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How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works in New Jersey

Losing a loved one hurts no matter what. However, the pain of loss can be made worse when it results from someone else’s carelessness or misconduct. The court system in New Jersey is aware of this suffering and gives families a means of pursuing justice.

Through a wrongful death case, this is achieved. You might have a case if you think someone else’s acts or negligence led to the death of a family member. 

In order to ensure you have the knowledge you need throughout this trying time, this article will walk you through the procedure of comprehending how a wrongful death lawsuit functions in New Jersey.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the law is specific about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s usually someone close to the deceased person, like a family member. The law permits the administrator of the deceased person’s estate to file the lawsuit on behalf of the family members who have suffered a loss. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?

Typically, these family members are the surviving spouse, children, or parents. If there’s no spouse, child, or parent, then it might be siblings, nieces, or nephews who can file the lawsuit. This is important to ensure that the right individuals are seeking justice for the loss of their loved ones.

The legal system in New Jersey is structured to help those who are most affected by the loss receive compensation and justice.

Determining Grounds for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

To determine grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey, it’s crucial to establish that the death was due to another person’s negligence, recklessness, or deliberate act. This could mean that the person did something they shouldn’t have done or failed to do something they should have done.

Examples include:

  • Medical malpractice leading to death
  • Car accidents due to reckless driving
  • Fatal injuries at a workplace due to inadequate safety measures

Requirements for a NJ Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey, several requirements need to be met.

Proof of Death

An official death certificate must be presented to prove the individual has passed away.

Establishing Negligence

It must be shown that the death was a result of another’s negligence or intent to cause harm.

Financial Losses

There should be evident financial losses suffered by the family members due to the death.

Appointment of a Representative

A representative for the deceased’s estate must be appointed to file the lawsuit on behalf of the affected family members.

Fulfilling these requirements is imperative in establishing a solid foundation for a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey. This ensures that the case is built on valid grounds, increasing the likelihood of achieving justice for the deceased and their family.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey

To file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey, the appointed representative of the deceased person’s estate will need to undertake several steps:

Hire a Lawyer

It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney to guide you through the legal process.

Collect Evidence

Gathering evidence is pivotal; this can include medical records, witness statements, and any other documentation that supports the claim of wrongful death due to negligence.

File a Complaint

Your lawyer will help in drafting and filing a complaint with the appropriate court, detailing the circumstances surrounding the death and claiming the legal remedy.

See also: New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers

Statute of Limitations in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. If a lawsuit is not filed within this timeframe, the right to sue may be lost, barring very few exceptions.

Time Limit: 2 years from the date of death.

Exceptions: In rare cases, exceptions may be granted, but these are not guaranteed, and legal counsel should be sought to explore these options.

Types of Damages in a New Jersey Wrongful Death Claim

In New Jersey, when a wrongful death claim is successful, various types of damages can be recovered to help support the deceased’s family and estate.

Economic Damages

These include the loss of financial support, benefits, and services that the deceased provided. Medical and funeral expenses are also covered under economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

This refers to the damages for pain and suffering and the loss of companionship, guidance, advice, and counsel that the deceased would have provided to the family.

Punitive Damages

In cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter such behavior in the future.

Importance of a Wrongful Death Lawyer

In New Jersey, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and demanding. This is why working with a wrongful death lawyer is crucial. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal intricacies and can help in establishing fault and proving the extent of the damages. 

They can guide the family of the deceased through every step, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and the right documentation is submitted, maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome.

Finding an Attorney in New Jersey

To find a wrongful death attorney in New Jersey, one can conduct an online search or seek recommendations from friends or family. It’s important to choose an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases and has a successful track record.

A specialized attorney will be up-to-date with the latest laws and will have the necessary skills to handle the unique challenges that these cases can present.

By hiring the right attorney, the family can focus on grieving and healing, while the attorney handles the legal aspects of the claim.


For individuals who have lost a loved one as a result of another’s acts, it is crucial to comprehend how a wrongful death case functions in New Jersey. Identifying the legal basis for the case, fulfilling particular conditions, and filing within the deadlines are all part of the procedure. Recovery of damages might provide the impacted families with financial support during a trying period. 

It is essential to have a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney on your side to help you understand the legal complications and make sure the family gets the justice and recompense they are entitled to.

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