How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work in New Jersey
“Wrongful death” lawsuits happen when somebody dies or is killed due to someone else’s negligent actions. Wrongful death lawsuits will typically occur after somebody has already been sentenced in a criminal trial because they are directly related depending on what happened in the case. The surviving members of the victim’s family are the ones who are qualified to file a wrongful death action. These actions are very different from any action you have probably heard of before. For instance, you have probably heard of how injury lawsuits work, but these cases are much different because somebody has been killed due to negligent actions.
The first thing to remember about wrongful death suits in New Jersey is that there is a statute of limitations on these cases, so you should always file as soon as possible. If you believe you have a claim, you have two years to make your case. You may wonder, Why is there a statute of limitations if somebody’s life is lost? The truth is, memories fade over time and you do not want to forget the details surrounding a case. By giving you two years, you have a decent amount of time to seek the help of an attorney to handle your case and get important information together.
Proving Your Case
Many elements band together to make up a wrongful death lawsuit. You may wonder how you can be successful in one of these actions. Ask yourself the following questions: Was there a death of another human being? Was this death caused by another’s negligence? Was there intent to cause harm? Are there family members who are suffering because of the death? Was there a substantial event, such as medical malpractice, an automobile accident, occupational exposure to hazardous conditions, criminal behavior, or a supervised activity gone wrong? If you can answer “yes” to many of these questions, then you have a case.
In a wrongful death suit, something known as “pecuniary injuries” are determined. These include the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses that a family is left with after someone passes away. The damages awarded must be fair and just, no matter what the circumstances. When these losses are considered, there are many factors to be taken into determination. This includes the earning capacity of the person who died, life expectancy otherwise, health and intelligence, and much more. This can become very complicated very fast. If somebody with children dies, they have lost out on that parent’s income as well as parental guidance – and this must be considered.
Something you should understand is that, in New Jersey, there is no limit to the amount of money you can your family can receive in damages due to a wrongful death claim. You and your family may look forward to something known as punitive damages, which are awarded in the most serious cases of wrongdoing as a way to punish the wrongdoer. If you believe that punitive damages should play a part in your case, you should contact an attorney to find out if this is possible.
Call us today if you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death accident. This is a very complex process in which you may need help along the way. Give us a call to find out more about New Jersey statutes that may help you. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we care.