Every state, including New Jersey, permits the heirs of a person killed by negligence or a wrongful act to recover compensation through the filing of a civil lawsuit. Historically, only an injured person could bring a claim for damages. However, state legislators enacted wrongful death statutes in order to compensate close family members for the financial hardships that accompany the devastating loss of a family member.
Pursuant to New Jersey’s wrongful death statute, heirs can recover lost financial support, funeral expenses, and damages for the pain and suffering the decedent endured prior to death.
A plaintiff must prove the following four elements in a wrongful death lawsuit:
In order to establish that a person is liable for the wrongful death of your loved one, you must first prove that they owed the decedent a duty of care. This means that the defendant had a duty to keep the decedent safe or refrain from harming them. For example, if the decedent was killed while riding as a passenger in the plaintiff’s car, the plaintiff-driver should have been driving with a reasonable degree of caution.
Next, you must establish that the plaintiff breached the duty owed to the decedent. Returning to the previous example, a driver might breach the duty owed to their passenger by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. A reasonable person would not drive drunk; therefore, by doing so, the driver breached the duty owed to the decedent-passenger.
Next, a plaintiff must prove that the breach caused the decedent’s death. Referring back to our example, the plaintiff must prove that the drunk driving car accident was the cause of death. If the decedent had suffered a fatal heart attack mere moments before the accident, an heir will not be able to recover for wrongful death.
Damages are presumed in a wrongful death case, because the person was killed. In cases where the victim is not fatally injured, they must have suffered some real harm that can be demonstrated in court.
This team is incredible. They are friendly and knowledgeable. I appreciate everything they have done for me and would recommend them to anyone. Overall great experience
My case settled recently after lasting 4 years. Grungo and Colarulo’s law firm were able to secure a large settlement award for my slip and fall accident. This money will help secure my future for the permanent injury I received as a result of the slip and fall. Everyone was very caring, and kept me informed throughout the entire process. Christine Lafferty is an excellent litigation lawyer. I highly recommend using them if you have been injured or in an accident. I hope I am never in a situation again to need their services, but I know who to go to if I, or any of my family members are ever injured. Thanks Grungo and Colarulo and staff for your compassionate service!
Thank you so much Grungo and Colarulo for helping me with my case. Special thanks to Erica Domingo, Esquire and her team. Erica Domingo and her team was very nice and helped me tremendously throughout my case like more than one year and half. They gave me the right advice and guided me through every step of my case. They gave me prompt and clear responses to all my questions. In addition, Erica and her team provided me with all the what if scenarios so that I can have a clear vison of the steps ahead.
I would definitely recommend Grungo and Colarulo.
Thanks again Erica Domingo, Esquire and her team
My wife and I reached out to Grungo Colarulo in 2020 for advise on a legal matter. After a meeting with the Attorney and Paralegal, we decided to go forward with a case. This case required a lot of documentation, and expert review of the documentation which was aquired. Throughout the process, we were kept up to date monthly, and Grungo Colarulo was always responsive to any questions that we had. The entire staff at Grungo Colarulo are very professional, caring, and willing to go the extra mile. This firm is a definite recommend!
I left five (5) stars only because that’s as many as I could leave. If I could, I would have left 100 stars. Bob & Christine are the absolute best! My settlement far exceeded what I ever imagined. They are professional, friendly, and really listened to what I had to say. They kept me up to date with the progress of my case every step of the way. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Very professional, communicates well, makes me feel like they have my best interest at heart, and overall just a great company. Christine and the whole team has been on top of everything. Would definitely recommend!! 10/10
First and foremost I would like to thank the whole team at Grungo Colarulo!! In addition to that, Stephanie & Riley & Drenna have done such an outstanding job taking care of me in such a difficult and low point of my life. I was in a bad car accident & did not know how to move forward with what to do and how to process. Those ladies were there every step, every inch, every mile & beyond with helping me when I had no idea how to navigate. I will forever be thankful for them and for the outcome of my case! If you ever need assistance I highly recommend this practice!!! Beyond professional, helpful, precise, caring, knowledgeable & humble!!!
From my first phone call to the end of my case this firm was on the ball!! Always responsive and professional and kept me up to date and informed. This is my firm for any future needs!
This was my first time ever having to have a lawyer for an automobile accident. From the beginning they took care of everything. They put me at ease so I could concentrate on my medical needs. Everyone I spoke to during the process were always extremely pleasant and knowledgeable.
Thank you to Grungo Colarulo for representing me and getting the settlement you did to help me move forward. I would highly recommend Grungo Colarulo to anyone who wants outstanding legal representation.
This team has been nothing but gentle an generous. Being as this was my first time dealing with a worker’s compensation case I was lost and nervous. But the Grungo Colarulo team has made me feel as comfortable as possible. My needs were addressed with care in a timely fashion. I knew what was going on every step of the way.
Oh, did I mention, WE WON …
This teams knowledge of the industry is TOP NOTCH!
A dear family friend referred us to a young attorney named Rich Grungo, Jr. We wanted answers and if necessary, justice for our father. From day one of a five-year journey, Mr. Rich Grungo, Jr. made our family and our pain his own. The man never stopped working for us. He kept us informed every step of the way. Questions were answered quickly and with great compassion and expertise. Even though Rich was always busy, he was never too busy for us. We always felt like we were his only clients
I had the opportunity to observe Mr. Grungo work in this case, both in the courtroom on the technical matters of the motions and also as his presentation to the jury in opening and presenting witnesses as well as utilizing animations… and drawings and films that were necessary for a proper understanding of the case…At all times during the presentation, Mr. Grungo operated mostly without notes and questioned the witnesses in a conversational manner which made it most effective. **
Thank you for everything. I honestly felt like you treated my son like he was your own son, for that I am grateful. I would recommend your services to anyone. Thanks for being so awesome to both of us.
It was a pleasure working with Bill. He constantly kept me informed. I would recommend Bill and his firm to anybody I know. They’ll be in good hands.
I had the opportunity to retain Mr. Colarulo for a vehicle accident I encountered. I give him my highest recommendation for anyone in need of an excellent Personal Injury Attorney. Not only does he have an in depth knowledge of the legal field, but he emanates a sense of trust-worthiness that makes you feel secure during the entire process. Mr. Colarulo has the knowledge, drive and enthusiasm that will get the job done for you. He comes highly recommended.
Hi Rich, Well I’m on my way up to college to finish packing my son’s stuff up and to go to his Graduation tomorrow. It’s hard to believe how fast and how slow, at the same time 5 years can go by. I was just thinking of you as I am getting ready to leave and wanted to thank you once again for everything you have done for my son’s future. You are a good and just man. God Bless to you and your family.