What You Might Not Know about Wrongful Death Actions

Posted July 12th, 2016 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

wrongful death anthony carboneStella Gonzalez was amazed when her attorney gave her the news.  She could not pursue a wrongful death action regarding her deceased husband’s emotional distress.  Stella remembered the anguish Juan Gonzalez suffered when he lost his arm in the motor vehicle crash.  She was certain that it could be easily documented.

It might seem to make no sense to most people.  If someone suffers emotional distress before they die from their injuries, why can’t the survivor pursue a claim?  That’s not to say that there aren’t other reasons to sue for a loved one’s death.  Let’s look at them.

The Basics of the Wrongful Death and Survivor Statutes

It might seem apparent that the death of a family member is a compensable event.  However, there are specific laws contained in the wrongful death and survival statutes.  Here’s some important information for consideration:

  • What’s the Basic Difference between a Wrongful Death Action and Survivor Claim? A wrongful death claim deals with the losses suffered by the decedent’s dependents.  A survivor action deals with recovery for injuries claimed that resulted in the death.  The estate’s representative pursues the action on behalf of the decedent.
  • Who is Entitled to Make a Claim for Wrongful Death? According to New Jersey law, it is first important to determine if the decedent left a will.  If they did, the executor or executrix may make the claim.  Alternatively, the court will appoint next of kin to act as the representative for the estate.
  • Who Can Receive Money from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? The law states that people who were the decedent’s lawful survivors may be entitled to receive compensation as a result of their loved one’s passing.  Dependency is an important consideration.  The age of the decedents, as well as their physical and mental conditions are also reviewed.
  • Is Loss of Companionship Recoverable? Although loss of companionship may not seem quantifiable, it is certainly something that can be considered in a wrongful death action.
  • What is a Survivor Action? The decedent’s estate may also make a claim under the survivor statute.  This is made regarding the actual injuries to the decedent, rather than its impact on the family members.  It includes reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses.  Pain and suffering and mental distress are not compensatory.

Contact Us

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone offers you sincere sympathy.  We have many years of experience pursuing wrongful death and survivor actions.  Contact us to see how we can assist you.

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