Under New Jersey law, wrongful death is defined as loss of life that was “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Therefore, a wrongful death can occur in a variety of circumstances. A wrongful act does not necessarily mean a criminal one. Indeed, many types of fatal accidents are the subject of wrongful death lawsuits.
The Law Office of DiFrancia & DeDona, P.C. is located in Ocean County, New Jersey. As wrongful death attorneys, we are mindful of the overwhelming grief survivors feel after the loss of a loved one. Our legal representation is based not only on experience but also our compassionate and caring approach. We understand you need help in dealing with what is undoubtedly a senseless tragedy.
Wrongful death actions may be pursued by select surviving family members. The statute describes those who may recover damages as a wrongful death claim as follows:
- Surviving spouse and children or grandchildren
- Surviving parents of the deceased person
- Surviving siblings, nieces, or nephews of the decedent
- Anyone who can demonstrate he or she was "actually dependent" on the deceased person
To prove a wrongful death claim, there must first be a finding of liability. In other words, there must be proof that someone else’s actions, negligence or inactions caused the circumstances that led to the fatality. Your loved one may have passed in a motor vehicle crash, construction accident, or because of some type of exposure to deadly toxins.
In determining whether a wrongful death action exists, there is an important consideration. Would the decedent be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim if he or she survived?
Very often, the most critical part of a wrongful death claim is the loss of financial support. Our wrongful death lawyers will calculate these damages based on the support you would have received if your loved one was not in a fatal accident. Survivors may also claim damages for a loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance. Our fatal accident attorneys also work with survivors to determine if other losses may factor into prospective damages.