There are rulings in New Jersey that allow certain parties to take legal action on behalf of parties who passed in fatal roadway accidents. If you might qualify for the right to take this sort of action, you can schedule a consultation with a fatal accident attorney in North Bergen.
Morelli Law Firm understands you need time to grieve after a loved one’s passing. We want to transform your grief into action. When you meet with our team, we can create an action plan that can help you win justice and compensation for your loved one’s untimely passing.
What You Need to Know About Fatal Accident Claims
New Jersey limits your right to take legal action in the wake of a loved one’s passing. The state declares that only the deceased’s personal executor may take legal action on their behalf. If your loved one did not elect a personal executor prior to their passing, the state can elect one on their behalf. N.J. Stat. §2A:31-2 (2021) grants the state this right.
What does this mean for you, though? If you’re a person’s personal executor, you can bring your concerns regarding their accident to the attention of an attorney. If you do not hold this position, you can request that a standing personal executor do so, but you cannot force that action.
You can, however, meet with an attorney to discuss how you might otherwise request compensation for the losses you faced in your accident. Depending on your relationship with a person who’s passed, you may be entitled to damages based on loss of consortium or companionship.
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Distinguishing Between Wrongful Death Claims and Fatal Accident Claims
Wrongful death claims and fatal accident claims look similar at first glance. Both address the unexpected and untimely passing of a loved one. Fatal accident claims are more specific than wrongful death claims, though. You can file a wrongful death claim when an accident results in the passing of a loved one at the scene of said accident.
In other words, fatal accident claims are always a subset of wrongful death claims. That said, not every wrongful death claim is a fatal accident claim. You can work with our North Bergen, NJ, fatal accident lawyers if you’re not sure which label best applies to your case.
When to File a Fatal Accident Claim
The timeline you have to contend with in the wake of a fatal accident varies depending on the circumstances that led to your accident. With that in mind, you can file your suit:
When You Can Establish Liability
Your fatal accident claim is only as strong as the evidence you have establishing another person’s liability. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to take your time while you build your case. You need to have the means to back both your assertion of fault and your request for compensation if you want your complaint to hold weight before a judge.
Our team undergoes the investigative process on your behalf, allowing you to take the time you need to recover and grieve. During this process, we can bring together evidence detailing what happened on the scene at the time of your accident. This evidence can include:
- Photos and videos of the accident
- Data from police reports
- Bystander testimony
- Expert witness statements
- Accident recreations as performed by professionals
You do not have to interact with evidence or individuals that you think may exacerbate your grief. Instead, our team can help you control the way you interact with an investigation. Once we have the means to back your assertion of liability in court, we can then move your case forward.
Within New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations
Even if you think there may still be ways to elaborate on your losses, your fatal accident does have a hard deadline. You must bring a fatal accident claim forward within two years of the day the accident takes place. This deadline is known as New Jersey’s statute of limitations and is outlined in N.J. Stat. §2A:31-3 (2021).
You cannot bring a fatal accident claim forward after the statute of limitations on your case expires. New Jersey courts believe that claims brought forward outside of this time period suffer from a victim’s failing memory and the aging nature of relevant evidence.
With that in mind, connect with the fatal accident lawyers in North Bergen as soon as you can if you want to build up your case. We can ensure that your complaint is as comprehensive as possible by the time it makes it to a county clerk’s desk.
Reacting to a Fatal Accident Settlement
The party allegedly liable for your loved one’s fatal accident may acknowledge the role they played in that loss. If a party steps forward in this regard, they may offer you a settlement meant to cover your post-accident losses.
Before you accept a fatal accident settlement out of hand, consider meeting with an attorney. If you accept a settlement without consulting a legal representative, you could lock yourself out of legal action. Delaying a settlement instead allows you to calculate the value of your losses and compare them against another party’s offer.
Having a fatal accident lawyer from North Bergen on your team also gives you a leg up in negotiations. We can stand with you to request more compensation during negotiations. Alternatively, we can take a fatal accident claim to court if a liable party doesn’t want to meet all of your needs.
Fatal Accident Attorneys Give Motion to Your Grief
You deserve the opportunity to consult with a professional in the wake of a fatal accident. North Bergen fatal accident lawyers want to give you the space to grieve while addressing the legalities tied up in your losses. That’s why we try to make it as easy as possible for you to pursue legal action against the party responsible for a loved one’s accident.
Don’t wait to recover losses from a loved one’s fatal accident. You can contact Morelli Law Firm today to learn more about the benefits of filing a fatal accident claim. You can request a case evaluation with our team by calling our office or reaching out online.