New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer
Protecting Your Rights and Your Family After a Wrongful Death
The accidental death of a loved one is overwhelming for any family. Unexpected loss, expenses and the concern for future security can seem unmanageable, both personally and financially. At Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC, in New Jersey, we understand the difficulties our clients face and take a compassionate approach to help them protect their rights and achieve the best possible outcome in a wrongful death claim.
Why Hire a New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer?
In the aftermath of a loved one’s untimely death, many people wonder whether they should hire a wrongful death attorney. Here are some reasons hiring one is always a good idea:
Preparing an effective case is critical when seeking justice in wrongful death claims. Experienced lawyers gather evidence, speak with eye witnesses, and consult with experts to build an effective argument on your behalf.
While money can’t make up for the loss of your loved one, it can certainly help ease the burden of some of the financial losses and expenses you may be facing. An experienced wrongful death lawyer knows how to determine what you’re entitled to so you don’t end up leaving money on the table by being uninformed.
A skilled wrongful death lawyer brings an advantage during negotiation with the opposition – usually insurance companies – trying to minimize their payout. Your lawyer will understand the tactics an insurance company uses to try to do this and will make arguments to counter this.
Peace of Mind
Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, emotionally straining, and stressful, and this loss is only made more difficult by the legal battles you may have to face. Hiring a wrongful death attorney should take some of the stress and burden away from you so you can focus on healing during this difficult time.
You never have to handle this alone; contact us to schedule your free consultation.
Immediate Investigations and Expert Resources
Immediately after an accident, it is important to work with an experienced legal team that can investigate your case, preserve evidence and protect your rights. Defendants and insurance carriers may seek to settle your claim for far less than it is worth. Our New Jersey wrongful death lawyers will work with experts, including accident reconstructionists and financial planners, to properly value your losses and work toward the best possible outcome in your case.
Our attorneys are experienced with cases involving:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Product liability
- Workplace injuries
- Construction accidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Medical malpractice
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?
In the state of New Jersey, only administrators or estate executors are permitted to file wrongful death claims. If the deceased did not leave a will stipulating an executor for their estate, then one must be appointed by a probate court.
While the executor or administrator is the only one who can initiate the claim, it is done so for the benefit of those family members who were financially dependent on the deceased. This often includes the following individuals:
- Surviving spouse
- Children (including adopted children)
- Parents (if they were financially dependent on the deceased)
- Nieces and nephews
If an individual is not a blood relative but was financially dependent on the victim at their time of death, they may be entitled to compensation, but they have the burden to prove that they’re entitled to it.
Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death claim seeks monetary damages for the premature loss of a loved one. In New Jersey, these potential damages can include the following:
Loss of Financial Support
These damages consider what wages or income might have been earned by the deceased if he or she had lived full life expectancy. This amount is dependent on the victim’s age at the time of death, their employment history, and other relevant factors.
Loss of Care, Guidance, Or Companionship
This encompasses non-economic contributions from the deceased individual including emotional support, guidance, or nurturing that their family will now miss out on because of their death.
Loss of Household Services
This takes into account work the deceased person performed around their house providing practical support, like chores or childcare.
The decedent’s medical bills for treatment related to their injury are also accounted for. This includes hospital stays, medications, and surgeries.
Funeral And Burial Expenses
These damages cover costs associated with laying your loved one to rest which can include a funeral service or memorial ceremony expenses as well as burial or cremation costs.
Surviving family members cannot seek compensation for the pain and suffering they experience due to losing a loved one. Punitive damages are also prohibited in wrongful death actions.
How Do Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims Differ?
A survival action and a wrongful death claim are alike in that both seek compensation after an individual’s death due to another person’s wrongdoing. However, they are not identical and serve different purposes.
A wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the survivors or beneficiaries (family members like spouses and minor children) as compensation for their personal loss caused by their loved one’s untimely passing – this may include lost companionship and future financial support, for example.
“When the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default, such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the person injured to maintain an action for damages resulting from the injury, the person who would have been liable in damages for the injury if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured and although the death was caused under circumstances amounting in law to a crime.”
A survival action is akin to a personal injury lawsuit which could have been initiated by the deceased if they had stayed alive – this is the claim your loved one could have filed. The purpose is to recover damages that occurred between their injury and death (whether that’s 5 minutes or 5 weeks). This usually includes lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
The recovered damages from a survival action go directly to the decedent’s estate rather than the decedent’s beneficiaries. As such, creditors can collect against these amounts for outstanding debt payment.
Time Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey is subject to specific time restrictions under state law. Specifically, the state’s statute of limitations allows only two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Missing this deadline may result in your case never being heard as it will be dismissed permanently by the court.
However, there are some exceptions that can extend or shorten this deadline. One of the most common exceptions is known as ‘the discovery rule’, a legal principle, which can stop or “toll” the statute of limitations from running. This rule explains that the clock on a claim doesn’t begin until survivors have discovered (or should reasonably have discovered) both the cause of their loved one’s death and the liable party.
Compassionate Attorneys Focused on Results
Wrongful death cases, particularly high-value ones, can get complicated quickly. Our Jersey City personal injury attorneys understand the challenges you face and will work toward an optimal outcome with minimal impact to your family. We will handle your case with dignity, discretion and compassion, always sympathetic to your needs. Our priority is to maximize your settlement or verdict so that you and your family recover the full compensation you deserve after negligent death.
Speak to a New Jersey Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Free consultations · Evening, hospital and in-house visits · Spanish and Portuguese language services available · Se habla español · Call (201) 997-0030 or contact us by e-mail to arrange a case evaluation directly with a New Jersey wrongful death attorney.