Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in New Jersey

The success of a Wrongful Death claim is determined by the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer‘s understanding of New Jersey law. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right lawyer for your case. Remember that wrongful death actions provide monetary compensation for a family member’s death but not for emotional distress or pain and suffering. Non-monetary damages may be addressed by New Jersey’s Survival Act, which helps the deceased’s heirs while also providing recourse to the decedent’s executor or administrator.

The statute for wrongful death:

Although the Wrongful Death Law is vague about recoverable damages, courts have been imaginative in defining them.  Wrongful Death claims seek monetary damages for loss of home services, companionship, advice, direction, counsel, and earning capacity. In such circumstances, skilled attorneys are critical to maximizing compensation.

Pecuniary losses:

Only the decedent’s next of kin-heirs can recover pecuniary losses under the Wrongful Death Act, and it does not form part of the estate. The proportion of distribution among dependent heirs is determined by the court. Being a legal successor is insufficient; dependency at the moment of death is critical for recovery.

Dependency must be substantial, not just legal, in order to claim monetary damages under the Wrongful Death Act. Gifts from the decedent to a child are insufficient to establish dependence. The proportion of recovery is determined by the level of reliance.

How long do you have to file a lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey must be filed within two years of the date of death. There is no statute of limitations if the death was caused by murder, aggravated murder, or manslaughter. The wrongful death suit must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is no will to sue, the court will appoint an administrator to do so.

The damages that are covered:

Compensation for financial support, loss of companionship, domestic services, and medical expenditures related to the deceased’s terminal illness may be awarded in a successful New Jersey wrongful death action. Damages are granted to the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and, in some situations, brothers, nieces, and nephews, based on their level of dependent on the deceased. The action must be filed by the personal representative, although damages are paid to the qualifying survivors.

Final thoughts:

Consult a personal injury attorney in New Jersey to grasp the nuances of your case and how the law applies to your situation before filing a wrongful death claim.

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