When you have lost a loved one because of the wrongful or negligent acts of another person, the grief you experience can consume you, causing you to neglect your rights to recover compensation for all your losses. Furthermore, you may have no idea what types of losses are compensable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Here’s an overview.
A wrongful death action in New Jersey is designed to compensate family members (and sometimes others) for all financial losses caused by the accidental death. The damages available include:
- The loss of support, including income, wages, benefits and other payments, that a dependent would have received. Typically, these benefits are only recoverable by surviving spouses, and by any minor children alive at the time of death. However, adult children who can demonstrate that they relied on the deceased for support can pursue damages, as can unrelated persons who can prove to the court that they were financially dependent on the decedent.
- Any unreimbursed medical bills for treatment after the injury that caused death, including emergency medical and hospital expenses
- The loss of companionship, guidance and care of a family member, or the loss of consortium with a spouse
- The loss of any household services that the deceased would have provided, including laundry, cleaning and preparation of meals, as well as childcare
- All reasonable and customary burial and funeral expenses
Punitive damages are generally not available in a wrongful death claim in New Jersey. In addition, you can’t seek compensation for emotional distress after the accidental death of a loved one.
Contact Our Office
If you or someone you love has suffered needless injury because of the careless or negligent acts of another person, we can help protect your rights. For a private meeting with experienced personal injury attorneys, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.