NJ Wrongful Death Attorneys Advise Bereaved Family Members

Wrongful death lawyers in Ridgewood serving northern New Jersey clients who have lost a loved one

After losing your loved one in a sudden accident, a lawsuit is likely the last thing on your mind. After all, no amount of money can ever bring back this special person or diminish the grief caused by your loss. A wrongful death claim can, however, offer you financial support during a time when you have lost income and accumulated bills. The action may also give you some sense of closure and justice.

Helping those who have lost a loved one recover damages since 1976

For more than four decades, Seigel Law in Ridgewood has advised estate representatives and family members regarding wrongful death litigation. In Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex counties, you can rely on us to provide the comprehensive legal support you deserve at such a difficult time.

Common causes of wrongful deaths

We advocate on behalf of plaintiffs in a wide array of wrongful death lawsuits, including cases related to:

  • Vehicle accidents — During a typical year, there are more than 500 fatal car accidents in New Jersey. When a dispute exists as to how the deadly crash occurred, we have the experience and network of experts needed to find the truth. Our firm also handles wrongful death cases stemming from motorcycle, truck, train, motorcycle and airplane crashes.  
  • Birth injuries — Infants and mothers are vulnerable during childbirth. If a tragic loss occurs during birth due to medical malpractice, our firm is committed to holding the negligent healthcare providers accountable.  
  • Defective products — When a product flaw leads to a fatality, we take action against culpable manufacturers, distributors and other potential defendants.
  • Animal attacks — If someone close to you dies because of a dog bite or another type of pet attack, our attorneys will outline the relevant New Jersey legal standard and press for a suitable legal outcome.
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect — Elderly residents of nursing homes and similar facilities place their lives in the hands of the caregivers who are there to serve them. Even if you merely suspect that the death of a loved one involved some form of abuse or neglect, we’ll act promptly to learn the truth about what happened.

Our experience litigating wrongful death and catastrophic injury matters within New Jersey gives us detailed insight regarding these cases and helps us negotiate from a position of strength.

Filing a wrongful death claim in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the personal representative of the estate files a wrongful death claim on behalf of the beneficiaries. The claim is based on the underlying personal injury. To prevail in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the defendant violated their duty of care to the victim and that the violation was the proximate cause of your loved one’s death. The award can include reimbursement of funeral expenses, replacement of the income that the victim would have been expected to earn and compensation for the companionship and household services that were lost.

Distribution of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit

Damages in wrongful death lawsuits are distributed to the heirs of the estate in accordance with the state’s intestacy statutes. Compensation is usually divided in the following manner:

  • All compensation goes to the surviving spouse if the deceased left no parents or children.
  • If there is a surviving spouse who is the co-parent of the victim’s children, the spouse receives $50,000 plus one-half of the balance. The children divide the remainder equally.
  • If the decedent left a surviving spouse and children from another parent, the spouse receives one-half, and the children divide the other half.
  • If the victim was married with living parents, but no children, the spouse receives $50,000 plus one-half of the balance, and the parents divide the remainder.
  • The parents divide the damages award if the deceased was unmarried and childless.
  • The children divide the damages award equally if the deceased was unmarried with no living parents.
  • If the victim has a deceased son or daughter, their share passes to that child’s children.

Every step of the way, our experienced lawyers keep clients informed of case developments and strive to deliver a result that offers bereaved loved ones a measure of justice. 

Contact a New Jersey lawyer for a free consultation about a wrongful death claim

Siegel Law handles New Jersey wrongful death litigation on behalf of clients in Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties. Please call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free initial appointment at our Ridgewood office. We accept cases on a contingency basis, so you do not pay us unless you collect a financial recovery.