The state of New Jersey has its own laws concerning wrongful death lawsuits. New Jersey defines a “wrongful death” as a death caused by wrongful action, negligence, or disregard of another party. In other words, a wrongful death claim is equal to a personal injury claim, but the injured person is no longer able to bring his or herself to court. Instead, someone else must bring the claim to court on behalf of the deceased; usually this person is a family member. There have been a few notable wrongful death lawsuits in New Jersey and its surrounding states recently, and news of these lawsuits might inform you of how the state handles these cases.
What’s Been in the News?
In December, the sister of a fatally shot woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the victim’s husband. The incident occurred in the couple’s home in Connecticut in 2015, but the sister of the deceased recently decided to file a lawsuit at the end of 2017 and seek monetary damages. A New Jersey sea captain and his mate are being sued for wrongful death by the victim’s widow. The deceased’s wife is filing a lawsuit and claiming that the captain “failed to take adequate safety precautions” which resulted in the fatal collision with the victim’s boat.
How Does New Jersey Handle Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
On behalf of any surviving family members, the lawsuit is filed by the representative of the estate. Any damages recovered from the case are actually allocated among any surviving family members that were dependent on the deceased at the time of death. These members can include spouses, parents, siblings, children, nieces or nephews. Damages in a New Jersey wrongful death case are awarded for loss of financial support, loss of comfort and care, loss of household services, or any medical, funeral, and burial expenses. Lastly, New Jersey has a time limit on wrongful death claims called a statute of limitations, which requires these cases to be filed within two years of the deceased person’s date of death.