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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Determining Liability in a New York Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Q: Can multiple people be sued for an accident?

New York wrongful death attorneys most often wear detective’s hats when determining who is responsible for the death of their client’s loved one. The earlier an attorney is retained the better, so they can be involved as the investigation unfolds, interview witnesses and gather statements (while memories are fresh and before they die or disappear), and otherwise, support their grieving clients. This is how an attorney determines who is responsible for the death and should be sued for damages.

While all deaths are tragic, the death of an innocent young child is extra difficult. Recently, a five-year-old girl was tragically killed in Brooklyn when a “3-foot-tall, 6-foot-long ornamental granite fence toppled on her” in front of the building where her uncle lived, according to authorities. She reportedly died at the hospital from head trauma. 

An investigation reportedly revealed that the building owner, who also lives there, hired and paid for a contracting company to do a $35,000 renovation of the outside of the building. The contractor allegedly “paved the front with concrete and put up the granite fence”, completing the job in January. Reportedly, the Buildings Department “issued a work permit for the front of the home” …but “does not have records for the installation of the stone fence”. After the incident, the homeowner was reportedly issued a violation for “failure to maintain the property” after the representatives from the Building Department inspected the home. 

When is a personal injury lawsuit appropriate?

A personal injury lawsuit is appropriate in cases where the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity cause the serious injury of someone else. If the victim dies as a result of their injuries, then a wrongful death lawsuit by their estate and/or their closest surviving relatives may be appropriate.

Premises liability law holds the owners and managers of residential and commercial real estate liable for maintaining a safe environment on their property for those who venture upon it. If the property is not safe and/or warnings of hazardous conditions are not evident, the owners may be responsible for injuries or death that result from the unsafe condition. Often, more than one person or entity might be responsible. 

In the above case, investigations into what role, if any, the building owners, the contracting company, the company that supplied or manufactured the contracting material, and the city building department played in the incident must be examined. 

It’s imperative to note that if a government agency is a potential defendant in a personal injury or wrongful death action, there is a particularly small window of time in which to file a notice of claim on the entity of the intention to start a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible is imperative to avoid unintentionally waiving your right to sue.

Contact Our New York Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of the negligence of someone else, the Goldstein Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. While it will not undo an accident or bring back your loved one, a lawsuit may decrease the financial burden of your loss and allow you to focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

From our office in the Bronx, New York, we represent injured victims and their families throughout New York City and New York State, as well as those injured while visiting New York.


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