Wrongful Death Lawyers
The loss of someone you love is something that you never truly get over. Yet, when a tragic and unnecessary accident takes someone close, the pain is even more acutely felt. There are no words to describe the feeling of experiencing a sudden loss, especially when that loss was the result of someone else’s reckless and negligent behavior or actions.
While a lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind right now, family members need to know that it may be an option. In addition to the emotional turmoil that an unexpected death can place on family members, the very real and frightening prospect of financial instability and turmoil exists as well. While money is never equal to the loss of a loved one, compensation can greatly impact family members who depended on the victim for security. A lawsuit may also be a means of holding the negligent party responsible for the accident accountable for their actions. A New Jersey personal injury lawyer is just what you need.
If you would like to talk to someone about the death of a family member and find out what your legal rights are, contact the sensitive and compassionate team at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers. We can review the situation and give you a better idea of what the legal system may be able to do for you and your family. We understand that you are still grieving and that it is a lengthy process. That is why we offer a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call us at (201) 583-5765 to get started.
Why Choose Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers for a Wrongful Death Case?
If you have just lost a loved one in a serious accident caused by negligence, you are suffering a heartache few can comprehend. The grief can be overwhelming, and it may be hard to concentrate on even simple tasks, let alone the major details of how you will pay for related medical expenses and funeral arrangements.
Too often, family members are left unaware that they have legal rights following an accident. Those rights may entitle them to compensation. While it is small solace after losing a cherished family member, money could go a long way towards providing some basic financial protection from unexpected medical bills and loss of income.
At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, we understand that you are going through a particularly dark time after losing a loved one in such a sudden and tragic manner. We don’t ever want to put undue pressure on family members during this time, but what we do want is to make sure family members know that our door is always open. We have a track record of helping families recover compensation following a negligent accident, and we do it while always keeping compassion and sensitivity in mind.
What is Wrongful Death?
There can be a lot of confusion over the term “wrongful death.” The state of New Jersey defines wrongful death as any death that is caused by a wrongful or negligent act perpetrated by another. If the accident would have resulted in a non-fatal injury, the victim would have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim. A wrongful death claim is more easily understood as a personal injury lawsuit filed on the deceased victim’s behalf.
As sometimes happens in cases of wrongful death, there may exist both criminal and civil complaints against the alleged perpetrator of the negligent act. If a criminal case is in the works, that will not bar family members from seeking compensation through a civil lawsuit as well. Civil cases are for recovering compensation, while criminal cases exist to punish wrongdoings.
Types of Wrongful Death Accident Cases We Handle
Losing a loved one is traumatic and devastating. It is especially tragic when friends and family members are forced to come to grips with the fact that their loved one’s death may have been preventable if not for the negligent or reckless behaviors of others. Negligence at any level is deplorable, but because it can happen in a wide variety of circumstances, it takes a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to discover which parties to hold accountable for someone’s death.
Numerous factors can contribute to negligent and reckless accidents. Understanding these factors and dealing with various circumstances means the attorneys with Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers are well-versed in tackling a wide variety of cases and situations. At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, we have skilled lawyers who are experienced in handling a variety of wrongful death cases. Examples of some of the wrongful death cases we have dealt with include:
- Car accidents
- Truck and 18-wheeler accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice cases
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home abuse cases
- Defective parts and products
Wrongful Death Laws in New Jersey
New Jersey has a series of laws and regulations that strictly outline who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, how long they have to file a claim, and what type of compensation may be gained in a successful case.
A wrongful death lawsuit may only be filed on behalf of surviving family members who stand to inherit from the deceased family member’s estate under the state’s laws of inheritance. This can include a surviving spouse, children, parents, or brothers and sisters. Also, the person filing the lawsuit must show that they had a financial dependence on the victim. Typically, it would be a surviving spouse who files a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of themselves or themselves and their mutual children.
Once it has been established who can file a wrongful death claim, the individual must ensure that they are filing the claim within the proper time frame. New Jersey limits the amount of time a victim’s family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A suit must be filed within two years of the date of the victim’s death. If a case is filed after the statute of limitations expires it can be automatically dismissed and family members will have no other legal recourse for recovering compensation.
It is also important for family members to understand what type of compensation they may be eligible to receive from a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits differ slightly from personal injury lawsuits in that the family members of the deceased are not entitled to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. Those who file a wrongful death suit in New Jersey may only recover economic damages, which may include:
- Loss of financial support
- Medical expenses related to treatment before death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of services such as childcare, guidance, or chores
Family members are also unable to recover punitive damages in wrongful death cases. Punitive damages are damages that have nothing to do with compensating for the value of medical expenses or loss of financial support. These damages are to punish an individual for wrongdoing.
Wrongful death cases can be complex and complicated legal matters. It takes an experienced lawyer to navigate these types of lawsuits and gather the evidence needed to prove negligence was, in fact, at play. If you tragically lost a loved one after a serious accident, consider talking to a seasoned wrongful death attorney. You may be owed compensation that can help cover the cost of the funeral and medical expenses.
What is the Survival Statute?
New Jersey also has what is known as a “survival statute” or “survival action.” A survival action is not the same as a wrongful death suit. It is a suit filed on behalf of the victim’s estate, not on behalf of the surviving family members themselves. The action is brought by the administrator or executor of the victim’s estate. A survival action also differs from a wrongful death suit in that the executor can recover compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering if the victim required hospitalization before death.
Since a survival action is filed by the estate on behalf of the victim, any compensation recovered would be directed to the victim’s estate. Since the compensation is distributed to the victim’s estate, that money along with the victim’s other assets may be subject to inheritance taxes and then could be distributed according to the victim’s will or estate plan.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Filing a lawsuit is not what most people think about when they are struggling to cope with the sudden loss of a close family member. At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, we understand that talking about a tragic event with anyone is difficult, let alone with an attorney. However, we do want you to understand that family members have rights, and you may be owed compensation. We know that money is not a replacement for a family member, but it may help ease the financial burden that can suddenly come your way with funeral costs and medical expenses due. It is also a valid way to hold a negligent party accountable for their actions.
If you have lost a loved one in a reckless or negligent accident, contact the legal team at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers. We will review your case with compassion and treat you with dignity as we answer all your questions. You don’t have to go through this process alone, contact Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers today and let’s discuss your legal options. We know you are hurting. We want to help you seek compensation and some measure of closure. For a free consultation, reach us at (201) 583-5765.