Hackensack Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is painful regardless of the circumstances. But, the death of a loved as a result of someone else’s negligence can be even more painful.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it’s important to speak with a lawyer immediately. New Jersey law only allows you a limited amount of time to file what is called a wrongful death claim against those responsible.
For this reason, it is important that you contact Bhatt Law Group as soon as possible to consult with an experienced Hackensack wrongful death lawyer. Let us help protect and preserve your right to file a claim to hold the wrongdoers accountable for the death of your loved one. Call us today at (201) 798-8000.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by the estate of a person who has been killed as a result of another’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to shift the cost associated with the death of a family member from the decedent’s family to the person or entity who caused the death.
For a wrongful death claim to be filed, the circumstances that resulted in the death of a person must be such that the deceased would have grounds to file a personal injury claim had they lived. Thus, a wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased person by his or her estate or family.
For a New Jersey wrongful death claim to succeed, the decedent’s estate must prove the following five elements:
1. A death occurred;
2. The death was the result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct;
3. The defendant’s wrongful conduct would have given rise to a personal injury claim had the decedent survived;
4. The decedent is survived by one or more persons who have suffered a loss as a result of his or her death; and
5. The actual amount of damages recoverable by the decedent’s estate.
What Can Give Rise to a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are, unfortunately, many different circumstances where one person’s (or entity’s) negligence can result in the wrongful death of another. The following circumstances frequently give rise to wrongful death claims in New Jersey:
- Medical mistakes
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Drunk driving
- Violence or criminal acts
Work-related deaths are handled differently than those that occur outside of the workplace. If the death occurs while the decedent was at work, compensation in the form of death benefits will typically be administered through the state’s workers compensation system.
What is The Statute of Limitation for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under New Jersey law, a wrongful death claim must be filed within 2 years from the date your loved one passed away. Fail to file a claim by this deadline and it will almost certainly be barred from ever being filed.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?
When someone dies as the result of someone else’s negligence, the lawsuit procedures are a little bit different than in other personal injury cases. In New Jersey, a wrongful death claim is most often filed by the executor or personal representative of the decedent’s estate, usually a family member. That person makes all of the litigation decisions as though he or she were the plaintiff.
Any damages recovered in a wrongful death claim will be distributed to surviving family members who were dependent on the decedent at the time of his or her death, or who were entitled to inherit from the decedent’s estate. This includes:
- Children and grandchildren;
- Nieces and nephews; and
- Anyone else who can verify that they were dependent on the decedent or entitled to inherit.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim can be divided into two basic categories:
1. Financial Damages – also referred to as pecuniary losses
2. Non-financial Damages – refer to as non-pecuniary losses
The financial damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim may include the following:
- Funeral expenses – reasonable funeral and burial costs, as well as, medical costs related to the decedent’s final injury or illness. These losses are relatively easy to establish.
- Loss of financial contributions – the loss of gifts that the decedent would normally give if he or she was still alive, as well as, the ability to inherit from the deceased naturally.
- Loss of financial support – this includes household expenses such as rent, food, and utility bills, as well as, other expenses that the decedent would have normally paid for or contributed to.
Non-financial damages are much more difficult to place a value on and may include:
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of household services – loss of housekeeping, cooking, childcare, making repairs, and assistance with everyday tasks and chores.
- Loss of consortium – loss of the comfort, guidance, training, and advice that the decedent would have provided.
Contact An Experienced Hackensack Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in Hackensack, New Jersey, as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to pursue a wrongful death claim to be compensated for your family’s loss, financial and emotional. A wrongful death claim, however, can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a lawyer, especially when you are trying to heal after the loss of a loved one.
A compassionate and caring wrongful death lawyer can handle the legal aspects of your loved one’s death as you deal with the emotional needs of your family, with the confidence that your lawyer is doing whatever he or she is lawfully able to do to recover the compensation that your family deserves.
To speak with an experienced Hackensack wrongful death lawyer who understands the nuances and intricacies of the wrongful death statute in New Jersey, contact Bhatt Law Group at (201) 798-8000, or here online to arrange a free case evaluation.
Our Hackensack office is located at:
Bhatt Law Group
411 Hackensack Avenue, 2nd Fl.
Hackensack, NJ 07601