When driving on a highway, one of the last things a driver expects to happen is for a piece of asphalt to come through his or her windshield. That someone would drop the asphalt through someone's windshield intentionally would be enough to surprise even New York City wrongful death lawyers.
However, this is what happened near New York City back in 2004, and it caused a fatal car crash. A 48-year-old woman was driving on the Sprain Brook Parkway when, suddenly, a piece of asphalt came crashing through her windshield and hit her head. This caused the car to crash, and, sadly, she was killed. Her 87-year-old mother, the passenger, survived the fatal accident. The perpetrator of this heinous crime was not caught. However, in 2009, some new information was made known and finally, law enforcement officials have arrested a 26-year-old man, and prosecutors have charged him for the murder.
Generally, in any type of accident, including a fatal accident, there is a statute of limitations, which is a limit to the time that charges or a claim can be brought against the person who caused the accident. In New York, the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury claim is three years. There is an exception to this rule, however, and it is called "the discovery of harm rule." What this rule says is that the statute of limitations will not begin to start counting until the injury is discovered.
In a wrongful death case, the discovery rule also applies and states that the statute of discovery will not begin to run until the family member or estate representative bringing the suit discovers or should have discovered the "causal connection" between the death and the cause. That means that if the cause was not known for a certain period of time, the suit can be brought once the cause is discovered.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always a difficult process. Having to deal with it years after it occurred is never easy, but sometimes seeking legal assistance can bring much needed closure.
Source: myfoxny.com, "NY man accused of causing fatal 2004 highway crash," Jan. 23, 2013