Lee Law Firm logo
(973) 315-9080

Hablamos Español!

Who Can File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death?

Wrongful Death
October 30, 2023
Lee Law Firm , LLC

Are There Restrictions on Who Can Seek Damages after an Accidental Death?

There’s no question that the wrongful or accidental death of anyone can have far-reaching consequences, affecting the lives of many people. While legal action cannot undo the harm done, it’s important that those responsible be held accountable. But can anyone who suffers loss because of a wrongful death seek financial compensation for that loss? Are there limits in New Jersey, and, if so, what are they?

Standing to Sue for Wrongful Death

Within our legal system, there’s a requirement that anyone bringing a lawsuit have “legal standing.” Essentially, that means that the person seeking a remedy can show a personal interest that has been negatively impacted by the at-fault party. In New Jersey, to qualify as a bona fide plaintiff (injured party) in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be a “real party in interest,” as set forth in the wrongful death statute. A wrongful death action may be initiated by anyone who meets the test to be a real party in interest, but, as a practical matter, is typically filed by the executor or administrator of the estate, on behalf of all survivors.

Pursuant to New Jersey statute, the following individuals qualify as real parties in interest:

  • A surviving spouse
  • A child or grandchild of the decedent
  • A surviving parent of the deceased
  • Surviving siblings, nephews or nieces
  • Anyone who can prove actual dependence on the decedent

The above-listed parties do not have equal rights to take legal action. Instead, New Jersey law establishes a hierarchy of claims. A surviving spouse, children and grandchildren may always bring legal action. Parents of the deceased may only file a wrongful death action if there is no surviving spouse or children. Siblings, nieces and nephews are only entitled to standing if there is no surviving spouse, child, grandchild or parent.

Contact Our Office

At Lee Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and experience successfully handling personal injury claims. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis—you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary. We welcome all major credit cards. ¡Nosotros hablamos español!

Related Blog Post

road accidents in cold weather

Establishing Liability in a Winter Weather Accident in New Jersey

November 15, 2019
Lee Law Firm , LLC
Poor Road Conditions
Who Is Responsible When Poor Road Conditions Contribute to an Accident? Winter can be brutal in New Jersey, with an average of nearly two feet of snow every year. Snowy and icy conditions can make driving treacherous, leading to countless accidents when drivers struggle to stop or control a vehicle. When there’s an accident due […]
drunk driving laws

What to Expect in New Jersey Municipal Court

December 18, 2020
Lee Law Firm , LLC
New Jersey Municipal Court
How New Jersey Handles Moving Violations The state of New Jersey uses somewhat different terminology to identify minor criminal infractions, referring to them generally as “disorderly persons offenses.” Disorderly persons offenses include a wide range of violations, including driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). All disorderly persons […]
motorcycle crash accident

Can You Recover for Injuries in a One-Bike Motorcycle Accident?

May 21, 2021
Lee Law Firm , LLC
Motor Vehicle Accidents
How Do You Get Damages in a No-Contact Crash? Because of their very nature, motorcycles are more prone to loss of control. In fact, one of every four motorcycle accidents nationwide does not involve contact with another vehicle. What are the common causes of no-contact motorcycle accidents, and are there ways you can still recover for […]


Email us using this contact form and we will quickly reach back out with answers.

lee law firm Springfield map


150 Morris Ave. Suite 202 
Springfield, NJ 07081
 (973) 315-9080
(973) 315-9081


600 Mt. Prospect Avenue
Newark, NJ, 07104
 (973) 315-9080
(973) 315-9081


East Orange
Perth Amboy
Essex County
Passaic County
Bergen County
Hunterdon & Somerset County
Jersey City
Union County
Middlesex County
Hudson County
Monmouth County
© 2024 Lee Law Firm, LLC . All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
Powered By: