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What losses can families recover with a wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Wrongful Death

It is incredibly difficult for those who have just lost a loved one to come to terms with what has occurred, often especially when it was an unexpected passing. Many people look for someone to blame for the situation as they struggle with both real-world consequences and emotional repercussions of a tragic loss.

In some cases, it is quite clear that there is an individual or possibly a business at fault for someone’s untimely death. When New Jersey families believe that the negligence or misconduct of a specific party was the reason their loved one died, they may hope to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

What expenses can families attempt to recover through the civil courts?

Medical and funeral expenses

Someone who dies unexpectedly often receives emergency medical care that could cost thousands of dollars. Even if there were no emergency treatments, there are almost always expenses related to memorial services, funerals, burials or cremations. Families can seek reimbursement for those expenses in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lost wages and other work benefits

The lifetime earning potential of the deceased individual can contribute toward the amount sought in a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey. Future earning potential, including raises and promotions someone may have received, as well as the value of employment benefits, can represent a significant amount of money.

Loss of support

In New Jersey, the surviving family members of someone who dies prematurely can request compensation for the emotional support and guidance that they provided. The law allows people to claim financial compensation for the loss of companionship, care advice and guidance.

Loss of household services

The work that people do around their homes can have significant economic value and may contribute to everyone’s overall standard of living. Services ranging from cooking to childcare can be worth thousands of dollars per year. Families can calculate the value of someone’s unpaid services and request compensation for the loss of their work around the home.

Given that many lawsuits eventually settle, it is often beneficial for plaintiffs to maximize the financial value of the claim that they initially make. Understanding what families can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit can help to clarify a family’s pursuit of economic justice.