New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer

New Jersey Wrongful Death Attorneys

At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC., our compassionate New Jersey wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to seeking full compensation for family members who have lost a loved one as a result of the negligent, intentional, or careless wrongful acts of another. We represent clients who have lost loved ones from:

We know how devastating it is to lose a loved one. When their death could have been prevented, it could have made the devastation that much worse. You deserve justice and compensation.

What is a Wrongful Death in New Jersey?

A wrongful death claim arises from another party’s negligence or intentional act, just like a personal injury claim. However, in a wrongful death claim, the decedent isn’t here to file a personal injury claim. As such, the law allows for a personal representative to file a wrongful death claim in their absence seeking compensation for the damages resulting from their death. Basically, a wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued if the victim– could have pursued a personal injury lawsuit against another party if they had not died.

Examples of potential wrongful death claims include:

  • A property owner failed to put up a fence around their pool, resulting in a neighbor child’s drowning
  • A company fails to warn of the risks of using its product, such as a pesticide or medication, leading to cancer
  • A driver failing to operate their motor vehicle while sober, causing a fatal accident
  • A hotel failing to conduct background checks of their potential employees, allowing a deadly assault
  • A property owner fails to repair or fix a dangerous condition, causing a fatal slip and fall
  • An automaker failing to make safe vehicles or failing to recall defective vehicles, resulting in a deadly motor vehicle crash

Negligence in Wrongful Death Claims

Like a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death claim requires the person bringing the lawsuit to prove the at-fault party’s negligence. To have a successful wrongful death claim, the four elements of negligence must be shown:

  • Duty – The other party owed the victim a duty of care. For example, they were obliged to drive as a reasonable, prudent driver and avoid placing other motorists and their passengers at risk of severe or fatal injury.
  • Breach – The party breached or violated the duty owed to the victim. Perhaps they were speeding on an icy roadway or were driving while impaired or distracted by a cell phone.
  • Causation – The party’s negligent (or intentional) actions were the direct cause of the victim’s death. If it weren’t for the party’s careless driving, the victim would not have been fatally injured.
  • Damages – Due to the party’s actions and their loved one’s death, those eligible to recover under the New Jersey Wrongful Death Act have suffered actual monetary losses.

Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death in New Jersey

In New Jersey, two legal avenues are available for pursuing a claim after losing a loved one: survival actions and wrongful death claims.

Survival actions are brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and seek to recover damages for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced before their death. These damages may include: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Any other losses incurred as a result of the accident or incident that led to their untimely death. 

Survival actions essentially allow the estate to seek compensation that the deceased person would have been entitled to if they had survived.

On the other hand, wrongful death claims are brought by the surviving family members of the deceased to seek compensation for their own losses. These losses may include: 

  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional pain and suffering of family members. 

Wrongful death claims aim to provide solace and financial support to the family members left behind due to the wrongful actions of another.

Understanding the differences between these two legal avenues is crucial to ensure that you pursue the appropriate claim and maximize your chances of obtaining fair and just compensation for your losses.

At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, our team of dedicated wrongful death attorneys has knowledge and experience in handling both survival actions and wrongful death claims in New Jersey.

Who Can Bring a New Jersey Wrongful Death Claim?

A New Jersey wrongful death claim must be filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s eligible survivors. The representative is frequently the executor named in the decedent’s will. Suppose there was no will, which is unfortunately common. In that case, the representative will be the individual the probate court appoints to serve as the administrator of the decedent’s estate.

The representative, usually through a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer, files the lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members entitled to inherit from the victim through New Jersey’s intestacy laws. Those family members can include:

  • The victim’s living spouse and children
  • If there is no living spouse and children, then the victim’s parents, if they are alive
  • If there are no surviving parents, then the victim’s surviving brothers, sisters, nieces, or nephews

Statute of Limitations in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, there is a specific time frame known as the “statute of limitations” within which you must file a wrongful death claim.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in New Jersey is generally two years from the date of the individual’s passing. This means that you have two years from the time of your loved one’s death to initiate legal action against the responsible party. You must stay aware of this timeline, as failure to file within the statute of limitations can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.

Are You Inside of the Time Frame to File a Lawsuit in NJ?

The statute of limitations for your personal injury case is 2 years. Exceeding it can severely limit or completely invalidate your legal options for seeking compensation. Act swiftly to ensure your rights are preserved and explore your legal recourse before time runs out, otherwise, the likelihood of pursuing your case successfully may diminish considerably. However, if your claim is against a public entity, your timeframe can be significantly shorter.

However, there are certain circumstances that may affect the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases. For example, if the death was the result of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be extended to two years from the discovery of the malpractice, but in no event can it be extended beyond seven years from the date of the incident.

If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, don’t wait to seek legal counsel. Contact a trusted New Jersey attorney today to discuss your case and understand the options available to you. We can provide the compassionate support and expert guidance you need during this challenging time.

Why Should You Hire a NJ Wrongful Death Attorney?

A wrongful death attorney has the experience necessary to navigate the complex world of wrongful death law. Laws surrounding wrongful death claims can vary from state to state, and understanding the specific laws in New Jersey is crucial to building a strong case.

Additionally, a wrongful death attorney can handle all the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on healing and grieving. Dealing with legal matters while grieving the loss of a loved one is an incredibly difficult task, and having a compassionate and experienced attorney by your side can alleviate some of the stress and burden. They can handle all the paperwork, communicate with insurance companies and opposing parties, and build a strong case on your behalf.

Our wrongful death attorneys will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, financial compensation can help ease the financial burden that often accompanies such a loss. Your attorney will carefully evaluate all aspects of your case, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and emotional trauma, to determine the appropriate amount of compensation to seek.

Seek an Experienced New Jersey Attorney

Suppose you’ve lost a loved one in New Jersey or New York due to the negligent actions of another person. In that case, you can count on a certified trial attorney at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, to be here for you. Call us at 800-616-2916 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary consultation with a skilled New Jersey wrongful death lawyer.

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partners, Varcadipane & Pinnisi, who have more than 40 years of combined legal experience as personal injury attorneys.

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New Jersey Wrongful Death FAQs

Dealing with the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is deeply challenging. In New Jersey, the law provides a path for families to seek justice through wrongful death claims. See our most frequent questions about wrongful death cases:

View more questions

When filing a wrongful death claim, you may be eligible to recover various types of damages. These damages can include:

  • Economic damages: These damages compensate for the financial contributions the deceased person would have made to the family. This may include loss of income, medical expenses, funeral costs, and future financial support.
  • Non-economic damages: These damages provide compensation for the emotional and psychological impact of losing a loved one. They encompass pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of guidance or consortium.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter similar conduct in the future.

The value of a wrongful death case can vary greatly depending on several factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The age and earning capacity of the deceased person: The younger the individual and the higher their potential earnings, the greater the potential value of the case.
  • The extent of financial dependence on the deceased: If the deceased person was the primary breadwinner or provided significant financial support, it can significantly impact the value of the case.
  • The circumstances surrounding the death: The nature and severity of the actions that caused the death can also affect the potential value of the case. Cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct may result in higher settlements or verdicts.

When pursuing a wrongful death case, here are some crucial factors to consider:

  • Statute of limitations: In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of death. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in losing your right to seek compensation.
  • Gathering evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case. This may include police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any other documentation related to the incident.
  • Hiring a skilled wrongful death lawyer: A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can guide you through the legal process and advocate for your rights. They will have the expertise to gather evidence, assess damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and navigate the court system if necessary.
  • Managing communication: Be cautious with what you say to insurance adjusters or the opposing party’s representatives. It’s best to let your attorney handle all communication to avoid any potential misinterpretation or statements that may harm your case.

While negligence can be a factor in a wrongful death claim, they are not the same legal concept. Wrongful death refers to a specific type of lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of someone who has passed away due to another individual or entity’s actions, whether intentional or unintentional.

Negligence, on the other hand, refers to a failure to act with reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to another person. It is an element that may be considered when determining liability in a wrongful death case but is not synonymous with the claim itself.

Choosing the right wrongful death lawyer is crucial to maximize your chances of a successful outcome. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney who has extensive experience handling wrongful death cases. They should have a track record of achieving favorable results for their clients.
  • Reputation: Read reviews and testimonials from past clients to gauge the lawyer’s reputation. A reputable attorney will have positive feedback and a strong presence within the legal community.
  • Compassion and empathy: Losing a loved one is an emotional experience, and your attorney should empathize with your situation and genuinely care about your well-being.

Check our wrongful death lawyers of Varcadipane & Pinnisi.

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