It is devastating to lose a family member due to someone else’s misconduct, as such a tragedy impacts countless aspects of your life. You experience unbearable grief and sadness, but may not realize the financial burdens created by your loved one’s absence.
Fortunately, New Jersey law does allow certain individuals to seek compensation for these losses. Even if monetary damages cannot bring back the deceased, an award can ease the financial stress during these difficult times.
At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our New Jersey wrongful death lawyers are committed to providing the legal support you need to recover compensation for your losses. Please contact our office to set up a free case evaluation regarding your situation, and read on for some important information about wrongful death cases in New Jersey.
Overview of New Jersey Wrongful Death Claims
Under New Jersey’s wrongful death statute, certain relatives may have legal standing to file a claim when a loved one dies due to the careless, reckless, or intentional acts of another person. The intent is to compensate the survivors for the financial support they would have received had the deadly incident never occurred. Individuals with standing to file a claim are spouses, children, and parents, and further distant relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased.
There’s a wide range of accidents and intentional conduct that may give rise to a wrongful death suit. At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our team represents clients who lost a loved one as a result of:
- Car, bus, truck, Jitney, and other motor vehicle collisions;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
- Taxi and rideshare service crashes;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Train and subway collisions;
- Slip and fall accidents and other incidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on property;
- Medical malpractice, medical errors, and misdiagnosis;
- Dangerous drugs;
- Products with design or manufacturing defects;
- Nursing home abuse and neglect;
- Workplace injuries; and,
- Many more.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Regardless of the specific type of fatal accident, these incidents usually happen because another person was careless or reckless. In the practice of law, this concept is called negligence. Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury actions in that you have to prove certain facts to recover compensation. Our New Jersey wrongful death lawyers will assist with establishing the four essential elements of negligence in a wrongful death case, which are:
- You have to prove that the responsible party had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care;
- The responsible person or entity breached this duty through an act or failure to act;
- The breach of duty directly caused the accident in which your loved one perished; and,
- You suffered losses due to the passing of your family member.
Examples of negligence may include:
- A motorist causes an accident by speeding, texting, or drunk driving;
- A property owner failing to clean up a spill, which leads to a slip and fall incident; or,
- A truck driver causes a collision by improperly securing cargo.
In many negligence cases, family members will seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. If we cannot negotiate a fair amount to compensate you for the loss of your loved one, our attorneys will take the matter to court to protect your interests.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claimants
The basis of compensation in a wrongful death claim focuses on the losses the survivors suffer, as opposed to the person that died. If successful in proving the essential elements of a cause of action, eligible family members can recover:
- The costs for medical treatment of the decedent’s last illness;
- Burial and funeral costs;
- Loss of income that the decedent would have contributed to the household;
- The value of the care, guidance, emotional support, advice, and companionship the deceased would have provided;
- Loss of consortium for a surviving spouse; and,
- Other damages depending on the details of your claim.
Because the focus is on the survivors, damages due to pain, suffering, and related non-economic losses are not available in a wrongful death action. However, it may be possible to recover compensation for the decedent’s losses through a survival action. In such a case, the person’s estate may be entitled to seek damages for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Emotional distress.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
We successfully argued that the failure to order additional diagnostic testing was in fact a deviation from accepted standards of care and the delay in diagnosis resulted in the patient’s cancer spreading, which increased the risk of death.
This tragic personal injury case occurred with the failure to warn our client of an oncoming slow moving freight train, which resulted in his being hit by the train and dying several hours later.
Discuss Your Claim with Our New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
For more information on wrongful death claims and your rights as a family member, please contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble to discuss your circumstances. You can reach any of our five offices in New Jersey by calling 1-800-586-5817 or by contacting us online . We can schedule a free consultation to review your claim and determine a strategy for pursuing your legal remedies.