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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Wrongful Deaths in Hospitals

The Number of Wrongful Deaths in New York City Hospitals is Shocking

The number of wrongful deaths occurring in New York City hospitals lately is nothing less than shocking. In the past five years, hospitals in New York City have seen 468 deaths due to medical malpractice and misconduct. The deaths involve 11 hospitals and include everything from misdiagnosis, to failing to treat, to delayed treatment, and more. Kings County and Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan saw the most wrongful deaths with 91 and 54, respectively.

In the past four years, the city has paid out $34 million to 56 families that have lost a loved one in these medical settings. Unfortunately, so many more loved ones wait while their wrongful death lawsuits have not yet been decided on by the courts.

The current statistics show just how common wrongful death in hospitals is in New York City. It also has led to many people to wonder if this could happen to them. If it does, what recourse do they have?

Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice Claims in New York

The law on wrongful death due to medical malpractice in New York is outlined in New York’s Estate Powers and Trust Law. Under this legal statute, when a person passes away due to medical malpractice, the personal representative of their estate may sue for compensation. This compensation is meant to compensate family members for the financial aspect of losing their loved one. In most cases, the courts will determine what is just and fair compensation for surviving loved ones.

In most wrongful death due to medical malpractice cases, available compensation includes:

  • Burial expenses
  • Medical bills or nursing expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of support to the deceased’s family members
  • Loss of parental care
  • Loss of inheritance

In New York, compensation for pain and suffering, including emotional distress, is not provided for in a wrongful death lawsuit. While the personal representative must file the claim in court, compensation is typically distributed among the deceased’s spouse, children, and other direct relatives such as parents and siblings.

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice Claims

In New York, the statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing a wrongful death due to medical malpractice lawsuit is two years. This means loved ones have two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed after this time, the courts will likely dismiss the case.

This does not mean there is no hope for those currently waiting for word on their lawsuit in New York City, though. The law only requires that the lawsuit is filed, not necessarily closed, before the statute of limitations runs out.

Unlike other areas of personal injury law, the statute of limitations on wrongful death cases due to medical malpractice is not tolled if a child under the age of 18 wishes to file. In these cases, the statute of limitations still applies and the child’s guardian must file the lawsuit on the minor’s behalf.

Did You Lose a Loved One Due to Medical Malpractice? Contact the New York Wrongful Death Attorneys

Hopefully the number of deaths in New York City hospitals starts to decline, but that is not the way the trend is moving. It is important that anyone who loses a loved due to medical malpractice speaks to a Long Island wrongful death lawyer who can help.

If you have lost a loved one and you believe it was the fault of a healthcare professional, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (866) 878-6774. This is an intricate area of law requiring knowledge about New York’s wrongful death and medical malpractice legal statutes. We will help you with every part of your claim, and fight for your right to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call today or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.


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