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Wrongful Death

Wikipedia defines wrongful death as “a claim against a person who can be held liable for a death.” This claim is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives, as enumerated by statute. 

The death of a loved one is a difficult time, especially if it’s the result of someone else’s negligence. An unexpected passing is not only emotional and stressful, but also may cause financial burdens. In this situation, family members may decide to recover financially from their loss.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought to trial by any party who is financially dependent on the deceased. Usually this is a family member, but it could also be a life partner, or even the parents of a deceased fetus. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in New Jersey is 2 years after passing. The Law Firm of Andrew Maze can expertly guide a family through this difficult time.

A wrongful death suit has certain elements and must include:

  • Someone died
  • The defendant was negligent in some way
  • If the person had survived, they would be able to file a personal injury suit
  • The death caused financial and emotional stress for family members

Who Can Be Sued

Wrongful death suits can be brought against a person, company, government agency, or employee. Nolo.com, a legal information site, describes the residual effects of a car accident resulting in a wrongful death involving a defective road and a driver under the influence of alcohol. In this situation, the parties that may be sued are the driver of the vehicle, the builder of the road, a government agency for not giving adequate notice of a hazard, the maker of the vehicle, and/or the person who sold the alcohol. A court will determine the award of punitive damages, which are meant to punish the offending party. 

Damages

Recovering monetary damages can ease the burden on the family of the deceased. These monetary damages include:

  • Future lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • And in some cases, attorney fees.

Along with the financial damages a court may award, there are also noneconomic damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of care, guidance, and protection
  • Loss of companionship and love

These intangible losses are much more difficult to calculate, and in many cases, worth more than lawsuit monetary compensation.

What to Do

A wrongful death lawsuit can be very complicated and requires an attorney who has experience in this area. The Law Office of Andrew Maze has expertise in personal injury and wrongful death cases. They have represented many clients for decades giving them guidance and compassion at the most difficult time in their lives. 

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