The death of a loved one leaves many people saddened and looking for answers. Often, the surviving family of a fatal accident victim in New Jersey may try to find someone to blame, particularly when the death was sudden or unexpected. It is not always possible to blame someone, but when the death of a person could have been prevented or avoided, it may be seen as a wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims may arise from many different circumstances. One such circumstance is death resulting from a car accident. When a person is killed in a car accident due to the negligent actions of another person, a civil claim may be filed. However, it must be proven that the actions of the defendant, or failure to act, were the root cause of the death of the victim. A wrongful death claim is filed in civil court and is separate from any criminal charges filed.
The laws regulating wrongful death claims differ from state to state. State statutes govern who may file a wrongful death claim. Generally, a spouse, parents of minor children and minor children of parents will be allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Importantly, wrongful death claims cannot be filed on behalf of a fetus in New Jersey.
Families of deceased victims who think they may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim may benefit from consulting a New Jersey lawyer in their region. As the family grieves, they will be well served by gaining an understanding of their legal rights and of what steps may be necessary to seek monetary relief through our court system. The hurt and worry of the family cannot be taken away, but damages awarded in a successful claim may assist the family in dealing with the financial burdens associated with this tragedy.
Source: legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, “Wrongful Death“, Jan. 28, 2015
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