New Jersey spans 130 miles of coastline, and yet tragedy is never far away. Sadly, throughout the state, wrongful death occurs almost daily, leaving behind the victims’ loved ones to face the aftermath. Knowing that most of these accidents could have been avoided may only add to the suffering and pain that you are already going through after your loss.
Perhaps you’re debating whether or not to consult a law firm after your loved one has passed away. Hesitation is understandable in such distressing circumstances. However, you have no time to waste.
For now, the law may be on your side, but if you don’t act quickly, you and your family could lose the right to file a claim to be compensated for your losses and emotional anguish. Contact Judd Shaw Injury Law today and ask to speak to our wrongful death lawyers, without any cost or obligation – call 1-866-909-6894 any time day or night!
What is Wrongful Death?
New Jersey law defines wrongful death as being “caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default.” In other words, wrongful death arises when someone dies as a result of another party’s wrongful act or negligence. For instance, perhaps the case arose from a severe injury that eventually led to the person passing away.
State law also establishes your rights; certain surviving family members may be eligible to seek compensation for the costs imposed upon them and their family for their loved one’s passing. This is done by means of either a wrongful death claim or a survival claim.
Wrongful death claims
A wrongful death claim allows you to fight for the compensation the surviving family is owed after your loved one died due to negligence. The party responsible for your loved one’s injury that ultimately ended his or her life will be legally required to compensate you and your family, as the heirs or beneficiaries of the person who has passed away, for losses suffered.
The financial damages you qualify to receive will depend on the specifics of your claim. Generally speaking, heirs or beneficiaries could be reimbursed for funeral costs and financial losses related to their loved one’s passing. The amount of money the decedent might have earned and contributed to the family, had he or she gone on living, will also be considered.
The following damages could be pursued by means of a wrongful death claim:
- Medical bills
- Burial costs
- Emotional trauma
- Estate administration expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship, support, and services to the family
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of future wages and other financial contribution
- Lost wages
- Punitive damages
Besides the financial support you require to bring you some peace of mind, what might be the most important thing about a wrongful death claim is bringing the at-fault party to justice.
Once your loved one’s injustice has been acknowledged, validated, and acted on, you will feel a weight off your shoulders. Although this does not give you back your loved one, seeing justice brought for him or her can help in the healing process.
If the liable party of the case was intentionally negligent or committed a crime that led to your loved one’s fatality, then you could, at the same time, file for a wrongful death lawsuit along with a criminal trial.
During your free consultation with personal injury lawyers, you may also hear the legal term “survival action.” This is another type of claim you may be able to file on behalf of your loved one if your case qualifies.
The damages considered in a survival action include the pain, suffering, and other losses the deceased experienced due to the negligence of someone else. This is, essentially, a legal claim he or she could have initiated upon surviving the injury.
Even a personal injury case unrelated to the person’s death could be pursued to completion by the surviving family members. This would apply in a situation where a personal injury victim was already pursuing a legal claim when he or she was unexpectedly killed in an unrelated accident.
Even so, survival actions can also be related to a separate wrongful death claim. Essentially, the deceased’s own losses and pain and suffering determine the compensation awarded in a survival action case.
A person’s pain and suffering in a survival action may refer to his or her physical pain, mental torment, emotional distress, and fear of dying experienced prior to passing away.
With a survival action, the main damages to be considered might include:
- Medical bills
- Wages lost between the accident and the death
- Loss of earning power until death
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages
The severity of the injury and the degree of negligence involved in your wrongful death case may increase the total amount of compensation you can acquire. For example, punitive damages may be awarded in outstanding cases involving gross misconduct and the like.
How to Qualify for Punitive Damages
Be aware that punitive damages are not necessarily a goal you can shoot for by choice. This decision may come down to the jury’s discretion at trial. An experienced wrongful death attorney, though, can let you know whether the award of punitive damages is a real possibility in your case.
Punitive damages might be imposed on a defendant who:
- Demonstrated a high degree of recklessness or gross negligence, showing a conscious disregard for the safety and rights of others
- Engaged in harmful or wrongful conduct intentionally, perhaps with malicious intent
- Was motivated by malice or ill will toward the plaintiff
- Performed actions that can be characterized as willful
- Has a history of similar misconduct, or;
- Shows a pattern of harmful behavior
As you can see, punitive damages are typically awarded only in situations where the defendant’s conduct is especially intolerable. As such, these damages are primarily imposed, not to compensate the surviving family members, but to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistake.
Factors to Consider When Preparing a Wrongful Death Claim
For your case to be taken on, your wrongful death attorneys have to see that you have the potential to win compensation. First of all, consider whether your loved one truly experienced a wrongful death. Was a certain person or entity to blame for what happened?
The following factors should be considered when preparing a wrongful death claim:
- Liability: Can a clear line be drawn from the responsible party’s actions to your loved one’s death?
- Insurance coverage: Will you be suing the liable party or filing a claim with their insurance provider?
- Damages: What financial and emotional losses directly resulted from the death?
- Statute of limitations: Has the legal deadline to file a claim or lawsuit already passed?
- Beneficiaries: Who is eligible to receive compensation by means of a local wrongful death claim?
- Settlement options: Is it worth it to go all the way to trial? Or will out-of-court negotiations most likely be sufficient?
- Misconduct involved: Was gross, malicious, repeated, or continuous misconduct a factor leading to your loved one’s death?
Before you decide your case may not be worth the time and effort, come talk to the legal team at Judd Shaw Injury Law. We can evaluate your case, for free without any obligation, and let you know your rights. This can enable you to make an informed decision for the best of your entire family.
Fortunately, many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis, so the legal costs should be less of a major factor to consider. When you work with Judd Shaw Injury Law, for example, you can be sure that consulting us is free and that you never pay for our services out of pocket.
When you can be sure that you will pay no legal fees upon losing your case, why not give your claim or lawsuit a try? Injustice and passing time may be against you now, but experienced wrongful death attorneys can help ensure that you resolve your case before it’s too late to beat the statute of limitations and receive your money.
Act Now Before the Statute of Limitations Passes You By
What is a statute of limitations? Simply put, this is a deadline defined by state law that limits the amount of time you have to file your specific type of claim or lawsuit.
The statute of limitations is in place for the following reasons:
- To preserve evidence, which can deteriorate over time
- To provide legal certainty so that parties can reasonably expect that they won’t be subject to legal actions after a certain period of time
- To prevent stale or unfair claims from being filed
- To encourage parties to resolve their legal disputes sooner, freeing up the court system for newer cases
In New Jersey, wrongful death claims must be filed within 2 years of your loved one’s passing. However, there may be exceptions to this rule in some cases.
The best and easiest way to find out whether or not you still have a valid potential claim is to speak to a wrongful death lawyer. Since many firms offer free consultations, you have nothing to lose but time.
Is It Worthwhile to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Even though the clock is ticking, you may feel overwhelmed. Coming up against insurance companies and determining your loved one’s rights can be overwhelming. Understandably, dealing with all these legal matters while trying to come to terms with the loss of your loved one can feel like too much.
At a time like this, you feel you should be focusing on your family and your own emotional needs as well. How can you possibly find time to consult wrongful death lawyers and retain their services? After all, you have the right to prepare and file a claim for yourself.
Unfortunately, filing a claim on your own is not your ideal course of action. As you may already be wondering, how can you find the time? Rather than imposing undue stress on yourself, come to us.
Here at Judd Shaw Injury Law, serving the entire State of New Jersey, we have an experienced legal team with members who genuinely care about hearing your story. When we take on your case, you can be sure that we will show empathy to you and your loved ones, because we want to see you get through these heartbreaking and difficult times and come out on top.
Our goal is to assist you in seeking justice and compensation for the tragedy you have experienced. Addressing the wrong done to your loved one can even help prevent these types of situations from arising again in New Jersey.
Too many families suffer emotionally and financially when people do not take enough care. Accidents ranging from product liability, medical negligence or malpractice, abuse or neglect, workplace accidents, and premises liability accidents – just to name a few case types – are all too common.
Your life has been turned upside down, but you can seek justice for yourself, your family, and many others.
That’s why our attorneys here at Judd Shaw Injury Law are ready to take you by the hand and lead you through the legal process, step by step. You can trust us to take care of you and protect your rights.
Filing a wrongful death claim, with the right law firm assisting you, is definitely worth it. Just consider a few of the benefits:
- Remedying your family’s financial burdens connected to the wrongful death
- Resolving your own sense that you, your family, and your dear loved one have been unjustly treated
- Rest knowing that your compensation can be maximized by your wrongful death lawyers
Getting help will make the entire process go much smoother and ensure better results. And that’s just one reason why the experienced Judd Shaw legal team is well-equipped to assist you.
Why Choose Judd Shaw Injury Law’s Wrongful Death Attorneys
Judd Shaw Injury Law is a premier personal injury law firm, with a team of lawyers dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have experienced injustice due to the harmful actions (or inactions) of others.
Our long-standing reputation for achieving justice speaks for itself. When we take on your case, the attorneys at our law firm will take pride and honor in protecting your best interests and those of the loved ones you’re fighting for.
We uphold the highest ethical standards and defend the welfare of all, defending others while also respecting the law. This requires courage, bravery, and an elevated understanding of New Jersey statutes – all of which we have.
Choosing Judd Shaw Injury Law means that our expertise and experience in wrongful death claims and lawsuits will be put to work on your behalf. So you will be able to focus on supporting your loved ones while we do the hard work.
Best of all, you don’t need to worry about the legal expenses. Under our No Fee Guarantee policy, we will not ask for even a penny from you until we win your fight. Only then will we ask that a fee be paid – right out of the compensation you receive. Thus, no out-of-pocket expenses will be asked of you.
If your loved one has wrongfully passed away, call us to find out whether your case qualifies to be filed as a wrongful death lawsuit or claim. Call 1-866-909-6894 or contact our law firm’s online representatives by clicking the “Get Help Now” button on this screen – our team members are standing by, 24/7.