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Author - Jim DeZao

What is Wrongful Death and What Do I Need to Prove?

What is Wrongful Death and What Do I Need to Prove?

Wrongful death statutes were created so that widows and orphans could ask for financial support from the offending party. This is because in the past, only the victim could file a complaint. In cases where that person dies, the claim dies with the plaintiff. What is Wrongful Death? When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the surviving family or heirs may sue for “wrongful death” and ask for compensation for pain and suffering, lost financial support, funeral expenses, and other damages. Although wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, all lawsuits are civil in nature. Because they are not criminal cases, the required burden of proof is lower. A criminal case must establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt but a civil case only requires a preponderance of the evidence. Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death? Every state has a set of wrongful death statutes which establishes the procedures for wrongful death claims. In general, those who can sue for wrongful death include: A surviving spouse Immediate family members Children Parents A personal representative of the estate of the deceased Wrongful Death Lawsuits after a Criminal Trial Most wrongful death lawsuits are filed after a criminal trial. Although similar evidence is presented, there is a lower standard of proof in wrongful death suits. Someone found liable for wrongful death may or may not be convicted criminally. Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit A wrongful death cause of action must have the following elements present: The death of a human being Another person’s negligence or intent to cause harm is the proximate cause of the death...
An Authentic Look at What New Immigration Laws Mean for You

An Authentic Look at What New Immigration Laws Mean for You

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 25 that could affect millions of immigrants in the country. The enforcement of the new EO can have a severe impact particularly on three groups of people, namely, immigrants with criminal convictions, immigrants who arrived illegally as children, and undocumented parents of American citizens. Immigrants with Criminal Convictions Since the mid-1990s, the US government has prioritized deporting immigrants with criminal convictions. The new immigration law, however, does not require conviction of a serious crime. The category of “criminal aliens” has been expanded to include anyone who has been charged with a crime, individuals who have been arrested, or those with unproven gang affiliation. Trump has promised to deport 2 to 3 million criminal aliens even though the Migration Policy Institute only reports 820,000 illegal immigrants have criminal convictions. Immigrants Who Arrived Illegally as Children Last September 5, the Trump administration announced that it is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Signed by President Obama in June 2012, the program protects undocumented children and young people from deportation if they meet several guidelines. DACA eligibility stipulates five factors to guarantee protection: They came to the United States before turning 16 They came to the United States before June 15, 2007 They should be under 31 years of age now They should have completed high school or its equivalent They do not have a criminal record DACA recipients are allowed to study, work, and live in the United States provided they renew their DACA eligibility every two years. They can even purchase a home and join the military without...
Keep Safe in Holiday Traffic with These 7 Tips

Keep Safe in Holiday Traffic with These 7 Tips

Every single year, the number of deaths in the US spikes around Thanksgiving. The death rate remains fairly high throughout the winter. While some of these deaths can be attributed to coronary issues, many are due to traffic accidents. As a car accident attorney, I want you to stay safe over the holidays. Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly Applying the gas slowly is one of the best ways to gain traction and avoid skids. It takes more time to stop when the roads are icy, so you should take your time to slow down for a stop sign or a red light. Do not hurry, or you will hurry on the way to the hospital. Avoid Hills if You Can Going up or down a hill presents a massive challenge when the roads are snowy. When you press the accelerator while going up a hill, you may just be spinning your wheels. If you can, try to build up some momentum before getting onto the hill. On the descent, remember that it takes longer to come to a complete stop. Apply the brakes before you think you need to. Give Other Drives Space Chances are, not every driver is as careful as you are. Turning, stopping, and speeding up are all far more difficult when conditions are poor. Other drivers do not always understand that, and may do something unexpected to compensate for a bad decision they made. Carry Emergency Supplies There are a few items that every car should have: Tow and tire chains Antifreeze Small folding shovel Basic tool kit Warning flares Road salt All of these can...
Bike Accident FAQs: What to Do and Who to Call

Bike Accident FAQs: What to Do and Who to Call

In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes. Many more are injured year in and year out, especially in New Jersey. As a New Jersey bicycle injury lawyer, I want you to know what you should do if you have been hit by a car while on your bike. Before we begin, it is impossible to overstate how important it is to wear a helmet if you are riding a bike. If you are riding a bike and are under the age of 17, the law states that you must wear a helmet. While those over the age of majority do not have to wear head protection, having a helmet could save your life. Most deaths and serious injuries are due to damage to the head or spine. As much as 98% of bicycle deaths happen when the rider does not wear a helmet. What to Do after a Bike Wreck If someone has hit you while you are on your bike, it is important to keep calm. The adrenaline will be flowing, and you may have suffered an injury. You may feel stress and anxiety, but we want you to know what to do in the event of a wreck. Immediately after the collision, you should establish if you are injured or not. Depending on how the accident occurred, you may be facing some serious injuries. While it is unlikely that the driver of the car is injured, you should check if they have been hurt as well. Should paramedics be needed, call an ambulance. Something that you will want to keep in mind is that certain injuries...
I was the Passenger in a Car Wreck. Can I Make a Claim?

I was the Passenger in a Car Wreck. Can I Make a Claim?

There were almost 13,000 car accidents in Morris County alone last year. Many of us ride with passengers. They can be our friends, family members, or anyone. The aftermath of a car accident is scary and confusing for everyone involved, especially people who have no control over the situation. That is where we can help. At DeZao Law, we want you to know your rights, duties, and responsibilities. As part of our service as New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers, we want to enlighten you on this area of law. Passenger Injury Claims In a vast majority of car accidents, someone is considered to be at fault. When someone hits another car, a pedestrian, or an inanimate object with their vehicle, the court may hold them legally responsible. The judge weighs their actions or inactions to determine who was negligent. Sometimes, no one is negligent. No one can reasonably expect a wild animal to jump out in front of their vehicle, and it is possible that the driver might not be found to be negligent. When a drunk driver hits someone because they were not in control, it is likely that they will be found negligent. If the accident involved multiple vehicles, an investigation will be conducted to determine who is at fault. Incidents, where neither party is deemed to be at fault, are extremely rare. If you were a passenger in a car accident, you will almost never be deemed to be at fault. This makes the entire process easier for you. The only exceptions might involve a passenger grabbing the steering wheel or otherwise causing the accident. You...
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