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Trenton, NJ Wrongful Death Lawyer

If a loved one was killed in an accident, you and your family could be left with substantial expenses and lost income that make it hard to move on.  Getting the damages you need for your loss can be complex, but our attorneys can represent you and guide you through every step of the process.

Getting compensation often starts with an insurance claim.  However, insurance companies are often unwilling to pay for the full damages you deserve, especially from such an expensive loss.  This often means turning to the courts, where we can fight your case in front of a neutral judge and jury.

For a free evaluation of your potential wrongful death case, contact Legal Care New Jersey’s wrongful death lawyers today at (732) 838-9769.

Insurance Claims vs. Lawsuits for Wrongful Death Cases in Trenton, NJ

Filing an insurance claim might be the best way to start your claim, and it might be required or expected in some kinds of wrongful death cases.  Know that when you file an insurance claim, you are often claiming damages through a contract – i.e., the insurance policy.  That will potentially limit what damages you are entitled to, but if you can file a lawsuit instead, you could be entitled to additional damages beyond that policy paid directly by the at-fault parties.


In cases of fatal car accidents and deadly workplace injuries, an insurance claim might be expected.

For car accidents, NJ uses a no-fault insurance system, where each driver has coverage for their own injuries.  This means that some damages like medical expenses and lost wages might be coverable directly through a claim with the deceased driver’s insurance, and you do not need to worry about proving who caused the crash to get these damages.  Additional compensation might be allowed in a third-party claim or a lawsuit, which are both allowed in cases of death from a car accident.

Insurance is also the expected route to recovery in cases of workplace deaths or death from a work-related illness.  Workers’ Compensation rules block lawsuits against employers and instead require injured workers or the families of deceased workers to use that insurance scheme to get no-fault damages for medical bills and lost wages.  These are typically paid at a percentage of the worker’s typical wages.  To expand beyond these damages, you might need to file a lawsuit against a third party or meet certain exceptions about the level of intentionality behind the injuries.  If the injuries were intentional or close to it, then you could be entitled to sue your loved one’s employer.

Other accidents might be covered by liability insurance, where the at-fault party has coverage to pay for injuries and deaths.  This is common for deadly injuries on someone’s property, where homeowners or business liability insurance is available.  Other accidents caused by businesses could also be covered by insurance.  Moreover, medical malpractice insurance claims might cover deadly healthcare mistakes.


Insurance companies are rarely willing to compensate you in full for a loss, especially such a substantial loss as a death in the family.  As such, our wrongful death lawyers can often put you in a better position to receive full compensation by taking your case to court.

When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you can recover compensation for any and all monetary harms you faced because of a loved one’s death, whereas insurance might try to pay only a percentage of those damages through a claim.  You can also seek full compensation for any harms the victim faced before death, such as their pain and suffering, the fear they felt, and the medical care they underwent.

You will also have a judge and jury decide your case when it goes before the courts rather than the insurance company.  Insurance companies often seek to settle for low amounts, but when a jury is in charge of putting a value on your case, you could receive higher damages.  Insurance companies are also more willing to settle when the potential time and expense of trial is on the line.

Damages You Can Claim in a Wrongful Death Case in Trenton, NJ

When a loved one dies, you and your family face a lot of different harms.  There are high economic costs to a loved one’s death, such as the cost of funeral and burial expenses.  If the deceased was a parent or spouse responsible for household income, your family could be in dire straits without their continued support, and you should be entitled to compensation for that as well.

All in all, New Jersey law allows a family to claim substantial compensation for any and all economic harms they face because of the death.  This can include the cost of lost services the victim performed around the house, the income they used to receive, funerary costs, and lost investments or inheritances.  However, N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-5 does limit recovery to “pecuniary injuries,” which covers only economic and financial harms.  This means that the surviving family cannot claim compensation for their lost companionship, grief, or emotional distress.

As mentioned briefly above, damages can be claimed for the victim’s pain and suffering and other mental and emotional damages before death.  However, these damages are claimed in a separate and distinct lawsuit called a “survival action.”  This case is usually filed at the same time as a wrongful death lawsuit but technically pays damages into the victim’s estate rather than paying damages directly to the affected family members.

Damages are generally paid to the family directly in a wrongful death lawsuit.  Different family members can receive compensation based on their closeness to the victim and dependence on the victim.  This often means that spouses and children will be the ones to receive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit under N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-4 and the statutes referenced in that law.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Trenton, NJ Today

Call (732) 838-9769 today for a free case evaluation with the wrongful death lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey.

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Jerry and his staff went above and beyong representing me in my accident. Made me feel like one of the family. I hope I'm never in an accident again but if I am I'm calling Jerry.


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