When coping with the untimely and preventable loss of a family member, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be an important part of the recovery process. Not only can legal action provide closure, but it can also provide much-needed relief from the financial strain stemming from your loved one’s death. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey is important, it is not easy. In addition to proving the at-fault party’s liability, family members have strict rules they need to follow, including the family members’ eligibility to file a claim and recover damages. For more information on who can sue for wrongful death in New Jersey, please read on, then contact one of our experienced New Jersey wrongful death lawyers today.
Who is eligible to sue for wrongful death in New Jersey?
In some states, the deceased’s surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In New Jersey, however, the personal representative – sometimes called the executor – of the deceased person’s estate must bring a wrongful death claim. If the person died without a will naming a personal representative, the court will appoint someone to act as an administrator who can file the lawsuit.
What can an executor sue for in a wrongful death case in New Jersey?
In a successful New Jersey wrongful death lawsuit, the court orders the defendant to pay damages – or the plaintiff’s claimed losses – to the deceased person’s survivors. Damages in a wrongful death case can include compensation for:
- Loss of financial support, based on the compensation the deceased could reasonably have earned if he or she had lived
- Loss of companionship, care, advice and guidance
- The value of household services, and
- Medical, funeral and burial expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury
Who may receive compensation for wrongful death in New Jersey?
Although the personal representative or administrator must file the wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased person’s survivors will receive any damages awarded. New Jersey law states that the following family members can receive damages, in order:
- The surviving spouse and children or grandchildren
- Surviving parents of the deceased person, and
- Any surviving siblings, nieces or nephews of the deceased person
Survivors must demonstrate that they were dependent on the deceased person in order to receive damages.
How do you prove a wrongful death case in New Jersey?
In order to recover compensation for their loved one’s death, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The defendant owed the now-deceased person a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care to the now-deceased person
- The defendant’s particular actions directly caused the wrongful death
Please reach out to one of our skilled New Jersey personal injury lawyers if you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury, contact Rubenstein, Berliner & Shinrod, LLC today.