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Newark, NJ Wrongful Death Lawyer

Seeking justice for the loss of a loved one can often involve a lawsuit filed on behalf of you and your family.  These lawsuits can recover compensation for your loss, potentially helping your family press on without a parent or spouse’s income.

Filing a lawsuit for a loved one’s death might be the last thing on your mind after suffering a loss, but it can be vital.  Especially if you have kids who need financial support, working with an experienced lawyer to make sure that you and your family get all possible damages paid can make a big difference in allowing you to move forward with your lives.

Contact the wrongful death lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey immediately for a free case review by calling (732) 838-9769.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Newark, NJ?

When someone dies and leaves behind a will, that will usually names an executor of their estate.  This executor is the person who is responsible for paying their debts, assembling all of their assets and money, and distributing the estate to the victim’s heirs.  This person is also the one to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

This can be confusing because, as the victim’s surviving family, should you not be the one who files the lawsuit?  Spouses, parents, children, and other dependents should be the ones receiving damages in these cases, but under N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-2, the person who actually files the lawsuit in court is the executor of the victim’s estate, working on behalf of the family.  In many cases, the named executor is actually a family member or a trusted attorney.

If the victim died without a will, then the courts will appoint someone to be the administrator of the estate, and they file the lawsuit instead.  Our wrongful death lawyers can help represent you and get the right to file this lawsuit transferred to a family member or other trusted party and advocate on your behalf to get you the damages you need.

Keep in mind that when you file for a loved one’s death, there are actually two separate lawsuits you file: a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the surviving family members and a survival action to recover damages that the deceased victim would have claimed if they lived through the injury.  Both lawsuits are filed by the executor/personal administrator, and they can usually be filed together.

Who Benefits from a Wrongful Death Claim in Newark, NJ?

As mentioned, the surviving family members are ultimately the ones who receive the damages from a wrongful death claim and survival action, but the process is a bit roundabout.

When someone dies with a will, the will says who gets their possessions and assets and in what shares.  Any damages claimed through a survival action – such as the victim’s end-of-life medical treatment costs and their pre-death pain and suffering – are paid into the estate.  That means they are ultimately distributed to whoever the will names as their heirs – such as a spouse, parents, an unmarried partner, or even a college or charity named in the will.

If you die without a will, then the law distributes your assets under New Jersey’s “intestate succession” statute, which is found under N.J.S.A. §§ 3B:5-3 and 3B:5-4.  With wrongful death damages, the law distributes the damages under those same rules, whether there is a will or not.  These rules give preference to a spouse and to children of the deceased as well as dependents.

What Kinds of Accidents and Deaths Can You Sue for in Newark, NJ?

To be able to sue for a loved one’s early death, there must have been some kind of accident or incident that led to their death.  In most cases, “natural causes” are not something you can sue for.  Moreover, the accident had to have been someone else’s fault, though fault is sometimes hard to identify.

Accidents Involving Other Parties

Some of the clearest accidents that entitle you to a wrongful death lawsuit are cases involving car crashes, workplace accidents, and catastrophic injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.  However, lawsuits are sometimes limited in these cases.  Car accidents and work injuries typically have insurance schemes you have to file through, preventing lawsuits.  There is an exception for car accidents so that you can always sue for deadly accidents, but workplace accidents do not have that exception.  Instead, you might need to target a party other than the victim’s employer for a deadly workplace accident or rely on various exceptions that allow an employer to be sued.

When the parties responsible for an accident are right there at the scene, and fault can be pinned on them, they can be held responsible in a wrongful death case.

Accidents on Dangerous Property

Other accidents are less clear about who is at fault.  For example, electrocutions, drownings, and even slip and fall accidents can be deadly – and these accidents can often be blamed on the property owner of the land or building where the accident occurred.  It is up to owners and operators of the premises to keep conditions reasonably safe for guests.  Failing to do so can put them at fault for whatever harm occurs, whether that means suing for minor injuries, major injuries, or even death.

Product Defects

In accidents involving a dangerous product, auto part, medication, medical implant, toy, appliance, or other product, you can often sue the product manufacturer.  This happens in cases of injury and death from a product that was designed or manufactured improperly as well as in cases of insufficient warnings to prevent injury.

Medical Complications

Sometimes medical care involves complications that a doctor cannot avoid.  Death is often a risk any time someone undergoes surgery or other procedures, but it is rarely a complete accident.

If the doctor failed to uphold the standard of care and your loved one died because of this, that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit for wrongful death.  This can include issues involving surgical mistakes as well as things like misdiagnosis.

Call Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Newark, NJ Today

For a free review of your case, call our wrongful death lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.

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