Your Right to Compensation after the Death of a Loved One
In our legal system, when the wrongful act of another person causes you to suffer loss, you have a right to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. When the consequences of that negligence or carelessness include the accidental or wrongful death of another person, that legal action is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Basic Concept of Wrongful Death
In essence, a wrongful death claim alleges that your loved one died (and you suffered loss) because of the carelessness or negligence of another person. Though you can seek damages for the intentional killing of a loved one, most wrongful death actions are based on allegations of negligence.
To succeed with any claim based on negligence, you must show three things:
- The defendant (at-fault party) failed to act as a reasonable person would—In our legal system, all persons in society are expected to adhere to a certain duty of care at all times. That duty requires that they govern their acts as a reasonable person would.
- That failure (also known as breach of the duty of care) caused an accident—The requirement of cause is two-fold. You must first show actual cause, i.e., that the accident would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s breach of duty. You must also show proximate cause—that the accident could be reasonably foreseen as a consequence of the breach of duty.
- As a consequence of the accident, you suffered loss—You cannot recover compensation for losses that are covered by insurance or other sources.
Wrongful death actions are not necessarily available to anyone who can claim loss. A person must qualify as a “real party in interest” to be able to file such a lawsuit.
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For a private consultation with an experienced and proven New Jersey personal injury lawyer, call us at 973-346-2742 or contact us online. Appointments are available evenings and weekends, if necessary. Our offices are conveniently located in Springfield, Newark and Bedminster, and we’ll travel to your home or the hospital for a consultation. We welcome all major credit cards. Nosotros Hablamos Español!