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Who Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Claim In New Jersey?

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Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury claim where the victim passes away from the accident, so someone else needs to file a claim on their behalf. These cases are perhaps the most difficult, especially for the family members who experience an intense mixture of grief and anger at the negligent person who caused an accident. State laws vary on which family members are allowed to file a suit, so you might be wondering who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in New Jersey. To find out, read on or reach out to an Essex County Wrongful Death Lawyer today!


New Jersey has rules in place for who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. The victim’s personal representative must be the one to file the claim. The personal representative is the person responsible for the victim’s estate, so usually the named executor of their will. If the victim did not write a will, the court can determine who is the personal representative during the probate process. After the claim is successfully filed, the victim’s surviving family members may receive compensation for the loss of their loved one. Only family members who were financially dependent on the victim are eligible to receive damages. Family members that can obtain restitution include the victim’s:

  • Spouse
  • Adult children
  • Minor children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Nieces and nephews

In New Jersey, family members usually have to prove they were financially dependent on the victim in order to earn financial compensation. If the family wins the lawsuit, the compensation is distributed among the eligible family members.


According to New Jersey’s statute of limitations, the victim’s personal representative must file a suit within two years from the date of death. You won’t able to file a claim outside of that time frame. In order to win your case, you’ll need to prove that someone else’s negligence directly led to the victim’s death. Negligence is defined in court as someone’s failure to exercise reasonable care or civil duties, leading to an accident that harms another person. You must demonstrate in court how the negligent person acted or failed to act in a way that caused an accident, and the victim passed away as a direct result of the accident. Family members may be eligible for compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Have you lost one of your loved ones due to someone else’s negligence? You might want to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Rubenstein, Berliner & Shinrod, LLC is here to guide you through this difficult process. Contact us today for quality legal counseling with one of our compassionate attorneys.

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