You may reach us at (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 or by filling out our contact form.

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