New Jersey Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death is the legal label for death due to someone’s negligence, defective product, or dangerous drug.
Wrongful Death CausesThe five main causes of wrongful death may be classified as follows: on and off road accidents, or those resulting from hazardous conditions, illness brought on by dangerous drugs, harm done by defective products, and death due to medical malpractice. Each of these categories list several more specific kinds of legal cases within them.
The leading causes of wrongful death on the roadways of New Jersey are auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and DWI accidents, and each of these case types has its own unique characteristics.
In addition, there have been many types and combinations of hazardous conditions created by New Jersey businesses and individuals and resulting in someone’s wrongful death. Each condition has its own unique origin, history, and hazardous nature.
Dangerous drugs and defective products sold by New Jersey businesses or used by New Jersey residents have also been the cause of many wrongful deaths. Each dangerous drug has had its own set of risks and side effects, and each product its own unique defect and danger.
Finally, there are literally hundreds of ways in which medical malpractice by New Jersey doctors, nurses, and hospitals has caused the wrongful death of New Jersey patients. Each way has its own very unique set of circumstances.
Measuring and Claiming CompensationOnce a negligent party’s responsibility for someone else’s death has been proven, New Jersey state statutes define the kinds of damages for which compensation can be paid, and the persons eligible to receive it. They do this by categorizing the claimants and their respective damage claims according to two distinct time periods after the accident – the one before, and the one after, the victim’s wrongful death.
Without attempting to detail every aspect of compensation that the victim’s heirs or relatives would be entitled to recover in any given case, here is a brief summary of the essentials:
Before death, the law recognizes that the victim of a fatal accident may sustain the same kinds of damages as a victim who survives an accident, and that the victim’s ultimate loss of life should not prevent the recovery of compensation for those “survival” damages by the victim’s lawful heirs. In appropriate cases, these damage claims can include the victim’s conscious pain and suffering, disability or impairment, lost earning capacity, and out of pocket expenses.
After death, the law recognizes that it is the victim’s dependents and relatives who have suffered the loss of the victim’s future contributions to their well-being in the form of future income, services and valuable advice.
Thus in every case, it is the victim’s heirs and/or relatives who hold the right to pursue these various kinds of claims in a court of law, often with the aid on an economic expert to measure the financial losses.
If you’ve lost a loved one, you should bear in mind that with the passage of time, it can become more difficult to preserve and gather the evidence necessary to prove a case, and that there are legal deadlines for taking formal action. Contact an experienced Wrongful Death Attorney as soon as possible.