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Who can receive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2022 | Wrongful Death

One of the worst things that could ever happen to a person is the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death. If you’re a New Jersey resident in this situation, you need to know who is eligible to recover damages in such a lawsuit.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim that is filed when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness or intentional act. It’s similar to a personal injury lawsuit in the sense that if the individual had lived, they would have had a legitimate reason to file that type of claim. Wrongful deaths often result in serious hardships to the victim’s surviving family members.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

It’s fair to believe that the surviving spouse or family members of a deceased person can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in New Jersey, the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate must file it. This is done on behalf of the individual’s surviving family members. If there is no personal representative named, the court can appoint someone to fill that role who can file the lawsuit on the family’s behalf.

Who can receive damages in a successful wrongful death claim?

If a wrongful death case is successful, damages could include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, care and guidance, loss of financial support and mental anguish. Certain people can recover those damages if compensation is awarded. The deceased’s surviving spouse and children are the top family members who could receive damages. If the deceased had no spouse or children, the individual’s surviving parents, siblings or other relatives may be able to recover compensation.

If you lost someone via wrongful death, it’s important to understand your right to compensation for your losses. The law allows you to hold a negligent party responsible.