Losing a family member, especially when the death was unexpected and the result of someone else’s negligence, is one of the hardest and most terrible things anyone can go through in life. The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze is prepared to act as a trusted and compassionate legal resource for families who have lost a loved one through the negligence of another party. If you find yourself in that horrible situation, please let us help you recover compensation for the loss of your loved one so you can focus on your grief and healing. Whether or not you are facing the unimaginable it is important to understand the nuances of wrongful death law so that you understand your legal options and avoid wasting time parsing myths and misconceptions. Our experts are counting down and busting myths about wrongful death laws.
Wrongful Death Law Myths
- MYTH: You have unlimited time to file a wrongful death claim. While it may be difficult to think about your legal options in the aftermath of a loved one’s death, doing so is unfortunately necessary. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New Jersey is two years from the passing of an individual. The limitations serve as a hard deadline for when you must file your claim if you want to successfully receive compensation for your loss. If the statute of limitations passes, you will be barred from filing a claim and receiving compensation. It is important to consult with a legal team as soon as possible after a death has occurred.
- MYTH: Medical malpractice is the only situation in which wrongful death claims can be filed. Medical malpractice is just one major reason for wrongful death claims, but definitely not the only one. Wrongful death claims can ensue from any situation in which negligence causes a fatal injury, including car accidents, work-related fatalities, criminal acts, defective products, and more. Wrongful death cases in New Jersey can be brought if a death was caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” regardless of whether the neglect took place in a medical setting.
- MYTH: Wrongful death claims must prove intentional wrongdoing. It is a misconception that the accused party in a wrongful death case needs to have acted with the intention of causing harm. In reality, wrongful death claims are based upon negligence or careless behavior not actively trying to cause harm so there is no need to prove intentional wrongdoing. It is the negligence of the accused that needs to be established as the basis of a wrongful death claim, not their intent.
- MYTH: Only medical, burial, and funeral expenses can be covered by wrongful death claim compensation. While it is true that in the state of New Jersey, funeral expenses and medical expenses that incur prior to a victim’s passing are among the damages that the eligible parties may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit they are not the only ones. Other damages recoverable can include loss of future financial support that the deceased party would have brought in over their lifetime. Additionally, loss of companionship and emotional support can be recognized as damage. While the legal system obviously can not bring people back to life it can bring financial support to families beyond simply covering funeral costs and medical costs.
- MYTH: Criminal cases lead to the families of victims getting compensation. It is not the role of a criminal court proceeding to deliver compensation to a victim’s family. The role of a criminal court is to decide whether or not an accused person should be convicted of a crime and sentenced. It is not designed to determine the compensation eligibility of the family of a victim. In order for a family to get compensation they must file a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze has years of experience representing grieving families in wrongful death cases. If you find yourself needing an experienced and compassionate legal team that can help you recover compensation for the loss of your loved one during an unimaginably difficult time, please contact us as soon as you can.