When a person is killed because of the misconduct or negligence of another person, entity or company it’s considered a wrongful death. Family members such as spouses, parents or children have the right to file a wrongful death claim. For example, there are many financial hardships you may face because your loved one was the primary source of income in your family. His or her death can have a long-lasting effect on your life. If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to be compensated for your loss. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys are committed to assisting you with your wrongful death claim and understand the sensitivity of your loss.
A wrongful death claim is not a criminal action, so New Jersey prosecutors won’t handle these types of cases. Since a wrongful death claim is a personal injury case, which is a civil matter, you’ll receive money as compensation for your loss if you are successful.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
A successful wrongful death claim includes specific elements or proof of negligence. In other words, the court requires you, the plaintiff, to show the defendant actually caused your loved one’s death. The elements you must use to prove your wrongful death claim includes:
- The death of a human being happened
- The defendant’s actions either negligently or intentionally caused that death
- You, as the surviving family member, are suffering monetary injury as the result of the death
- There is a personal representative appointed as a representative for the decedent’s estate
- The estate may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent prior to his or her death
Sometimes a defendant may settle a claim without going to court. This is called an out of court settlement. However, when the defendant refuses to pay or negotiations breakdown, you may need to pursue litigation.
The attorneys at Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith can assist you with understanding the elements you need to prove for a successful wrongful death claim.
There are many reasons, or causes, for a wrongful death claim. The following are some common causes people suffering the loss of a family member may sue:
- Car accident
- Plane accident
- Criminal behavior
- Medical malpractice
- Occupational exposure in the workplace
- Death during a supervised activity such as: sports, outings, etc.
Why Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
Unless the defendant decides to settle out of court, you may receive a court award if you choose to sue. It is the decision of the jury or judge to decide your financial injury. A financial injury consists of:
- Loss of support
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Compensation for the conscious pain and suffering of the decedent prior to his or her death
Determining money damages is often hard for some to understand because no amount of money can replace a loved one. However, the court calculates money damages based on certain information such as:
- The victim’s earning capacity
- Life expectancy
- Condition of health
There are many factors to understand when pursuing a wrongful death claim against a defendant. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith is committed to helping you receive compensation for the loss of your loved one.