Wrongful death claims are among the most difficult and painful ones on which any attorney ever works. When you face the loss of a loved one, you can’t possibly calculate your losses—you can’t quantify the value of a human being. While you come to grips with the pain, anger, and grief precipitated by a loss of such magnitude, it’s difficult to also come to grips with the fact that, in New Jersey, you can only receive compensation for actual financial losses and not noneconomic damages, such as the pain and suffering that always accompanies such tremendous loss. If you lost a loved one in an accident that someone else’s negligence caused, you need experienced legal counsel.
Eligible survivors can pursue wrongful death claims in New Jersey when victims (the deceased) could have brought personal injury claims had they survived their accidents. Much like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim requires proof of negligence on the part of the defendant. Establishment of such liability requires four basic elements:
Only a personal representative of the deceased’s eligible survivors can bring a wrongful death claim in New Jersey—such as an executor named in the deceased’s will. If the deceased has no will, then the probate court will appoint an appropriate representative. Such a representative can bring a claim for the surviving family members who are entitled to inherit property from the deceased via New Jersey’s intestacy law:
To bring a wrongful death claim, the deceased’s survivor or survivors must adequately demonstrate that they had an actual dependency upon the deceased. A close relationship won’t suffice.
In a New Jersey wrongful death claim, plaintiffs can only recover actual financial (or pecuniary) damages. This means that the emotional and mental devastation wrought by such losses will not change the legal calculation of your losses. In extreme cases, however, you may pursue other legal avenues to compensation, including:
A wrongful death claim typically involves extensive legal investigations and preparation, so pay careful attention to New Jersey’s statute of limitations. In New Jersey, you have two years from the time of the deceased’s death to bring such a claim. Because wrongful death claims are, by their nature, exceedingly complicated and fraught with emotions, hand the baton over to an experienced New Jersey wrongful death attorney while you grieve.
If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death case, no words and no compensation can ever adequately address your loss. Many families, however, must deal with this insurmountable grief as they also grapple with the everyday expenses associated with losing an income earner. It’s almost impossible to find a balance amongst these warring goals, but sometimes that’s exactly what you must do.
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Levin Firm empathize with your position. They have the skill, knowledge, dedication, and compassion to aggressively advocate for your wrongful death claim’s most just resolution. Such claims are the most difficult to pursue, but your rights and your rightful compensation are too important to leave to chance. If you lost a loved one to wrongful death, the dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm is here to help, so please contact one of our attorneys through our online contact form or at (215) 825-5183 for a free consultation today.
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