The loss of a loved one is never easy to deal with, and it becomes nearly impossible when their demise resulted from the negligence of another. When someone’s negligence or inaction leads to a fatal incident, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Let’s explore wrongful death claims and outline the circumstances necessary for you to qualify for this lawsuit.
Grounds Required for a Wrongful Death Claim
Before you even consider filing a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one, you must determine if your case satisfies the grounds required for such a claim. The surviving family members must prove:
- Someone else’s negligent actions, inaction, deliberate behavior, or recklessness caused the death of their loved one, not a mistake or indecision of the deceased.
- They suffered measurable losses due to the death of their loved one.
The most common incidents that lead to wrongful death lawsuits include motor vehicle accidents, an unlawful act, medical malpractice, construction accidents, workplace accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents.
Am I Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under New Jersey law, the following people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children and grandchildren
- Anyone who can prove that he or she was dependent on the deceased
- Surviving siblings, nieces, or nephews
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
If you meet the criteria above and are within the two-year statute of limitations for New Jersey, you can file a wrongful death claim. You will need to have your wrongful death attorney file a complaint against the defendant to begin the claim. This document notifies the defendant of the legal circumstances surrounding the case. Your attorney can also file a summons that informs the defendant of a pending lawsuit against them.
What Damages Can I Recover?
We understand that no amount of money can bring your loved one back. However, recovering damages via a wrongful death lawsuit can help your family move forward financially without having to worry about how you will pay the bills. You can seek compensation for the following damages in a wrongful death claim:
- Loss of companionship, comfort, or guidance
- Loss of financial support
- Medical, burial, funeral, and other expenses related to the death of your loved one
- Loss of household value such as childcare
Under New Jersey law, surviving family members cannot recover punitive damages or damages for emotional distress in a wrongful death lawsuit. It might be possible to file a separate lawsuit for the negligent infliction of emotional distress if a surviving family member was present when the loved one died.
File a Wrongful Death Claim With the Help of an Attorney
It can be tough to understand the intricacies and elements of a wrongful death claim in New Jersey. However, an experienced attorney can guide you through the process and help you file a persuasive wrongful death claim. The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., retains a full staff of expert attorneys dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve following a wrongful death. We make sure our clients feel heard throughout the process, and we provide prompt responses to any inquiries. Remember, with us, it’s personal. Call us today at (973) 358-6134 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential phone consultation.