In the aftermath of a fatal accident, when your loved one has died because of someone else’s inattention or carelessness, the grief can consume you, making it difficult to know how to proceed. If you’ve never been involved in the legal process before, it can seem as if everyone is speaking a different language. What are your rights and what can you expect to accomplish by taking legal action?
What is a “Wrongful Death”?
The first thing to understand is how New Jersey defines a “wrongful death,” as that’s what will determine whether you have a legal basis for recovery. Under New Jersey law, a fatality is “wrongful” if it was caused, in whole or in part, by “a wrongful act, neglect or default of another” person. To have a wrongful death claim, the circumstances must be such that the deceased would have had a personal injury claim, but for death. In essence, it’s a personal injury claim for a person who cannot bring his or her own lawsuit because he or she has died.
The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the deceased’s estate, as well as any surviving family members, for any and all losses tied to the accidental death. Among the losses that may be recovered in a wrongful death action are:
- The loss of any income, wages or financial support the decedent would have provided to the surviving family members
- The loss of any value of household services the deceased would have provided
- Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, care and consortium
- Any reasonable medical, funeral and burial expenses tied to the death
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have lost a loved one because of the negligence or carelessness of another person, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all wrongful death claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.