Gloucester County Wrongful Death Attorney
The passing of a loved one is always a tragic and painful event. This is especially true when the death was preventable, and was caused by another person’s careless, reckless, negligent, or outright illegal behavior. If your spouse or relative passed away due to an avoidable injury or illness, the responsible party may be liable for providing your family with financial compensation for the terrible loss you have suffered.
When you’re mourning and trying to cope with the many changes that a loved one’s death brings, you want to focus on the healing process and spending time with your family — not on legal proceedings. Let wrongful death attorney Joseph Lombardo take care of the legal work as you adjust during this difficult time.
Supported by more than 20 years of experience, Joseph will consult with specialists, comb through medical records, and analyze evidence in pursuit of justice, accountability, and compensation for you and your loved ones. He proudly serves all of Gloucester County, and offers free, no-obligation consultations for clients calling for the first time. To schedule your free consultation, call Joseph today at (609) 445-4300. Your information will always be kept confidential.
How Does New Jersey Define Wrongful Death?
In simple terms, a wrongful death is any death which was caused by neglect or any wrongful act. In many cases, one of the following issues is involved:
- Assault Injuries
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Defective Products
- Dog Bites
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises Liability (Hazardous Property)
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Truck Accidents
While there are many different causes, they all share one factor in common: in order for a plaintiff to be successful, there must be a provable element of unlawful conduct or negligence.
Negligence means that the person at fault failed to act how a person would reasonably be expected to act under the same circumstances. Some general examples of behavior that might be considered negligent include a doctor who fails to check for dangerous drug interactions, an amusement park which fails to conduct regular maintenance on its rides, or a dog owner who disregards local leash laws.
A few other components also need to be in place in order to prove that the defendant was negligent. First, the defendant must have had a duty to the plaintiff, such as a doctor’s professional duty to care for his or her patients. The defendant must have then “breached” or broken that duty, resulting in otherwise avoidable harm to the plaintiff. Finally, it must be proven that the plaintiff’s death was directly caused by the defendant’s conduct.
Filing a Lawsuit in Gloucester County: The Statute of Limitations
Even if you aren’t completely positive that you have a case, it’s extremely important to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later. If you delay taking action for too long, your opportunity to pursue the matter in court may be lost forever.
This is because of a special law called the statute of limitations. In all but a few exceptional situations, the statute of limitations sets a very firm deadline on how long New Jersey residents have to bring a legal claim. The New Jersey statute of limitations is two years, beginning from the date of death.
Many plaintiffs fall into the trap of thinking that two years is more than enough time, and wait for months or even longer to consult with an attorney. But the sooner you reach out to Lombardo Law for assistance, the more time will remain to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, injury, or illness. If you wait until the statute of limitations has nearly expired, there may not be enough time to properly investigate the accident.
It’s also important to talk about who can file these types of lawsuits. The plaintiff bringing the action must be either a beneficiary, such as the victim’s child or spouse, or a personal representative.
What Sort of Compensation is Available to Survivors?
Compensation is often referred to as “damages,” and you may hear the term “compensatory damages.” While some jurisdictions limit the damages which may be awarded, New Jersey does not place a limit or “cap” on the total award for plaintiffs.
The judge will take many different factors into consideration when deciding to award damages. Damages are meant to cover pain, expenses, and other financial losses stemming from the victim’s death. For example, damages may be awarded to cover:
- Loss of parental guidance, if the decedent had young children.
- Loss of income and financial support.
- Loss of insurance benefits or social security benefits.
- Funeral expenses.
- Medical expenses from before the victim passed away.
Unfortunately, under New Jersey’s laws Gloucester County residents cannot sue to recover damages for emotional distress. However, there are exceptions for plaintiffs who were emotionally traumatized by witnessing the death occur.
If your loved one passed away, you deserve to have the accident investigated. To arrange for a free and private case evaluation, call wrongful death lawyer Joseph Lombardo at (609) 445-4300.