The loss of a loved one under any circumstances is devastating. However, it can be especially difficult when a family member died due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts. In that circumstance, a wrongful death suit may be filed by the decedent’s surviving family members to obtain compensation for the financial and emotional losses resulting from the unexpected tragedy. The South Jersey wrongful death lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm are committed to holding responsible parties legally accountable for their actions and helping families obtain financial compensation for the wrongful death of their loved ones.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Who may sue for wrongful death, when the claim must be filed, and what amounts can be recovered varies depending on the state. Typically, when someone is fatally injured because of someone else’s wrongful conduct, that person’s estate representative may file a wrongful death suit to recover damages resulting from the loss of the decedent.
In New Jersey, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death and can be brought by the decedent’s legal heirs. If the decedent would have been able to bring a personal injury claim had they survived, then a wrongful death claim may be filed on the decedent’s behalf. The claim is usually filed by the executor or personal representative of the estate, who will distribute the recovered damages amongst other surviving family members who were either financially dependent upon the decedent or who are entitled to an inheritance from the decedent.
Individuals that may recover damages in a New Jersey wrongful death claim include anyone who can demonstrate that they were dependent on the decedent, as well as the decedent’s surviving:
- Nieces and nephews
Who May Be Sued for Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death suit may be brought against many different parties, depending on the circumstances of the case. Common types of cases that lead to wrongful death suits include:
- Car accidents: The person who caused the fatal accident may be held criminally and financially responsible in a civil wrongful death case.
- Medical malpractice: When a medical professional’s negligent actions cause someone’s death, they may be sued for wrongful death.
- Product liability: Manufacturers of defective cars, household products, pharmaceutical drugs, work equipment, and other products may be liable for damages in a wrongful death suit.
- Workplace accidents: Families of workers who died in a workplace accident may be able to recover financially for losses resulting from their loved one’s wrongful death.
What is Recovered in a Wrongful Death Suit?
In New Jersey, eligible parties may receive a portion of the damages recovered in a wrongful death suit. Generally, the surviving spouse or children recover first, followed by surviving parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and other dependent parties. Under the New Jersey Wrongful Death Act, recoverable damages include medical bills and funeral expenses, in addition to damages for loss of:
- Care and assistance
- Companionship or parental guidance
- Financial support
- Household services
The New Jersey Survival Act allows for additional compensation based on the non-economic losses suffered by the decedent. Under the Survival Act, eligible family members may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, depending on the circumstances of the case, such as whether the decedent suffered for some time or died instantly.
South Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Provide Personal Legal Representation
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, contact a compassionate South Jersey wrongful death lawyer at the D’Amato Law Firm. We can help you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled and ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable. From our office in Egg Harbor Township, we represent clients throughout Atlantic City and South Jersey. To discuss your case, please contact us online or call us at 609-926-3300 for a free consultation.