Denlea & Carton


September 26, 2023

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in New York?

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Your Right to Sue

If your loved one has been killed due to another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of New York. New York’s Estates, Powers, & Trusts laws govern wrongful death actions and provide guidance on who can bring and benefit from them.

At Denlea & Carton, LLP, our lawyers are here for you and your family. We provide compassionate, dedicated representation for individuals who have lost a loved one because of someone else’s wrongful act. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients throughout White Plains, NY, and the surrounding areas. Contact our office at (914) 368-7168 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

Pursuant to the Consolidated Laws of New York: Estates, Powers & Trusts § 5-4.1, only the personal representative of a decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. The personal representative may also be referred to as an executor. Generally, an executor is named in the decedent’s will, but if one is not named, one can be appointed by the court. 

Who Can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in New York are distributed in accordance with the state’s intestate laws in proportion to the person’s pecuniary loss. However, if there is a surviving spouse and parents but no children or grandchildren, the parents are entitled to recover in proportion to their pecuniary loss.

Individuals who can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in New York:

  • A surviving spouse
  • Children of the decedent
  • Parents of the decedent
  • Children of the parents of the decedent

To further understand intestate laws and who can recover under New York’s wrongful death statute, you need to speak with an attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and help to ensure you receive the largest recovery possible.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New York?

According to statute, a personal representative has two years from the date of the decedent’s death to file a lawsuit based on wrongful death. Failure to file a claim for damages within the two-year statute of limitations can result in your case being denied as untimely. 

Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation

Was your loved one killed because of another person’s negligence? You may be entitled to damages under a wrongful death lawsuit. You should not have to go through this alone. 

At Denlea & Carton, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can help to cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of support, and more. It is important to act fast, as you may only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Contact our office at (914) 368-7168 today to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to get started.



James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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