The unexpected loss of a cherished family member can be devastating. When you find out their death was preventable, you may be anxious to demand justice for your loved one. Fortunately, when you have a dedicated and compassionate Trenton personal injury lawyer at Spear Greenfield working for you, you can mourn your loss while your attorney fights to ensure the at-fault party is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Learn more about how wrongful death actions work and how you can make those responsible for your family member’s death pay when you contact our personal injury law firm for a 100% free consultation.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Trenton
Wrongful deaths can happen in virtually any type of accident or incident. Unfortunately, fatalities are far more common than you might think. Some of the most common ways in which our client’s family members have passed away include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Manufacturing accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Factory accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites and attacks
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
If you lost a loved one in another type of accident we did not list above, be sure to contact a wrongful death attorney in Trenton at our firm. We can review your case to find out whether you have grounds to take legal action against the liable party.
What It Means to File a Trenton Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to New Jersey wrongful death laws, you may have the right to file a wrongful death action when someone else is responsible for causing your loved one’s death through default, neglect, or any type of wrongful act. It does not matter whether the liable party intended to cause your family member’s death or did so accidentally. The fact remains that if it were not for the defendant’s conduct, your family member may still be with you today.
You do not have to wait for a criminal trial to commence or be finalized before you pursue a wrongful death claim. In fact, it may be wise to get started on your wrongful death action as soon as possible, as criminal cases can often be delayed. If the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, this evidence could be valuable in helping obtain a verdict in your favor when you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The burden of proof in wrongful death claims is different from criminal court. Your wrongful death attorney in Trenton, NJ, must prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence, whereas the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court. If your case is successful, unlike criminal court where the defendant will be sentenced to jail time, fines, or other penalties, you will be awarded compensation for every way your family’s lives and the decedent’s life were affected by the liable party’s actions.
Trenton Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (215) 985-2424
Only Specific Parties Can File a Wrongful Death Claim Under New Jersey Law
Under N.J. Stat. §2A:31-2, only certain individuals have the authority to file a New Jersey wrongful death claim. According to New Jersey laws, only the executor or personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the right to do so.
This could be anyone the decedent appointed prior to their death or an individual appointed by the court if the decedent did not have a will naming an executor of the estate. If you are not sure who was named as the decedent’s personal representative, you can find out more when you discuss your legal options with your Trenton wrongful death attorney.
NJ Wrongful Death Laws Limit How Long You Have to File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
New Jersey laws are strict when it comes to filing wrongful death claims. According to N.J. Stat. §2A:31-3, you must file your wrongful death action before the statute of limitations expires. The law allows you two years from the date of the decedent’s death to file your claim. Unfortunately, if your case is not filed before time runs out, the court system will refuse to hear your case.
However, it should also be noted that if your loved one’s death was caused by manslaughter, aggravated murder, or murder, there is no statute of limitations if the liable party was an adjudicated delinquent or juvenile offender, found not guilty due to mental incapacity or insanity, or was convicted in criminal court.
Recoverable Damages in Trenton Wrongful Death Cases
When pursuing a wrongful death claim in Trenton, if your case is successful, the decedent’s surviving family members will be awarded damages for their loved one’s passing. Certain damages can go to the decedent’s estate or personal representative, while others will go directly towards surviving family members, such as the decedent’s surviving children, spouse, grandchildren, siblings, parents, nephews, nieces, or other next of kin.
According to N.J. Stat. §2A:31-4, if another party who was financially dependent on the decedent can prove their dependency on the deceased, they may also be able to collect damages awarded in the wrongful death action. Examples of potentially recoverable damages for the decedent’s estate and surviving family members include:
- The decedent’s funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Loss of the decedent’s household services
- Loss of the decedent’s guidance, companionship, love, advice, care, and protection
These are just a few of the different types of damages that may be awarded in a Trenton wrongful death claim. If you are interested in finding out what damages may be available in your case, be sure to reach out to a wrongful death attorney at our firm for clarity and legal support.
Meet with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Trenton, NJ Today
The tragic loss of your loved one should not go unheard. When someone else’s wrongful, intentional, malicious, or negligent actions contribute to your family member’s death, you can bring them to justice.
Get in touch with an experienced Trenton wrongful death lawyer at Spear Greenfield today. We can launch an investigation into the cause of your family member’s death so we can identify those responsible and pursue your legal options further. Get started on your wrongful death claim as soon as today when you call us or complete our quick contact form.