If one of your family members died because of the carelessness or recklessness of another individual or company, you deserve financial compensation from the negligent party. A wrongful death lawsuit can provide the money you need to cover funeral expenses, medical bills, lost earnings, and more.
At Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio L.L.C., we are committed to fighting for justice in wrongful death cases and holding the negligent party accountable. Here are some frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits in New Jersey.
Wrongful Death FAQ - Table of Contents
- What is Considered Wrongful Death in NJ?
- Who Files a Wrongful Death Claim?
- What Must I Prove in Order to Succeed in a Wrongful Death Action?
- Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Case?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
- What Types of Damages are Recoverable in Wrongful Death Actions?
- Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?
- How High Are Wrongful Death Attorney Fees?
- How Long do Wrongful Death Cases Take?
What is Considered Wrongful Death in NJ?
Wrongful death, as defined by the State of New Jersey, is a death that occurred due to wrongful actions, negligence, or fault 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. While a wrongful 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.
Who Files a Wrongful Death Claim?
Typically, the immediate family of the deceased person is usually the one to file a wrongful death claim against the party that caused the accident. If a family member has died from negligence or wrongful action, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the person who caused the death.
What Must I Prove in Order to Succeed in a Wrongful Death Action?
To be successful in a wrongful death case, your attorney is going to have to prove that the actions of another person caused your loved one’s death. 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 this breach of duty was the cause of the decedent’s demise
- That the surviving dependents of the decedent suffered damages as a result of the untimely death
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Case?
Usually, those who receive a portion of the damages are the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings. This could also be anyone who can prove he or she was actually financially dependent on the deceased person. Typically, the surviving spouse or children come first. If there are surviving parents and no children or spouse, then the parents will share the money equally.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
With the “statute of limitations” in New Jersey, you would have two years from the date of the deceased person’s death to file a wrongful death claim. If it is not filed within that time period, it most likely will be barred from court entirely. If you are getting close to the two-year deadline, it would be best to speak with our experienced attorneys at Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio to ensure you are in compliance with the time limit.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable in Wrongful Death Actions?
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 wrongful 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.
Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?
It is crucial to hire an attorney who has handled cases that are similar and are able to get justice for you and your loved ones. Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio are a team of compassionate, caring, and tough attorneys who understand your need for justice. Contact us today for a free consultation, there are no upfront legal fees and we don’t get paid unless you win your case.
How High Are Wrongful Death Attorney Fees?
Our wrongful death lawsuits are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that our fee is contingent upon winning the case, and we do not get paid unless you win. The exact amount usually depends on the type of case and many other factors. We will be happy to discuss this during our initial free consultation.
How Long do Wrongful Death Cases Take?
These types of cases are very unique and it is hard to say exactly how long they could take. Wrongful death cases can take anywhere from a few months, to several years. There are many factors that can influence the amount of time they might take, and we would want to ensure that we have thoroughly investigated your case. Even if your case does not go to trial, settling your case can take time.
Depending on the specifics of the case, attorneys might have to look into driving records, cell phone records, surveillance videos, etc in order to gather all information to prove that the defendant was liable for your family member’s death.