Who Qualifies to Pursue Compensation after an Accidental Death?
An accidental or wrongful death can have far-reaching consequences, leaving family, friends and others with a tremendous sense of loss. Under the laws in New Jersey, though, only specific individuals have “standing” in court to bring a lawsuit to recover financial compensation after the wrongful death of another person.
Filing a “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit in New Jersey
Unlike most other states, New Jersey does not allow surviving family members to file a “wrongful death” lawsuit. That type of claim in New Jersey must be filed by the executor or personal representative of the beneficiaries, which typically includes the spouse, any offspring (including adult children), parents, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews. The executor may also represent the interests of an unrelated person who can prove financial dependence on the deceased. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative may seek damages for any losses suffered by beneficiaries, including financial support, companionship or consortium, and any medical or funeral expenses incurred by the beneficiaries.
If a person dies in an accident, but has no will, the court will typically appoint an executor, who can then file a wrongful death action.
New Jersey also allows certain parties to file a “survivor action” after an accidental death, with similar damages recoverable. The key difference is that a survivor action allows for the recovery of any pain and suffering incurred by the decedent between the time of the accident and death.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all wrongful or accidental death claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.