Losing a loved one can be the most challenging experience you have in your life. When the death of a loved one is the result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it can become even more difficult. Without warning, families may have to deal with the loss of care and support from their deceased family member, and possibly significant financial concerns if the deceased was the primary earner for the household.When a wrongful death occurs, surviving family members may be able to claim compensation from the responsible individual with the help of a Camden County wrongful death lawyer. While this compensation cannot bring your loved one back, it may help your family handle various financial burdens that can stem from a sudden death.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
There are many scenarios in which a wrongful death could ensue, the majority of which are not criminal in nature. The most common types of wrongful death claims based on negligence by another person, company, or entity involved:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving bicyclists or pedestrians being struck by moving vehicles
- Accidents in the workplace
- Malpractice by a doctor or healthcare professional, including injuries sustained during childbirth
- Defective or dangerous products
In most of these instances, the negligent individual that caused the wrongful death did not intend to do so, but that does not mean that they should not be held accountable for their actions.
Criminal Cases vs. Wrongful Death Claims
When a wrongful death results from a violent crime, a criminal case typically ensues. Criminal cases are just that: cases that involve a crime, are held in criminal court, and are tried by criminal and prosecuting attorneys. Criminal courts also sentence anyone convicted of a crime to some form of punishment, which is the main intention of criminal court. Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are held in civil court and are often only overseen by a judge or settled out of court.
They are not meant to punish the person who caused the wrongful death, but rather to allow individuals affected by the death to recover compensation for related damages and losses. A civil wrongful death claim can be filed before or after the opening of a criminal case, or while a criminal trial is proceeding. A skilled Camden Country wrongful death lawyer will know the correct protocol for filing a wrongful death claim quickly and efficiently.
New Jersey Wrongful Death Act
Filing a wrongful death claim in Camden County is possible due to the New Jersey Wrongful Death Act, which gives family members the right to file a lawsuit if one of their loved ones dies due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or criminal act. The Act limits the parties who can file wrongful death claims primarily to direct relatives of the deceased. This includes surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews of the deceased. It is important to note that while the Act allows compensation for financial stress and burdens left behind by the deceased, it does not allow for punitive damages meant to punish the negligent party or damages for emotional distress.
Contact a Camden County Wrongful Death Attorney Today
In Camden County, families have only two years from the date of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. Because of this statute of limitations, it may be important to speak to a Camden County wrongful death lawyer about your case as soon as possible, as time may be running out for you to get the compensation you may be entitled to. Call today to schedule a consultation.