While the loss of a family member might be the most difficult experience a person may ever endure, knowing that their death could have been prevented might make the struggle all the more difficult.
When a family member suffers an untimely death, legal liability and money matters may be the last thing on your mind. In some cases, a wrongful death action could serve as part of the healing process by providing answers and holding responsible parties accountable for their actions.
If you believe the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity may have caused the death of your family member, consider talking to a Trenton wrongful death lawyer. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys could investigate the situation and help you pursue the compensation needed to handle bills left behind and make up for income, guidance, and companionship lost.
A Lawsuit is Typically Composed of Two Parts
Under the New Jersey Wrongful Death Act, listed in New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:31-1, a “wrongful death” is one caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. Phrased more broadly, the act may involve deliberate wrongdoing or result from an accident that was allowed to occur because of the negligence of a person or entity.
In many wrongful death lawsuits in Trenton, lawyers must file claims under in one or two ways—or both simultaneously—depending on the circumstances. A personal representative of the decedent could file a wrongful death claim with the help of an attorney for the benefit of spouses and dependents to provide compensation for support lost due to the demise of their supporting family member. Conversely, the deceased’s estate may bring a survival action seeking funds to cover bills and then be distributed in accordance with the directives of the decedent’s will.
Recoverable Benefits for Survivors
A wrongful death claim does not provide compensation for emotional distress or pain and suffering. The types of damages that a wrongful death lawyer in Trenton may be able to pursue on your behalf could amount to compensate for economic loss suffered by family members, which may include:
- Lost financial support
- Lost guidance, care, and companionship
- Medical and funeral expenses
- The lost value of household services and childcare
Different Benefits Available Under the Survivor Statute
Unlike a wrongful death claim, a survivor claim typically allows for recovery for pain and suffering endured by the deceased between the time of the wrongful act and the ultimate resulting death. A claim must also be brought by the administrator or executor of the estate, and amount may be recovered for other losses which may include funeral expenses.
Work with a Trenton Wrongful Death Attorney
In most cases, wrongful death claims and survivor claims must be filed within two years of the date of death. Claims filed after that time would likely be time-barred unless unusual circumstances exist to toll the deadline.
Even if this deadline is still a while away, it may be advisable to consult a Trenton wrongful death lawyer without too much delay. Since evidence may become more difficult to obtain and less trustworthy with the passage of time, an early investigation could be essential for recovering the evidence needed to establish liability. To begin the investigation process or learn more about your options, consult a wrongful death lawyer in Trenton from our firm today.