Wrongful Death Claims in New Jersey
No loss can compare to the death of a loved one. Whatever the circumstances may be, our whole lives can turn upside down when someone we hold dear unexpectedly passes away. The emotional impact can be devastating, and often, family finances are thrown into disarray as well.
Wrongful death is a legal doctrine that allows certain family members to seek compensation when a loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence. It is a civil lawsuit rather than a criminal charge, and it provides grieving family members an important avenue for recourse and support following a sudden loss.
At The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we understand how painful these cases are — and just how important they can be to those left behind. We put our years of experience to work for you and your family so that this painful time isn’t more difficult than it needs to be.
A Parsippany wrongful death lawyer at our firm can meet with you to explain how the law applies to your loved one’s estate, what is required to proceed, and what you stand to recover. We will devote our time and attention to the case so that you can focus on what matters most.
Wrongful Death Law in New Jersey
Ordinarily, only an injured party is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey. But in this case, because the person killed (also known as the decedent) is unable to file suit, the family members — or the estate representatives — are permitted to do so instead.
The goal of wrongful death law in New Jersey is to recompense family members who have suffered emotionally and monetarily as a result of their loss. After all, children, spouses, and even parents often rely on income, love, and other kinds of support from family. When that support becomes unavailable because of someone else’s negligence, those family members are entitled to compensation.
Of course, the death must be wrongful. In this context, “wrongful” essentially means “negligent.” The family must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) caused the death. An experienced Parsippany wrongful death lawyer can help make that case.
Note that the death need not have been intentional or even criminal in nature in order to qualify as a wrongful death in New Jersey.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in New Jersey?
The rules about who can and can’t sue for wrongful death vary from state to state. In New Jersey, wrongful death actions are most often filed by children, parents, and spouses.
In some instances, other family members or dependants may be eligible to sue as well. A Parsippany wrongful death lawyer can review the specific facts and circumstances to help you understand how any financial recovery would be allocated among your family.
New Jersey wrongful death law allows surviving family members to sue for certain economic losses related to the death. These include:
- The decedent’s loss of future earnings
- The decedent’s loss of future job benefits
- The family’s lost care, guidance, advice, or support
- The loss of companionship
- Lost inheritance
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of household support (maintenance, chores, etc.).
These are just a few examples. The amount of recovery available will depend on the facts of the case. Remember that purely emotional claims (such as “mental anguish”) are generally not entitled to compensation. Rather, there must usually be some economic dimension to the loss claimed, though there are exceptions. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded as punishment for the defendant if his or her conduct was especially egregious.
Additionally, if your loved one suffered injuries in between the time of the defendant’s negligence and the time of the death, New Jersey law allows the family or the estate to seek recovery for the cost of those injuries. This is known as a “survival action.”
Contact a Parsippany Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Families are often too shocked by the onset of unexpected death to fully realize its financial impact. But bills add up. The costs are very real. If the death was the result of negligence, you don’t deserve to shoulder those costs alone.
The truth is that a wrongful death lawsuit can’t bring your loved one back, and it isn’t enough alone to heal a hurting heart. But with an experienced attorney’s help, you can at least ease the financial burden your family will face.
If you or your family is suffering as the result of a wrongful death, call the experienced NJ personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. In most cases, a statute of limitations (“time limit”) applies, so you shouldn’t delay in getting started.
At our firm, the initial consultation is free of charge. And if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid for our services if we are able to achieve monetary recovery on your behalf. It is our job to maximize the amount of your recovery to the fullest extent available under New Jersey law.
To schedule a free consultation with a Parsippany wrongful death lawyer today, just call 1-855-432-2489 or use the quick connect form. We serve clients in Parsippany, Troy Hills, Morris County, Essex County, and throughout the entire state of New Jersey.
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