New Jersey Wrongful Death Law
Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is likely one of the last things on your mind after you lose a loved one. However, if you lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation can help you cover things like medical bills, funeral costs or lost wages. Here are a few things to know about New Jersey’s laws:
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case is when a family member pursues compensation on behalf of a deceased loved one. The laws that regulate this type of case vary from state to state. This means that if you plan to file a wrongful death claim, you need to understand how New Jersey handles them. In New Jersey, wrongful death is a loss of life caused by a wrongful act, including either neglect or default. This may include:
- Medical malpractice
- Intentional harm
An important factor in determining if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim is if the person would be eligible for a personal injury lawsuit if they were alive. It is important to note that a wrongful death claim is different from a civil court case. If the responsible person acted in a criminal manner, the funds you attempt to recover from a lawsuit are in addition to charges.
New Jersey Statute of Limitations
There is a time limit on all cases, including wrongful death cases. New Jersey limits the length of time you have to file a wrongful death case to just two years from the date of death. Waiting too long to file a claim can make you ineligible for compensation, even if you deserve it.
Eligibility for Filing a Claim
It is also important to understand who, meaning what family members, are eligible to file a claim. New Jersey does things a little differently. They require that a personal representative file the claim. If the deceased does not have a personal representative, then the court will appoint someone as the administrator.
Just because the personal representative is responsible for filing the claim does not mean that they are the ones to collect the funds. The funds, if given, will go to immediate family members. This might include a spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents. It can also include siblings, nieces, or nephews. Some situations can require the court to evaluate the case to determine if the family member is eligible.
Recoverable Costs in a Wrongful Death Case
Many families also have legal questions as to what types of costs filing a claim can cover for them. A wrongful death claim can help with recovering more than medical bills or funeral expenses. It can also be used for things like lost wages or a loss of parental support. We understand that filing a claim will not bring back all that the loved one provided you and your family, but the funds you receive can help the family deal with the aftermath.
Contact a Union County Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Case in New Jersey
Did you lose a loved one in New Jersey as a result of negligence? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Birkhold & Maider, LLC represent clients and their wrongful death claims in Union County, Essex County, Mercer County, Nutley, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 947-4670 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 189 Franklin Avenue, Suite 1 Nutley, NJ 07110, as well as a satellite office in Hamilton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.