A wrongful death claim in New Jersey is a legal cause of action that can be brought when someone dies due to the negligence or reckless behavior of another person or entity. Losing a loved one is a traumatic and difficult time made even worse if the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You may be struggling to figure out how you and other survivors will support yourselves or make up for the financial losses and expenses brought on by your loved one’s passing.
Survival Action or Wrongful Death?
Technically there are two types of legal actions that can occur in a New Jersey wrongful death suit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, family members seek compensation for financial losses incurred because of the loved one’s death. For instance, the loss of the loved one’s income over time as well as funeral and burial costs could be part of a wrongful death claim.
A survival action seeks compensation on behalf of the victim for the time period between the accident and the time of death. If the victim had survived, he or she could have filed a personal injury claim to recover damages from medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. However because the victim died and cannot file an injury claim, the estate of the deceased may file a survival action claim.
Take the example of a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver. In this example, the victim could suffer serious injuries and be in grave condition at a hospital for a period of time before passing away. A survival claim seeks compensation for the medical expenses and lost wages associated with this time as well as the conscious pain and suffering endured by the victim.
Wrongful Death Compensation
A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate those financially dependent on the deceased for their financial loss. The types of compensation awarded can be both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include tangible losses like medical bills and funeral costs as well as ‘non-economic’ damages for intangible damages like the loss of parental guidance in the event of a parent’s death. While no amount of money can replace the loss of your spouse or loved one, the unexpected death of a loved one can come with a heavy financial burden. Damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey may include:
- Hospital and medical expenses related to accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income and loss of deceased person’s expected lifetime income
- Lost health and insurance benefits
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance
If your loved one did not work outside the home and/or was the primary caregiver, a wrongful death claim will seek compensation for the loss of valuable household services such as cleaning, childcare, and other chores.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in New Jersey
The deadline to file a wrongful death claim in New Jersey is two years from the date of the deceased’s passing. While this may sound like a long time, it’s important to get in touch with a New Jersey wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Witness recollections fade or physical evidence may disappear and the process for seeking compensation starts well before the lawsuit is actually filed.
If you file outside of the statute of limitations and miss the deadline, it will likely be immediately dismissed. Avoid losing your right to file a claim permanently and consult with an attorney as soon as you’re able.
We Can Help
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding, even when other attorneys say there is no case. Our compassionate client care and honest, straight-forward approach help to make us one of the top-rated law firms in New Jersey. We fight for your best outcome so you can focus on what really matters.
We’ve helped people just like you move forward after devastating events caused by another’s negligence. Our New Jersey wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis which means that you pay nothing upfront and we only get paid if you win. Contact us today for a free consultation.