Why File a Wrongful Death Suit in New Jersey?
A wrongful death lawsuit can provide the money you need to cover funeral expenses, medical bills, lost earnings and more. However, if one of your family members died because of the carelessness or recklessness of another individual or company, you deserve far more than just financial compensation — you deserve justice.
At Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio L.L.C., we are committed to fighting for this justice and holding the negligent party accountable. With decades of experience, our attorneys handle cases involving the negligence of another person or entity in:
- Construction Accidents
- Medical Malpractice Cases
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Premises Liability Cases
- Product Liability Cases
There are two potential claims that can be brought about if a death occurred as the result of the negligence of another in New Jersey. These are a wrongful death claim and a survivorship claim.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death in New Jersey?
Wrongful death, as defined by the State of New Jersey, is a death that occurred due to the wrongful actions, negligence or default of another. The right to pursue financial damages as a result of the death of a loved one is protected by the Wrong Death Statute. The proof required for a case like this includes:
- Proof of negligence
- A breach in the duty owed to the decedent by another occurred
- That the breach was the cause of the decedent’s demise
- That the surviving dependents of the decedent suffered damages as a result of the untimely death
While a wrong death claim is in many ways similar to other personal injury claims, one big difference is that the survivors cannot seek compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death Claims and Compensation
Generally, wrongful death claims are brought before the court by a personal representative of the decedent’s Estate on behalf of the survivors. Only actual financial losses are dealt with in a wrong death case. The damages sought can include the following:
- Medical and Funeral Expenses – This includes any reasonable medical, funerary or burial expenses involved with the decedent’s injury and death.
- Loss of Financial Support – This covers the amount of income that the decedent would have provided to the survivors had they been able to continue offering financial support.
- Loss of Services – The value of various services the decedent would have provided to the survivors, such as child care, cooking, cleaning, etc.
- Loss of Companionship – The value of the guidance, support and companionship the decedent would have given to the survivors.
The pain and suffering experienced by the decedent from the time of the accident until their death is handled by a separate statute called the Survivorship Statute. This statute allows the Estate of the decedent to file a claim on behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering and any money gained through such a claim is then distributed to the survivors based on the decedent’s will or based on the New Jersey Intestacy statutes if they had no will. Also remember that the statute governing wrongful death claims does not currently allow the survivors to claim damages for any emotional pain and suffering they underwent.
Understanding Guidance Through a Challenging Legal System
Bringing a lawsuit against the negligent party can seem overwhelming when you are already dealing with so many other issues and emotions. During this difficult time, the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer at our firm can make a world of difference for you and your family.
We provide professional and empathetic representation in wrongful death cases, clearly and competently guiding surviving family members through the complexities of the New Jersey legal system. Our goal is to provide comfort throughout the litigation process by protecting you and securing your interests. We will work hard to help you close this sad chapter and obtain the money you need to provide for your family in the future, just like your departed loved one would want.