Can I Sue if a Loved One Was Killed in a New York City Pedestrian Accident?

If your family member was killed in a New York City pedestrian accident, you might file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver responsible for the death. Nothing can bring your loved one back to you. However, the New York City pedestrian accident lawyers at Douglas and London will fight aggressively so that you may receive the maximum compensation.

The Statistics

In 2019, 124 pedestrians lost their lives in New York City, as did 28 bicyclists hit by motor vehicles. Unfortunately, numbers have been trending upward in recent years.

These individuals died primarily because negligent drivers were speeding, failing to yield, or driving while distracted. Because of this, pedestrians and cyclists were killed, and their families’ lives are shattered. While some pedestrians or cyclists may hold some responsibility, police reports reveal that it is only 5 percent. Fully 95 percent died because of the negligence or recklessness of a driver.

Sometimes, the driver of the vehicle is not the only party who is liable. A lawyer will seek to hold other responsible parties accountable. For example, perhaps the accident occurred because of a design flaw in the car. In such cases, the manufacturer, dealer, or repair facility may also prove responsible for your loved one’s death.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Only certain family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in New York. The deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents may file such a suit, and the personal representative of the estate. Siblings do not have the right to file such a suit unless they are also the estate’s personal representative or was the late person’s guardian.

Wrongful Death Damages

Damages, or compensation, in a New York wrongful death lawsuit may include:

  • Reasonable funeral and burial costs
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering before dying
  • Loss of companionship

If the defendant’s behavior was truly egregious, such as striking and killing your loved one while driving drunk, a jury might award punitive damages if the case goes to court. These types of damages are designed to punish, and the plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted with wanton disregard.

New York City personal injury lawyers know that the defendant’s insurance company will often try to offer a lowball settlement since the family is grieving and does not want to go to trial or deal with a protracted legal process. However, your lawyer will fight aggressively to obtain a fair settlement amount. While it is true that most cases are settled, we do not hesitate to take the case to trial if the insurance company will not agree to a reasonable amount.

Statute of Limitations

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the death date, not the date of the accident. Failure to file a lawsuit within that time means the claim cannot go forward in court.

Even though the family is mourning, it is crucial to engage legal counsel as soon as possible. The sooner your personal injury attorney can begin an investigation, the better, as valuable evidence is often lost as time passes.

Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation

If you lost a family member due to a pedestrian accident, contact a compassionate personal injury lawyer at Douglas and London. We will hold those parties responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.

Arrange a complimentary consultation by completing our online form or texting or calling us 24/7. After evaluating your case, we will discuss whether there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means there is never a fee unless you receive compensation. Hablamos Español.