On behalf of Cuneo & Leonetti on Monday, June 17, 2019.

The death of a loved one after a long illness is always sad, but you may also feel a sense of relief that your loved one is no longer suffering. However, when a loved one dies in a tragic and preventable accident, whether on a New Jersey highway or through an act of negligence at work, the suddenness of the loss can be devastating to a family.

If you are in such a situation now, the law allows you to pursue potential compensation for your loss through a wrongful death lawsuit filed in the civil courts. These are complex cases and often challenging undertakings for grieving families. However, if successful, a wrongful death action can provide a family with financial assistance during a difficult time.

Where to start?

Understandably, you may not feel ready to move forward with a legal action if your loved one’s death happened recently. However, each state has a statute of limitations for filing such claims, so you will want to make sure not to miss your opportunity for obtaining any compensation the courts may impose on those responsible for your loved one’s death. You will want to gather as much information as possible about the process involved in a wrongful death case. You can begin with these steps:

  • Learning whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death suit, such as being a spouse or child of the deceased
  • Confirming that your loved one’s death occurred due to someone else’s reckless, negligent or deliberate actions and not through your loved one’s own fault
  • Recognizing and gathering evidence that you and your family are suffering financially because of your loved one’s death, such as having the burdens of medical bills, funeral expenses and the loss of wages your loved one would have earned for the rest of his or her normal life
  • Opening a probate estate for your loved one so that you can initiate a lawsuit on his or her behalf

With success, a wrongful death claim may result in compensation for those specific expenses listed above, but the court may also find that those responsible for your loved one’s death owe you for your suffering and loss. On rare occasions, a New Jersey court may also award punitive damages as a deterrent against similar negligence or recklessness in the future.

Facing the sudden and preventable death of a loved one may bring a family unspeakable grief. However, you can reach out for someone to speak on your behalf. With a legal advocate, you may be able to present a strong case for obtaining the compensation you need to carry on after the death of your loved one.