In the aftermath of a tragic accident, where a loved one has died, you can be paralyzed by grief and emotion. You know that you have a right to seek compensation for your losses, but you don’t know what your rights or how to initiate the process. Here’s an overview of wrongful death in New Jersey.
Understanding When You Have a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is designed to compensate qualified parties for losses suffered when another person dies because of the carelessness, negligence or other wrongful conduct of a third party. The wrongful acts must have been such as to give rise to a personal injury claim, had the person survived. Accordingly, in New Jersey, a wrongful death complaint is always filed by an executor or administrator on behalf of the decedent’s estate, rather than on behalf of any surviving family members or dependents.
When Must a Wrongful Death Action Be Filed?
There’s no requirement that you wait any period of time before filing a wrongful death action, but you must prepare and file any complaint in a court of law within two years of the date of death.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?
In most instances, a wrongful death action is based on a legal theory of negligence. Negligence requires that you show that the defendant failed to meet (the legal term is “breached”) the duty to use a certain standard of care. Any party who’s failure to act reasonably caused injury can be sued. Common examples include:
- Product manufacturers
- Motor vehicle operators
- Owners of residential or commercial property
Contact Bronsnick Law Firm, LLC
At the office of attorney Andrew R. Bronsnick, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 973-287-6828. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.