NJ Wrongful Death Attorneys

NJ Wrongful Death Attorneys Holding Those Responsible For over 50 years

Funeral of a wrongful death victimWrongful death refers to circumstances in which someone else’s actions, or failure to act (neglect), results in the death of another. Unlike murder or manslaughter, wrongful death cases are pursued in civil court, not criminal court.

The law allows the victim’s family or estate to pursue and collect damages on their behalf in such cases. Loss of wages and benefits, loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages may be considered when damages (financial compensation) are assessed.

Wrongful death lawyers in NJ serve to provide fair and reasonable compensation to family members who’ve suffered emotional and/or financial consequences due to a loved one’s wrongful death. These cases can also discourage other parties from behaving in a manner similar to the defendant in the future. If you or someone you love has experienced a death that may have been due to negligence or other avoidable circumstances, you should contact a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer.

Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim

Each state has its own set of criteria for determining who may file a lawsuit and recover damages in wrongful death cases. That’s why, if you believe you have a valid wrongful death case, it’s important to consult with a wrongful death attorney in NJ. They’ll help you determine whether you have a valid case.

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    Wrongful Death Liability

    In order to establish wrongful death liability, the plaintiff’s attorney must be able to prove the defendant’s conduct resulted in the victim’s death. This involves proving the victim would still be alive were it not for the defendant’s actions or neglect. The time between the victim’s death and the defendant’s actions/neglect is not a factor if the attorney can prove the defendant caused the death.

    There are instances in which a defendant may be shown to be only partially responsible for the death of the victim. In these cases, they may be found comparatively or contributorily negligent. To determine the liability involved in your case, discuss it with a wrongful death lawyer in NJ.

    Each state has its own laws for assessing liability. States may base these on comparative negligence, contributory negligence, or a combination of both. Due to this varying nature, it helps to discuss your case with a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer.

    Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey

    Under New Jersey law, wrongful death and survivorship claims belong to the estate of the deceased accident victim. Because of this, only the estate administrator, executor or personal representative of the deceased has the right to file that claim. They can collect damages that will then be distributed to the survivors or as part of the victim’s estate. If they died without leaving a will or specifying who can act as their administrator or executor, a probate court will designate a party to fulfill that role.

    New Jersey treats the distribution of damages differently depending on whether they are awarded for a wrongful death or survivorship claim.

    Wrongful death damages belong to an accident victim’s heirs, which may include:

    • The victim’s spouse
    • Their surviving children, parents, or grandparents
    • Siblings, nieces and nephews, and other blood relatives
    • In some cases, common law family members and individuals who resided with the deceased victim.

    Damages awarded for a survivorship claim will be paid into the accident victim’s estate and distributed according to their will. If they don’t have a will, survivorship damages would be paid out of the estate according to New Jersey’s laws and rules for intestate distributions. In some cases of a survivorship claim, a court hearing may be required.  In most personal injury cases, the damages will be for a wrongful death and not a survivorship claim.

    Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in New Jersey

    When another party’s negligence caused the accident victim’s death, the wrongful death claim must be filed within two years. You can avoid missing the critical deadline for filing wrongful death when you retain an attorney soon after the date of the victim’s death.

    Bringing a wrongful death or survivorship claim can be overwhelming tasks for family members--especially if they are struggling to cope with the unexpected death of their loved one. A lawyer can simplify the process and provide the guidance that a family needs.

    Assessing Damages for Wrongful Death Claims

    In wrongful death cases, the goal when assessing damages is to provide the proper, appropriate degree of compensation to the victim’s family members. It’s important to understand that courts may evaluate many different factors when assessing damages. Thus, it’s necessary to consider each claim individually and consult with a wrongful death attorney in NJ. Some factors, like the expenses associated with medical and death costs, are relatively easy to determine.

    There are also less obvious factors that are not always as easy to assess. For example, future earnings, loss of benefits, and loss of companionship can be difficult to assess, because doing so involves anticipating the victim’s potential lifespan and determining the way their death impacted the surviving family members.

    These factors are still important, but it can be a challenge to assign a dollar value to them. This is especially true when evaluating the impact of loss of companionship. This is a subjective factor that can’t be measured empirically. Instead, assigning a dollar value to this factor requires measuring emotional pain. Therefore, you need a  New Jersey wrongful death lawyer that has the experience needed to assess what you may be entitled to.

    One additional damage point to assess is punitive damages. Instead of compensating for a specific loss, punitive damages serve as a punishment for the defendant. They may be awarded if it can be shown that a defendant’s actions were intentionally or grossly negligent. Punitive damages can also benefit the general public by discouraging similar defendants from committing similar acts.

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    Consulting a Wrongful Death Attorney in NJ

    If you or someone you love has suffered due to wrongful death in New Jersey, you need the help of a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer to determine if your case is valid. Start by contacting a wrongful death attorney in NJ at The  Rothenberg Law Firm LLP at 1-800-624-8888 or submitting an online InjuryLawyer.com free case evaluation. Your initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in NJ is FREE of charge. We work on a contingency basis, meaning if we take on your case, we won’t charge any legal fees unless and until we’re successful in getting you the money you deserve.

    Keep in mind, you may need to file your case before an expiration date established by the Statute of Limitations. Therefore, it is important to get in touch with a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer immediately; otherwise, you may forego your rights to compensation.

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