Definition of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a devastating legal concept that arises when an individual’s demise is the direct result of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. It’s important that surviving family members seek justice and financial compensation for the profound losses they suffer due to the untimely death of their loved one.

Purpose of a Wrongful Death Settlement

A wrongful death settlement in New Jersey is a legal remedy designed to provide financial relief to the surviving family members who have endured both tangible and intangible losses as a consequence of the wrongful death. It seeks to ease the financial burden associated with medical expenses, funeral costs, and the emotional distress experienced by the family.

Factors Influencing Settlement Value

Numerous factors contribute to the determination of the average wrongful death settlement amount. Beyond the immediate economic and non-economic damages, legal considerations such as jurisdictional differences, comparative fault, and adherence to the statute of limitations play pivotal roles in shaping the final settlement figure.

Economic Damages

Medical Expenses

Survivors are often entitled to compensation for medical expenses incurred before the deceased’s passing. This includes hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and any related medical expenses necessary to address injuries sustained leading up to the fatal incident.

Funeral and Burial Costs

Funeral and burial expenses are considered economic damages, and families can seek compensation to alleviate the financial burden associated with these arrangements. These costs encompass funeral services, burial plots, memorial ceremonies, and related expenditures.

Loss of Financial Support

The court may calculate the deceased’s potential future earnings and include this as a form of economic damages for the surviving family members. This includes projecting the income the deceased would have contributed to the family over their expected working years.

Non-Economic Damages

Pain and Suffering

Non-economic damages cover the emotional distress and pain and suffering endured by the surviving family members due to the loss of their loved one. It includes the mental anguish, grief, and suffering experienced as a direct result of the wrongful death.

Loss of Companionship

Compensation may be awarded for the loss of companionship, guidance, and support that the deceased would have provided to family members. This intangible loss is particularly challenging to quantify but is a critical component of non-economic damages.

Emotional Distress

The emotional trauma suffered by family members due to the wrongful death is considered a non-economic damage and can be factored into the settlement. This encompasses the psychological impact, nightmares, anxiety, and other emotional distress caused by the untimely death.

Legal Considerations

Jurisdictional Variances

Laws regarding wrongful death claims vary by jurisdiction, impacting the available damages and legal processes. It is crucial to understand the specific laws governing your case, as they can influence the potential compensation awarded.

Comparative Fault

In some cases, the deceased may be found partially at fault for the incident leading to their death. Understanding how comparative fault may affect the settlement is essential for a realistic assessment of potential damages. Some jurisdictions follow a “modified comparative fault” system, where the amount of compensation is reduced based on the degree of fault assigned to the deceased.

Statute of Limitations

Wrongful death claims have a limited timeframe within which they can be filed. Adhering to the statute of limitations is crucial to pursuing a valid claim. Failure to file within the stipulated time frame may result in the forfeiture of the right to seek compensation.

Importance of Consultation with an Attorney

Navigating a wrongful death claim can be complex and emotionally challenging. Seeking the guidance of an experienced Cherry Hill wrongful death attorney is crucial to understanding your rights, evaluating the strength of your case, and pursuing the compensation your family deserves.

Choosing the Right Legal Representation

Selecting an attorney with expertise in wrongful death cases increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome. An experienced attorney can navigate the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Understanding the factors influencing wrongful death settlements is crucial for pursuing a fair and just compensation. By comprehensively evaluating economic and non-economic damages, legal considerations, and settlement-determining factors, families can better navigate the complexities of a wrongful death claim.