Lawyers For Wrongful Death In New Jersey. Losing your child or your spouse can be devastating and particularly so if their death was caused by the careless or dangerous actions of someone else. In these instances, as a surviving family member or dependent, you may be entitled to recover damages associated with the loss of your loved one. While a monetary award will not bring your loved one back, it can go a long way towards relieving any financial stress you may be feeling in the aftermath of their death. If you and your family lost a family member because of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, it is imperative that you call Parker Waichman LLP right away at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.
WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS IN NEW JERSEY
In New Jersey, the phrase “wrongful death” is defined as a death that is caused by the neglect or wrongful act of another individual or entity. The facts and circumstances surrounding a wrongful death must be such that had your loved one lived; they would likely have been able to file a personal injury claim for any injuries or other damages sustained in the incident.
Some typical situations in which a wrongful death action might arise can include:
- Medical Malpractice
- Construction Accidents
- Other Workplace Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Airplane Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Products Liability
- Medication or Prescription Errors
- Defective or Dangerous Drugs or Medical Devices
- Toxic Exposure
- Dog Bites
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Police Misconduct
- Criminal Actions
The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to bring a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a fatally injured person who can no longer bring the claim on their own behalf. In these instances, another individual, usually a family member, must file the wrongful death claim on the deceased person’s behalf.
Who is Able to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, wrongful death actions are usually brought by the surviving family members of the individual who were fatally injured due to another’s negligent or reckless actions. Typically, the wrongful death lawsuit will be filed by the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate. Any damages that are obtained in the lawsuit will usually be distributed amongst the surviving family members who depended on the deceased individual at the time of their death, or those family members who are entitled to an inheritance from the deceased individual according to the inheritance laws in New Jersey.
Those that might be able to file a wrongful death action or who may be entitled to receive damages include surviving parents, spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews, nieces, or anyone who can establish that they were dependent on the deceased individual at the time of their death. Usually, among surviving family members, spouses and children are considered first when it comes to distribution of damages. However, parents of the deceased may be entitled to damages if there is no spouse or children. If there aren’t any surviving parents, then siblings, nephews, or nieces of the deceased individual might be able to receive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey
In a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey, in addition to conscious pain and suffering of the decedent, damages that are recoverable are intended to compensate surviving family members who sustain losses because of their loved one’s death. One of the most prevalent types of damages in a wrongful death case is the loss of financial support. The compensation usually determines the amount of the loss that the deceased individual may have reasonably been expected to earn if they had not died. Damages in a wrongful death case can also include loss of care, comfort, companionship, and guidance; the loss of value of household services such as chores, cleaning, and childcare; any expenses associated with medical treatment for the deceased individual’s last injury or illness; loss of inheritance; and funeral and burial expenses. If you lost a loved one because of the negligent or reckless actions of another, you may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Be sure to consult with an experienced New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer as soon as possible. At Parker Waichman LLP, our knowledgeable and dedicated lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve so call us today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in New Jersey
Q: What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of lawsuit or case that arises when an individual dies because of the negligent, careless, or intentional actions of another individual or entity. A wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey typically has two parts: a wrongful death action and a survival action. The latter action, the survival action, is the part of the lawsuit that seeks damages that are associated with the decedent’s injuries and illness that were incurred before they passed away. These damages might include medical expenses, lost wages from the period of time between the injury and death, and pain and suffering. It is also possible to recover punitive damages. Any damages that are recovered in this part of the lawsuit will usually be distributed to those who are entitled to receive an inheritance from the decedent in accordance with New Jersey laws.
The wrongful death action is the portion of the lawsuit that can provide damages to the heirs that are associated with the decedent’s death. These damages generally include the economic value of the loss of the decedent’s earnings and prospective earning capacity; the loss of care, support, advice, and guidance; the loss of companionship; the loss of inheritance; the lost value of household services and chores; medical expenses; and funeral and burial expenses. It is important to see that under New Jersey law, mental anguish and grief and not recoverable.
Q: What should I do if I believe my loved one died due to the negligent or careless actions of another individual or corporation?
A: If you think your loved one or relative died because of another’s negligent, careless, or intentional action, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney who has experience handling wrongful death cases in New Jersey can help you navigate the process, which can oftentimes be complicated, and they can assist you with recovering damages to the fullest extent possible.
Q: In New Jersey, when can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
A: You might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim in New Jersey if you think the death of your loved one or relative was caused by a negligent or wrongful act of another individual or entity. A wrongful death claim can usually be brought if the decedent could have filed a personal injury claim if they had not passed away. Like a personal injury claim, in order to recover damages, you must be able to establish that someone else’s negligent actions led to your loved one’s death. To prove negligence, you need to be able to show:
- Did the other party owe the decedent a duty of care? In most instances, individuals have a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances so as to avoid causing foreseeable harm to others.
- Did the other party breach this duty of care? Or did the other party fail to adhere to the duty of care owed to the decedent?
- Did the other party’s careless or reckless action serve as the proximate cause of the decedent’s death? Or, but for the other party’s actions, would the decedent not have died?
- Did the heirs or others entitled to recover damages under New Jersey law suffer any actual financial losses?
Q: Are all state laws regarding wrongful death the same?
A: No. Every state makes their own laws, including wrongful death laws, so when it comes to laws governing wrongful death lawsuits, they can really differ from state to state. Some of the major differences can include the length of time you might have to file a wrongful death lawsuit and the type and amount of damages that you may be entitled to recover.
Q: How long do I have to file a wrongful death action if I have lost a loved one as a consequence of someone else’s negligent or careless actions?
A: Every state has what is called a statute of limitations, or a time period within which you must file a particular kind of lawsuit. Typically, a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. However, the time period for filing can also vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Because of this and due to the fact that you can lose your right to recover damages if you fail to file your lawsuit in a timely manner, it is important to consult with a lawyer right away. Call the experienced New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.
Q: In New Jersey, who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: As mentioned above, a wrongful death lawsuit generally consists of two parts. When it comes to the survival action, the claim is usually brought by the executor of the estate or the general administrator if the decedent did not have a will. The individuals who can bring the wrongful death portion of the claim are sometimes different than those who might be entitled to recover damages. Again, the executor of the estate is typically authorized to file the claim if there is a will, but if there is no will, an administrator ad prosequendum may be named to bring the claim. The executor, general administrator, or the administrator ad prosequendum are required to act on behalf of and to protect the interests of any heirs or those entitled to recover damages.
Q: Who is typically entitled to recover damages in a New Jersey wrongful death lawsuit?
A: The individuals who might be entitled to recover damages in the survival claim are usually those who are named in the decedent’s last will, and they will be distributed according to the will. If there is no will, then any damages will be distributed by New Jersey laws. In a wrongful death action, the individuals who can recover damages might include parents, spouses, children, grandparents, nieces, and nephews. However, who is actually entitled to recover will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, including who is actually surviving at the time of the decedent’s death and who was dependent on the decedent. For instance, usually, a surviving spouse and children will recover first. However, if there is no surviving spouse or children, then the decedent’s parents will usually recover. If there aren’t any surviving parents, then the sisters, brothers, nephews, or nieces may be entitled to recover damages.
Q: If my loved one has a Will, can it affect the distribution of any damages that are recovered in the survivorship or wrongful death lawsuit?
A: In New Jersey, a will only control how the recovery from the survival action is distributed. In the wrongful death action, any damages that are recovered are distributed directly to the heirs or beneficiaries. The decedent’s estate does not have any stake in the wrongful death portion of the lawsuit.
Q: What happens if my loved one or relative died and they did not have a will?
A: If your loved one or relative dies without a will, someone, which could be you or another family member, is typically appointed to act as the general administrator and the administrator ad prosequendum to deal with the matters involving the estate and/or to file a lawsuit on behalf the decedent’s heirs.
Q: Are damages for emotional distress recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey?
A: In New Jersey, damages for the loss of emotional support are not recoverable. Under New Jersey law, individuals cannot recover damages for emotional distress that might be caused by the decedent’s death. However, if there is emotional distress, a separate tort action for negligent infliction of emotional distress may be filed.
Q: How is a wrongful death lawsuit different than a criminal case?
A: A wrongful death lawsuit is considered a civil claim where typically, the surviving family members will file the lawsuit for damages on behalf their loved one who passed away. However, if a person has been killed as a result of another’s negligent or reckless actions, the wrongful death can also be treated as a criminal homicide. These types of cases are investigated by law enforcement, and the alleged offender may be prosecuted. If the offender is convicted, they can face lengthy jail sentences and steep fines. It is important to note that just because a wrongful death case is treated as a criminal homicide does not necessarily preclude the survivors from filing a civil lawsuit.
Q: Do I need to hire an attorney to take on my loved one’s wrongful death case?
A: Because wrongful death cases can be particularly complex, it is always a good idea to consider consulting with an experienced New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer. Hiring a lawyer who has experience handling with these types of cases is also something you will want to keep in mind as New Jersey has very specific laws that govern wrongful death lawsuits. A knowledgeable lawyer who has experience dealing with wrongful death cases will know the ins and outs of the process and can also increase your chances of a successful outcome in your case.
Q: What if my loved one or family member died in a workplace accident? Will workers’ compensation cover damages or will I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: Although workers’ compensation in New Jersey might cover some of the damages that surviving family members incurred in the aftermath of wrongful death, it typically does not take care of everything. Usually, if a worker dies as a result of a job-related accident or incident, their surviving dependents might be eligible to receive certain death benefits, including:
- Funeral expenses of up to $3,500.
- Seventy percent of the decedent’s weekly wages up to a maximum benefit amount that is established by the Commissioner of Labor on an annual basis.
- In some instances, additional benefits may be available for children who are mentally or physically disabled.
In New Jersey, dependents who might be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits can include a surviving spouse and natural children who were a part of the decedent’s household when they passed away. Children are considered dependents up until the age of twenty-three if they are full-time students and up to the age of eighteen if they are not attending school. Any spouse and child who was not a member of the household, or if any other family members such as siblings, cousins, parents, and grandparents must be able to establish that they were actually dependents of the decedent before they are deemed eligible to receive workers’ compensation death benefits.
Because workers’ compensation is not comprehensive when it comes to losses that families incur in the event their loved one dies, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may also be an option if you believe that your loved one died in a workplace accident as a result of the negligence of another individual or entity.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience assisting New Jersey families who, unfortunately, have had to deal with the wrongful death of a loved one. Our lawyers understand the complexities of wrongful death lawsuits but are also compassionate when it comes to working with the families of wrongful death victims.
Awards and Accolades
Over the years, Parker Waichman LLP has earned a reputation for success having recovered for our clients an amount totaling one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements. Moreover, our firm has received a variety of honors and accolades due to our hard work and successful results. Some of these honors and accolades include:
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review
- An AVVO rating of 9.8 out of a perfect 10
- A listing in Extensive Peer Review’s Best Lawyers Publication
- Recognition as “Preeminent Lawyers” by the AV Peer Review Rating
When you decide that Parker Waichman LLP is the right firm to handle your wrongful death case, you can rest assured that a skilled and dedicated lawyer will be a zealous advocate and will fight hard for you so that you recover the full compensation you deserve.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated, so if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent, reckless or careless actions of someone else, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer who can help you recover any damages that you might be entitled to. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) and learn what we can do for you.
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR SKILLFUL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE NEW JERSEY WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS TODAY
At Parker Waichman LLP, our attorneys possess many years of experience helping families who have lost a loved one as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of another. A wrongful death lawsuit can arise from a number of different situations, but no matter how your loved one or family member dies, it is never easy.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers are compassionate and understanding and will help you through the complex legal process during your time of grief. Our lawyers will also fight hard to ensure that you recover damages to the fullest extent possible.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or corporation, you could have the right to compensation. Be sure to contact one of the skilled and dedicated New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form online to schedule your free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.
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