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The loss of a loved one is always a tragedy. It is even more complicated when the loss is unexpected. Having a family member die due to an accident, a negligent act, or even a crime is the most stressful and confusing time for a family. The family must arrange for the deceased’s funeral costs and make accommodations to pay outstanding medical bills.
When a death is the fault of another party, the deceased’s family has the right to demand compensation for these losses. In addition, a family may demand payment for any lost earning potential and emotional trauma caused by an incident. A Hamilton Square wrongful death lawyer may be able to help families hold the responsible parties liable for their actions. A personal injury attorney could work to bring a lawsuit that demands appropriate compensation to make things right.
When is a Death “Wrongful” in the Eyes of the Law?
Any death that is tracible to the actions of another may be wrongful. More specifically, New Jersey Revised Statute § 2A:31-1 says that a lawsuit is appropriate when a person’s death would not have happened if not for the actions or neglect of another party. However, it is the plaintiff’s job to prove that another party was responsible for the death. Wrongful deaths occur in two main ways: accidents and intentional acts.
When a person dies in an accident, the defendant did not mean to cause it. Because of this, a wrongful death case may closely resemble any other injury lawsuit alleging negligence. The plaintiff notes in the complaint that an accident resulted in a death and adjusts the demands for compensation accordingly.
A death that results from an intentional act will usually be in combination with a criminal case. It is important to remember that criminal courts exist solely to punish illegal criminal behavior. They can never order a defendant to compensate the surviving family of the deceased directly. While a conviction in criminal court will aid in a plaintiff’s civil case, a demand for compensation must be separate from any criminal case. A wrongful death attorney in Hamilton Square could help explore the facts behind a passing and choose the appropriate legal action.
What Damages Could a Family Claim?
N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:31-2A indicates a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim is always the administrator of the decedent’s estate. This is a person nominated in a will to carry out the decedent’s wishes and pursue any legal action that may benefit the estate.
A claim itself may demand reimbursement for the costs associated with the death, lost future earnings, and the emotional impact of the loss. Commonly claimed damages include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Lost future wages
- Loss of emotional support provided by the deceased
- The pain and suffering of the decedent
A statute of limitations controls when administrators may bring a case to court. According to N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:31-3, a family must bring all wrongful passing claims to court within two years of the date of death. However, this is only a general rule, and the specific facts of a case may shorten or lengthen this time limit. A lawyer in Hamilton Square could help administrators pursue a wrongful death case on behalf of affected family members.
Allow a Hamilton Square Wrongful Death Attorney to Help your Family
An untimely death is never an easy burden to bear. A family must think about paying for funeral costs and arranging their financial future. Reimbursement could be possible through a wrongful passing lawsuit against all responsible parties.
A Hamilton wrongful death lawyer represents the estates of the deceased to obtain compensation from the people responsible. This can include payments for the immediate costs associated with the death and provide for a family’s future. There is a limited time to bring a case to court, so do not wait; contact our legal team today.