A grieving couple stands beside the casket of their loved one. The casket is adorned with flowers.

We’re Here for You After the Loss of a Loved One

At Peter N. Davis & Associates, we’ve seen the profound impact a wrongful death can have on a family. You don't have to walk this difficult path alone. Our compassionate team of wrongful death lawyers in New Jersey is here to stand beside you, offering the support, guidance, and protection you need to seek the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. With us by your side, you're not just a client; you're part of a family that fights for your rights and honors the memory of your loved one.

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Losing a loved one is an indescribably painful experience, especially when their loss comes as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. A wrongful death claim seeks to provide some measure of justice for this irreplaceable loss, offering financial support and holding the responsible parties accountable. Each New Jersey wrongful death lawyer at Peter N. Davis & Associates has years of experience handling the complexities of New Jersey wrongful death laws with sensitivity, respect, and unwavering dedication.

Under the leadership of Attorney Peter N. Davis, our team combines years of legal experience with a personalized approach to each case. We know that no amount of compensation can truly replace your loved one, but it can help alleviate the financial burdens associated with their untimely departure. From medical bills to funeral expenses and the loss of income, we are here to ensure that your family receives the maximum compensation you are entitled to while you focus on healing and honoring the memory of your loved one.

We’re more than just your lawyers; we’re your advocates, your supporters, and your guide through one of life’s most challenging moments. Let us help you find a path forward, with the dignity and justice your loved one deserves.

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How Does New Jersey Law Define a “Wrongful Death”?

New Jersey’s legal framework provides a compassionate understanding of the profound loss families endure when a loved one passes away due to the actions, or inactions, of another. The state defines a wrongful death as a death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default, as stated in N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-1 (2021). This legal definition forms the foundation upon which families can seek justice and compensation for their unimaginable loss.

A wrongful death claim in New Jersey allows the surviving family members to hold responsible parties accountable for the actions that led to their loved one’s untimely passing. These claims are rooted in the premise that, had the deceased survived, they would have been entitled to file a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer. Now it falls upon the survivors to stand in their place, seeking both recompense and closure.

Being aware of the nuances of wrongful death lawsuits is crucial for families contemplating this legal avenue. Wrongful death claims can arise from a multitude of circumstances, including but not limited to:

or any situation where neglect, default, or wrongful actions can be established. 

The essence of these lawsuits is not only to compensate the bereaved for their financial losses, such as funeral expenses and lost income, but also to acknowledge the emotional and psychological impact of their loss.

At Peter N. Davis & Associates, we are deeply committed to guiding families through this legal process with empathy, respect, and unwavering support. Understanding the full scope of what constitutes a wrongful death in New Jersey is the first step toward achieving justice for your loved one and ensuring their legacy endures.

When Should You Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?

Seeking legal counsel can profoundly influence the trajectory of your wrongful death lawsuit. Here are specific scenarios when the guidance of a wrongful death attorney becomes indispensable:

  • Immediately After the Incident: As soon as the wrongful death occurs, especially if it’s due to clear negligence or a criminal act. Early legal intervention ensures evidence preservation and timely initiation of the legal process.
  • When Facing Complex Legal Issues: If the death resulted from intricate circumstances involving product liability or workplace accidents, navigating these legal issues necessitates experience and local knowledge.
  • If the Cause of Death is Unclear: An attorney can help investigate and determine liability when the cause of death isn’t immediately apparent, ensuring responsible parties are held accountable.
  • Before Engaging With Insurance Companies: Prior to any discussions with insurance adjusters, who often aim to minimize payouts. A lawyer can protect your interests, ensuring negotiations reflect the claim’s true value.
  • If Settlement Offers Are Insufficient: When an insurance company presents a settlement that doesn’t cover the full extent of your damages, an attorney can negotiate for a more appropriate compensation.
  • When the Statute of Limitations Is Nearing: Legal claims are bound by time limits. Hiring an attorney ensures your claim is filed within New Jersey’s statute of limitations, preserving your right to compensation.
  • If Multiple Parties Might Be Liable: In situations where multiple parties could be responsible for your loved one’s death, an attorney can help identify all liable parties to maximize your claim’s potential.

Securing the services of a wrongful death attorney under these circumstances can make a significant difference in your ability to secure the compensation you deserve.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us!

5 Star Reviews

I was at a red light and a driver came up behind and rear-ended my vehicle. Immediately after the accident, I called Peter Davis’ office and he started working on my case right away. His staff was very conscientious to the issue and I just felt very comfortable with dealing with his entire office. He really did a great job in helping me. First thing I would do is find yourself a good attorney like Peter Davis. Peter did a great job with the insurance company. He really fought hard for me.

5 Star Reviews

I was with my son about to get to the cash register and there was a puddle of water that I didn’t see and I slipped and fell. After I fell, I was in physical therapy for six months. I called Peter’s office and Peter started working for me right away. I don’t think the insurance company would have been fair with me if I didn’t have a good lawyer. I would recommend the Peter Davis law firm to anyone who was injured in an accident.

5 Star Reviews

I was driving on Route 46. A guy was on his cell phone and didn’t realize everyone had stopped or slowed in front of him, so full blast, he hit me in the back. After the accident, I called Peter’s office and he started working for me right away. Peter took the case to arbitration and forced the insurance company to give me a good settlement.

5 Star Reviews

I was in the car, I was the passenger, we were stopped about five cars back from the stop sign and all of the sudden we got hit from behind… And it was a girl that was talking on her cell phone. My car insurance said, ‘We’re not paying for anything else.’ My private health insurance said, ‘We’re not paying for anything else.’ Without a lawyer I would probably still be out there wondering why I was still hurting, why I was still having problems and what was I going to do? Peter has contacted the insurance companies. He has gone with me to doctor’s appointments. They have really gone above and beyond. We need people like Peter Davis to help us.

5 Star Reviews

I was driving in Hoboken and was preparing to stop at a stop sign and before I got to the stop sign, I was rear-ended. After the accident, I called Peter’s office and they started working for me right away. Large insurance companies are not looking out for the consumer. I needed Peter Davis to help me out. Mr. Davis fought hard for me and got me the money that I deserved.

5 Star Reviews

I was in a terrible car accident. Immediately after that, I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The insurance company treated me unfairly. They refused to pay for my surgery and Mr. Davis made them. If you get into an accident, it’s very important for you to pick someone to be your voice and defend your rights and I suggest Mr. Davis. When I came to Mr. Davis, I was treated with respect, like I was one of his family members, and I really loved him for that.


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New Jersey Wrongful Death Claims: Liability

Successfully recovering compensation in a wrongful death claim in New Jersey involves examining the intricacies of liability. Establishing who is at fault and proving their responsibility under New Jersey law is pivotal to securing justice for your loved one. Here’s how liability is determined and what it means for your case.

How Do You Prove Liability?

Proving liability in a New Jersey wrongful death case hinges on establishing four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: Demonstrating that the defendant had a duty to act reasonably and avoid causing harm. For instance, drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely.
  2. Breach of Duty: Showing that the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care through negligent actions or omissions. This could involve a driver texting while driving or a doctor failing to diagnose a treatable condition accurately.
  3. Causation: Linking the defendant’s breach of duty directly to the victim’s death. It must be clear that the wrongful act or negligence was the proximate cause of death.
  4. Damages: Proving that the death resulted in quantifiable damages. This includes medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and support, and emotional suffering of the family members.

Evidence such as eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, accident reports, and medical records play a crucial role in substantiating these elements.

Who Could Be Held Liable?

In New Jersey, a variety of parties can be held liable in wrongful death claims, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident:

  • Individuals: This includes drivers in vehicular accidents, property owners in premises liability cases, or any individual whose negligent actions led to a death.
  • Businesses and Organizations: Companies may be liable for wrongful death if their products cause death (product liability) or if their failure to ensure a safe environment leads to a fatal incident.
  • Government Entities: If the death was due to the negligence of a government agency or its employees, such as poor road maintenance or inadequate public safety measures, the entity could be liable.

Determining liability often requires a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the death, identifying all parties who may share responsibility.

What If the Deceased Was Partly Responsible?

New Jersey follows a modified comparative negligence rule, allowing families to recover damages even if their loved one was partly at fault for their own death, provided their level of responsibility is less than 50%. The total amount of compensation awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the deceased.

For example, if the deceased was found to be 20% at fault, the compensation awarded to the family would be reduced by 20%.

Understanding these aspects of liability in wrongful death claims can be daunting. At Peter N. Davis & Associates, our team possesses the experience and sensitivity needed. We are dedicated to meticulously building your case, from proving liability to holding all responsible parties accountable, ensuring your family receives the full measure of justice and compensation you are entitled to.

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Damages Available to Survivors After a Wrongful Death in New Jersey

In the wake of a wrongful death, survivors are faced with not only emotional loss but also financial uncertainty. New Jersey law acknowledges this dual burden and permits the recovery of various types of damages. These compensations are designed to alleviate the financial strain on the bereaved family and to recognize the value of the life lost. Here’s a detailed look at the types of damages survivors may seek in New Jersey wrongful death claims:

It’s important to note that in New Jersey, wrongful death damages are awarded to the estate of the deceased and distributed according to their will or the state’s intestacy laws, rather than directly to survivors. This distinction ensures that compensation is allocated among the deceased’s legal beneficiaries, reflecting the economic and non-economic contributions they would have made to their family’s lives.

New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations: Wrongful Death

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally 2 years from the date of the deceased’s death. This means that legal action must be initiated within this period, or the opportunity to claim damages could be lost forever. It’s a legal boundary that underscores the importance of taking timely action following a wrongful death.

What To Do After Losing a Loved One Due To Negligence

The period following the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is fraught with grief and confusion. Knowing what steps to take can help provide you with clarity and purpose in your claim, laying the groundwork for seeking justice and compensation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

  1. Seek Emotional Support: Prioritize your emotional well-being and that of your family. Consider speaking to a counselor or joining a support group to help cope with your loss.
  2. Secure Important Documents: Gather any documents related to your loved one’s death, including medical records, death certificates, and any reports (police, accident, etc.) that pertain to the incident.
  3. Document Everything: Start a journal to document the events leading up to and following your loved one’s death. Include dates, times, conversations with medical staff or witnesses, and any other details that might be relevant.
  4. Preserve Evidence: Keep any physical evidence related to the wrongful death intact. This includes personal belongings that might be connected to the incident, photographs of the accident scene, and any correspondence related to the event.
  5. Identify Witnesses: If there were witnesses to the incident that led to your loved one’s death, collect their contact information. Their testimonies could be crucial in building your case.
  6. Avoid Public Statements: Refrain from making public statements or posting on social media about the incident. Anything you say can be used by opposing legal teams to undermine your claim.
  7. Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney: As soon as you are able, consult with a wrongful death attorney experienced in New Jersey law. They can offer legal advice, help you understand your rights, and guide you on the next steps.
  8. File a Wrongful Death Claim: Your attorney will help you file a wrongful death claim, ensuring all legal requirements and deadlines are met. They will handle negotiations with insurance companies and prepare your case for court if necessary.
  9. Stay Informed and Involved: While your attorney will handle the bulk of the legal work, stay informed about your case’s progress. Ask questions and make decisions with your legal team.
  10. Focus on Healing: Throughout this process, remember to take time for yourself and your family. Healing from such a profound loss takes time, and focusing on your emotional health is just as important as pursuing legal action.

Following these steps can provide a sense of direction during an overwhelmingly difficult time. At Peter N. Davis & Associates, we see the magnitude of your loss and are here to handle the legal complexities on your behalf, allowing you to focus on healing and honoring the memory of your loved one.

Our New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here To Help

The Law Offices of Peter N. Davis & Associates combine compassionate support with professional legal guidance to help you navigate the challenging experience of losing a loved one to wrongful death. Our team is dedicated to offering personalized attention, fierce legal representation, and emotional support, all while fighting tirelessly for the justice and compensation you deserve. Whether you’re in Paterson, Lodi, or anywhere else in NJ, we understand the importance of your case and handle it with the care and dignity it warrants. With no upfront costs, our commitment is to your well-being and the memory of your loved one. For a free consultation and to learn how we can assist you during this difficult time, please contact us. Let us be your advocate, offering the support and guidance you need to move forward.