Death is inevitable. However, when a loved one’s death is due to another person’s negligence, the resulting pain and emotional stress can be devastating. Besides the pain, a loved one’s sudden death can cause significant financial stress, especially if the deceased was the household’s sole breadwinner. If a loved one succumbs to injuries that are attributable to another person’s negligence, you may file a wrongful death claim against the liable party.
But while a loved one’s wrongful death can be devastating, New Jersey laws restrict who can bring a lawsuit. Who can sue for wrongful death in New Jersey?
Understanding wrongful death claims
Basically, wrongful death is a type of civil claim that is filed following a death that is caused by someone’s negligent or intentional actions. Here are examples of incidents that can lead to wrongful death:
- A fatal car wreck
- Catastrophic medical error
- Catastrophic animal attack
Generally, wrongful death claims can apply to a variety of situations as long as there was an element of negligence.
Suing for wrongful death in New Jersey
Per New Jersey law, the following individuals can file a wrongful death claim:
- The victim’s spouse, children or grandchildren
- The victim’s parent if they are not survived by a spouse or children
- The victim’s siblings, nephews or nieces
- Any individual who can prove their dependence on the victim
For the wrongful death claim to hold, it must be filed within the statute of limitations period. In New Jersey, this means filing the claim within two years from the date of the victim’s demise. Rarely is this statute of limitations bypassed, so it’s extremely important that you act within the statute of limitations period.
No amount of compensation can bring back your loved one. However, filing a wrongful death claim can help you recover damages and realize some form of closure.