It’s very painful any time you lose a loved one, but it’s even worse when there was no reason for them to pass away. When they lose their life because someone else behaved in a reprehensible, irresponsible or negligent manner, your whole life is thrown into an upheaval from which it can take a long time to recover.
The damage you suffer isn’t just emotional, either; many people depend on their loved ones for financial comfort as well as personal. When someone dies like this they can be held accountable for the financial harm they caused, through a wrongful death case. Learn all about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey, the process for doing so, the benefits you can collect and the statute of limitations.
Wrongful Death in New Jersey
Each state has its own statutes and definitions surrounding “wrongful death.” In New Jersey, a death is considered wrongful if it is caused by another person who is acting wrongly, in neglect, or in default of the person who dies. If a person would be able to bring a personal injury case to court, their estate can bring a wrongful death case.
Wrongful death claims also proceed differently and separately from any criminal trials. They are unrelated to any criminal case which may be established.
What Are the Damages You Can Collect?
When you file a wrongful death claim, you can seek damages for loss of financial comfort and support, including the wages and benefits the deceased would have earned. You can get funeral and burial expenses. You can also seek compensation for the loss of value for household contributions, as well as loss of companionship, comfort, care, and guidance. You may be able to collect pain and suffering, and potentially in truly egregious cases, you might be able to get punitive damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the laws surrounding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the family by the personal representative of the estate. This person is usually named in the estate plan, but if not, they will be appointed by the court. Only this person can file such a claim, though they are not necessarily the one who will collect damages.
Who Collects Damages?
The damages from the case, once awarded, are delivered to the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, other relatives, and anyone who can demonstrate that they were genuinely dependent upon the deceased person. Spouse and kids come first, and only if there is no spouse or children will other parties get damages.
Statute of Limitations
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit is two years. If you don’t file within this time period, the case will not be heard. Because these cases can get very complex and it can be tricky to collect, your best bet, if you need to file such a case, is to talk to an experienced New Jersey wrongful death attorney. If you’re in this situation and need help or information regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, contact Peter Davis & Associates for help today.