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A wrongful death claim may encourage healing after a fatal crash

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2022 | Car Accidents |

If you lose someone you love in a Livingston, New Jersey car accident, no amount of compensation can heal your suffering. However, many bereaved families pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased for other reasons.

Contrary to common belief, pursuing such a claim does not mean you are greedy or only out for a big payoff. To others in situations like yours, a wrongful death claim is the means through which they bring the party responsible for their loss to justice.

Who can pursue a wrongful death claim?

In New Jersey, relatives of the deceased have the right to file if the victim’s death occurred wrongfully. Those eligible for a claim are:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Cousins
  • Aunts
  • Uncles

Unrelated individuals may also qualify, but they must show they were dependent on the decedent.

What are the elements of a valid wrongful death claim?

As you may expect, you cannot simply tell the court that your loved one suffered a wrongful death. You must prove the death occurred due to the negligence of one or more other parties. Elements that must be proven include:

  • Duty. The defendant had a duty to the deceased (obeying traffic laws, not drinking and driving, etc.)
  • Breach. The defendant breached their duty (drunk driving, distracted driving, etc.)
  • Causation. The defendant’s action caused harm to occur
  • Damage. The victim incurred damage because of what the defendant did or did not do

Wrongful death actions are about more than money. They are about finding closure and peace of mind while ensuring the responsible party harms no others. Learning more about personal injury and wrongful death laws in New Jersey can help you assess whether you should claim.