If your spouse, child or other close relative dies because of another person's misconduct or negligence, it may be possible to file wrongful death litigation even if there are no criminal charges stemming from the fatal accident or incident.
In cases of wrongful death, plaintiffs present evidence just as a prosecutor would in a criminal trial. However, the standard of proof is lower in civil cases than in criminal matters. But there are strict rules regarding these type of cases.
For instance, only the personal representative for the estate of the deceased person is permitted to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. If you are that person, you may also seek financial remuneration for medical bills and final expenses, any pain or suffering the victim consciously experienced prior to death and also personal injury.
Any awards for damages from the litigation will go to the estate of the deceased. Later, the proceeds can be distributed to heirs as set forth in a will or according to the laws of the state of New Jersey governing inheritance.
Certain elements must always be present in order to successfully litigate a claim for wrongful death. They include:
-- The one who dies must be human. You can't file a suit for the wrongful death of a beloved pet.
-- Survivors of the deceased must suffer financial injuries stemming from their loved one's death.
-- The death has to have been caused by someone's negligence or intent to cause the person harm.
Some common examples of wrongful death cases handled by our firm include auto or mass transit accidents, medical malpractice claims, deaths occurring during supervised activities, as a result of criminal activities or from occupational exposures to hazardous substances or conditions.
If you feel that you might have a legitimate case, contact us for a confidential consultation about your options.