Orange, NJ Wrongful Death Attorney
Your family could be left with a huge hole in their lives after a death in the family, and filing a lawsuit might be the last thing on your mind. However, a wrongful death lawsuit might be the best way to hold the responsible parties accountable for your loved one’s death. It can also help you and the rest of your family get the compensation you need to continue on.
Damages from a wrongful death lawsuit can help support your family in place of a deceased loved one’s lost wages. They can also compensate you and your family for the deceased’s injuries and suffering. To get damages that truly compensate you, you should work with one of our Orange, NJ wrongful death attorneys.
For a free case review, call our Orange wrongful death lawyers today at (718) 841-0083. At The Carrion Law Firm, we offer free case evaluations to get you started on your path to recovery.
Damages in an Orange, NJ Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Damages paid to the family of a loved one killed in an accident are a bit complex. First, it is important to understand that damages break down into two categories: damages with a clear financial cost are known as “economic” damages, and intangible, emotional, or mental harms are known as “non-economic” damages. Additionally, wrongful death claims are split into two different claims: wrongful death lawsuits for the family’s damages and survival actions for the victim’s damages.
Wrongful Death Actions
An action for wrongful death compensates the family of a deceased loved one for the death of their family member. The goal of these lawsuits is to make up for the economic harm the family faces because of the untimely death. The damages recovered in this lawsuit are only for “pecuniary damages,” according to N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-5. “Pecuniary damages” are economic damages and include things like the deceased’s lost wages, lost household services, funeral expenses, and other economic support that the family will now miss out on because of the death.
Wrongful death claims do not allow the family to claim non-economic damages for things like their own pain and suffering, lost companionship, emotional distress, or other factors. It is often difficult for families to understand what they are entitled to claim in these lawsuits, so make sure to speak with our Orange wrongful death lawyers for help understanding what damages are available in your particular case. Our attorneys can research your economic situation and potentially find damages you might not have thought to claim.
Under N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-2, these lawsuits are actually filed by the administrator of the deceased’s estate rather than family members – unless a family member happens to be named as the victim’s administrator. Regardless of which person files the lawsuit, the damages are paid to the victim’s family under N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-4. They are distributed under essentially the same rules that an estate is distributed if someone dies without a will, with a preference given to spouses and children.
Survival actions essentially compensate the deceased victim for the damages they could have claimed in an injury lawsuit if they had survived. This allows the estate to recoup damages for things like end-of-life medical care, lost wages during the victim’s life, and the pain and suffering the victim faced before death. This lawsuit can also include the damages for funeral and burial expenses if the other lawsuit did not.
Note that this does allow certain non-economic damages to be claimed. Generally, a victim of an accident can claim non-economic damages for their injuries, including things like fear of the impending injury and discomfort and suffering in the injury’s aftermath. These damages can still be collected by the estate in a survival action.
Our Orange wrongful death attorneys can represent you and help you fight for the damages you deserve regardless of who files the actual lawsuit. We can also seek to have a family member appointed as executor if no executor was named in the victim’s will.
Note that we have said that the estate recovers damages in this lawsuit. Under N.J.S.A. § 2A:15-3, the executor/administrator of the estate files this lawsuit, and damages are paid into the victim’s estate. They are then distributed according to the victim’s will or, if they died without a will, the “intestacy” rules of N.J.S.A. Title 3B. This will ultimately pay damages to the family, though the legal mechanisms are a bit roundabout.
Common Causes of Death in Orange, NJ Wrongful Death Lawsuits
To sue for wrongful death, you must show that the deceased victim was killed in some sort of accident or as the victim of a crime. If the defendant’s wrongdoing, mistake, or carelessness was the cause of the victim’s death, then your Orange wrongful death lawyers can convince the court to hold them liable for the death.
Wrongful death cases are typically based on one of the following types of accidents or situations:
- Auto accidents (including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents)
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice (including misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and more)
- Dangerous and defective product injuries (including auto parts, pharmaceuticals, and more)
- Property injuries (including slip and falls, electrocution, and drowning)
- Fights and assaults
- Murder and manslaughter
Although these are some of the more common foundations of a wrongful death case, our Orange, NJ wrongful death attorneys can represent you and your family in claims for other wrongful death cases as well. Call our lawyers for help identifying the proper parties to hold accountable and legal help getting the case to court and succeeding in your claims.
Call Our Orange, NJ Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you lost a loved one in an accident or to some other serious injury, call our Orange, NJ wrongful death attorneys for help seeking justice. Call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083 to get started with a free case review.