Wrongful Death Attorney in New Jersey

wrong death in NJ

Have you and your family lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful acts or behavior? Although a personal injury claim or lawsuit cannot bring your loved one back, it can provide you with the justice and accountability you, your family, and your departed loved one deserve. Moreover, your family needs financial recovery for the losses you have incurred and will incur in the future due to your loved one’s passing. Get legal help from New Jersey wrongful death attorney Steven Ellman to guide you through emotional and legal recovery after your loved one’s wrongful death.

For over 35 years, attorney Steven Ellman has offered compassionate, dedicated legal representation to clients facing some of the worst moments in their lives. Steven Ellman understands how difficult it is to lose a loved one. He will treat you and your family with the utmost respect, listen to your concerns, lay out your legal options for seeking compensation, and help you make the best decisions for you and your family. Let the Law Office of Steven Ellman provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your case is in the right hands.

Reach out to New Jersey wrongful death lawyer Steven Ellman for a free initial case evaluation. He is ready to fight for the justice you and your family deserve during this difficult time.

What Do You Have to Prove in a New Jersey Wrongful Death Case?

Recovering compensation in a wrongful death case in New Jersey requires proving that negligence, recklessness, intentional acts, or legal fault of another party caused your loved one’s death. In most circumstances, winning a wrongful death case requires the same proof you would need for a personal injury claim had your loved one survived their accidental injuries.

However, you do not need to prove that the party responsible for your loved one’s passing committed a crime or was convicted of a crime. Wrongful death claims play out in civil rather than criminal court, and a wrongful death can occur even if an at-fault party was not engaged in criminal behavior. In addition, wrongful death claims have a lower burden of proof than the state’s prosecutors must meet in a criminal case.

Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, your attorney might rely on the following evidence to establish the other party’s fault:

  • Accident or incident reports
  • Accident scene photos or video
  • Surveillance footage
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Medical records
  • Cell phone records
  • Vehicle electronic data logs
  • Staffing records
  • Safety records
  • Equipment inspection and maintenance records
  • Post-accident engineering inspections
  • Accident reconstructions prepared by expert witnesses

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey Statutes §2A:31-2, only the administrator or executor of a deceased individual’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey. In most cases where an administrator was not appointed in the decedent’s will, a family member or close friend of a decedent will be appointed as the administrator or executor of the estate. A family member who files a wrongful death lawsuit without being named administrator or executor of their loved one’s estate, but qualifies for appointment as an administrator or executor, may be named administrator by the court to allow them to continue the lawsuit.

What Are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death in New Jersey

The Law Office of Steven Ellman represents families who have lost loved ones due to accidents and wrongfully inflicted injuries, such as:

How Are New Jersey Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Wrongful death compensation is meant to provide your family with financial recovery for the economic and emotional loss that you have incurred due to your loved one’s death. Therefore, your family may be entitled to significant compensation representing the loss of your loved one’s future financial and personal support. This can affect how your family’s wrongful death settlement is paid out. Settlements are most frequently paid as either a lump sum settlement or a structured settlement.

In a lump sum settlement, your family will be paid the total amount of the settlement in one check. Lump sum settlements have the advantage of providing your family with full compensation up front, which can be helpful if your family has incurred substantial debts or other financial losses due to your loved one’s passing.

In a structured settlement, the total amount of the settlement is paid over multiple regular payments, usually on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Payments may be made in equal amounts, or a structured settlement may have a large upfront payment or final balloon payment. Liable parties favor structured settlements because they can spread out the financial hit of the settlement over time. But structured settlements can also benefit families, as liable parties may be willing to agree to a larger total settlement if they can make payments over time. Structured settlements also provide families with regular payments that can help as they adjust to the loss of a loved one’s financial contributions.

What Is the New Jersey Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?

New Jersey Statutes §2A:31-3 gives you only two years from the date of a loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations does not apply to wrongful death cases where a responsible party has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty by reason of insanity of murder, aggravated manslaughter, or manslaughter.

How a New Jersey Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You

Your family deserves time and space to grieve and heal following the loss of a loved one. But since you have a limited time in which to pursue your family’s rights in a wrongful death claim, you also need to act quickly to hold those at fault for your loved one’s passing accountable for their negligence or wrongful acts. New Jersey wrongful death attorney Steven Ellman can help you and your family obtain justice and financial compensation by:

  • Investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s passing and securing evidence he can use to prove the liability of other parties for their death and your family’s losses.
  • Working with expert witnesses for accident reconstruction to bolster the strength of your family’s case, as well as to calculate the financial losses resulting from your loved one’s death.
  • Identifying all potentially liable parties and applicable insurance coverages from which you can pursue compensation.
  • Filing your insurance and legal claims to begin aggressively pursuing a favorable resolution in your family’s case through a settlement.
  • Going to court and trial if responsible parties won’t agree to a fair settlement and vigorously advocating on your behalf as he fights for a verdict that provides your family with the financial recovery and justice you deserve.
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What Compensation Is Recoverable in a New Jersey Wrongful Death Claim?

No amount of money can bring back a deceased loved one or fill the void caused by their death. However, pursuing compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit can offer your family a valuable measure of justice from those responsible for your loved one’s passing. A wrongful death claim can compensate your family for the financial and emotional loss you have suffered because of your loved one’s death. This compensation can include money for:

  • Loss of your loved one’s financial support from the wages or income they would have reasonably earned during their life.
  • Loss of the growth in value of your loved one’s assets that they would have earned if they had lived.
  • The value of the household services performed by your loved one, such as childcare or home maintenance and renovations.
  • Medical expenses incurred to treat your loved one’s final injury or illness.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.

Under New Jersey Statutes §2A:31-4, compensation recovered in a wrongful death claim is paid to the heirs of a decedent under New Jersey’s intestacy laws unless a decedent left a surviving spouse and/or one or more descendants. In that case, the surviving spouse and descendants receive equal proportions of the financial recovery. When a decedent’s dependent heirs are entitled to recover wrongful death compensation, the court will apportion shares of compensation to each heir based on their age, physical and mental conditions, financial condition, other means of support, need for education, and any other relevant factors.

Contact a New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer

Have you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligent, harmful, or wrongful actions? Then don’t wait another day to start pursuing accountability and justice from those responsible for your loved one’s death. New Jersey wrongful death attorney Steven Ellman can help your family understand your legal options and prepare you for what to expect throughout the claims process.

Contact the Law Office of Steven Ellman for a free, no-obligation consultation.