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How To File A Wrongful Death Claim In New Jersey?

Losing a loved one is an unimaginable tragedy, and when it happens due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, the pain is compounded.

In New Jersey, as in many other states, there is a legal recourse known as a wrongful death claim. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey, offering clear steps and valuable information to help you process this challenging journey.

How To File A Wrongful Death Claim In New Jersey

Step 1: Determine the Applicability of a Wrongful Death Claim

Before taking any legal action, the initial step in filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey is to determine its applicability to your situation.

Essential considerations include whether the death resulted from someone else’s negligence or intent and whether you are a surviving family member or beneficiary. 

If both criteria are met, a wrongful death claim may be applicable, and you can proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Hire an Attorney

With the complexity of the legal processes involved, hiring an attorney is crucial in the second step. Attorneys specialize in processing the complexities of wrongful death claims and can guide you through each phase of the process. 

They assess the strength of your case, providing realistic expectations, and their representation ensures you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies.

Step 3: Investigating the Wrongful Death Claim

The third step involves a comprehensive investigation into the wrongful death claim. Building a robust case requires collecting evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, and witness statements. Identifying liable parties and their insurance coverage is crucial. 

Attorneys may also collaborate with experts, like accident reconstruction specialists, to strengthen the case’s foundation.

Step 4: File the Claim

Once the groundwork is laid, the fourth step is to file the wrongful death claim. This involves your attorney preparing a complaint outlining the details of the incident and the damages suffered.

The defendant is then served with the complaint, officially initiating the legal process.

Step 5: Negotiate a Settlement in Wrongful Death Cases

The fifth step involves negotiating a settlement rather than going to trial. During this phase, your attorney engages in discussions with the defendant’s representatives. 

Negotiations focus on reaching an agreement regarding compensation for damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of financial support. If both parties agree on terms, a settlement is reached, providing a faster resolution for all involved.

Step 6: Go to Trial

If negotiations fail, the sixth step is to proceed to trial. During this stage, your attorney presents evidence and arguments in court. The judge or jury then determines liability and the amount of compensation.

While trials are typically lengthier than settlements, they may be necessary for achieving a fair resolution, especially when agreements cannot be reached through negotiation. 

Each step in this process is crucial, and the guidance of an experienced attorney is invaluable throughout.

What Happens After You File A Wrongful Death Claim In New Jersey?

After filing a wrongful death claim, the legal process unfolds as follows:

  1. Discovery: Both parties exchange evidence.
  2. Depositions: Witnesses provide sworn statements.
  3. Mediation: A neutral third party assists in settling the dispute.
  4. Trial: If mediation fails, the case goes to trial.

What Kind Of Damages Can Be Recovered In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A successful wrongful death lawsuit can result in compensation for:

  1. Medical expenses related to the incident.
  2. Funeral and burial costs.
  3. Loss of financial support.
  4. Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death.
  5. Loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium.

Statute Of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in NJ

When considering the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey, time becomes a critical factor.

Generally set at two years from the date of death, New Jersey’s statute of limitations underscores the urgency in initiating legal proceedings. 

It is imperative to adhere to this timeline, as exceptions may apply in certain circumstances.

Prompt legal action is essential to ensure that your claim is not barred by the passage of time, highlighting the importance of timely engagement in the legal process when seeking justice for a wrongful death.

See also: How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works in New Jersey

Speak with a Wrongful Death Attorney in NJ

When facing the complexities of a wrongful death claim in New Jersey, seeking guidance from experienced wrongful death attorneys is necessary. The compassionate professionals at Rosengard Law Group specialize in navigating the complexities of wrongful death cases. 

From assessing the viability of your case to representing you in negotiations or trials, their seasoned team is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. 


What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action pursued by surviving family members when a loved one dies due to another party’s negligence or intent.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Surviving spouses, children, parents, and other dependents can typically file a wrongful death claim in New Jersey.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the deceased person’s passing.


Filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey is a multifaceted process that demands careful consideration and legal expertise.

By following these outlined steps and seeking professional legal guidance, you can process this challenging terrain while pursuing justice and fair compensation for your loss. 

Remember, you are not alone, and legal support is available to guide you through every stage of the process.

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