If you have lost a loved one because of a fatal truck accident in North Bergen, allow us to extend our condolences and our help. Survivors of fatal truck accidents have ways they can seek compensation to pay for final expenses and cushion the financial shock of losing someone.
Find out your legal options after a fatal truck accident by contacting the attorneys at Morelli Law. You may be eligible to sue with the help of our fatal truck accident lawyers in North Bergen, NJ, and get cash compensation from the people who killed your loved one.
How Do I Win My Wrongful Death Claim?
To win your claim, you must prove that another party acted negligently and killed your loved one. Proving negligence requires four things:
- Duty of care – This one is automatic for fatal truck accidents because all drivers have an automatic duty of care to watch for other drivers on the road.
- Breach of duty – Whoever was responsible, usually the driver, acted irresponsibly and put others in danger. For example, they were speeding faster than the limit.
- Causation – The breach of duty had to cause an accident.
- Damages – The victim was harmed, or in this case killed.
Damages also includes calculating all the financial and non-financial damages and showing evidence of what the value truly is. Finding the full value of a case is one of the most important jobs of a truck accident wrongful death lawyer.
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What Could I Get Compensation for by Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The major damages you can collect compensation for in a wrongful death lawsuit are economic damages. These include:
- Funeral and medical expenses
- Lost income that the decedent would have earned and contributed to the survivors
- Loss of economic services
Also, there may be additional damages under the Survival Statute that go to the estate. However, the family cannot get compensation for their own pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and other non-economic damages unless the laws change.
Who Is Eligible to File a Fatal Truck Accident Claim in New Jersey?
Only certain people can bring forward a wrongful death claim in New Jersey. The most common person to do it is whoever was named as the executor in the deceased will, but there are other parties that can do it. The following people can sue for wrongful death:
- A surviving spouse of the decedent
- A surviving child or grandchild
- A surviving parent
- Surviving siblings, nephews, and nieces
- Anyone who can prove they are financially dependent on the decedent for support.
When one of these parties makes the fatal truck accident claim, they represent all qualified beneficiaries. However, there is an order for who will receive the damages. Spouses and surviving children may split the damages, but each lower category will not receive damages unless the higher categories are not there.
So if you’re a surviving parent of the decedent and want to get compensation from the claim, the decedent must not have a surviving spouse, child, or grandchild. If you are lower on the priority list and want to seek compensation, you will need to talk to whomever will get it by law.
What Is The Survival Statute?
One particular quirk of New Jersey law is that wrongful death claims are usually two separate claims. One is under the NJ Wrongful Death Act and the other is under the NJ Survival Statute. Each one covers a distinct set of damages.
A claim under the Wrongful Death Act lets the estate get economic damages for the decedent, like medical bills, funeral bills, and the cost of future income and support that they would have provided if they had lived a full life.
The NJ Survival Statute is a claim for the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering between the time they were injured and the time they died. In short, it covers the non-economic damages of the claim. Note that the survivors of the family cannot claim non-economic damages they suffered because of the death.
Are There Other Differences?
Yes, and it matters if you win your case because the money from each claim could go to different parties. Any damages from the wrongful death claim will get distributed according to the list we mentioned earlier. This happens regardless of what may be in the will.
However, damages from the survival statute claim goes to the estate of the deceased. That money gets distributed according to the wishes laid out in the will, or according to New Jersey’s intestate laws if there was no will.
This may mean that people that the decedent wanted to cut out of their will could get compensation from a successful wrongful death claim. A visit to a wrongful death attorney in North Bergen can clear up who would get compensation if you won your lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?
Despite how complex these cases are, you have a limited amount of time to file your case. Under New Jersey law, you need to have your wrongful death lawsuit started within two years of the date of death.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, you should start work with a fatal truck accident lawyer in North Bergen, NJ as soon as possible to sort out probate issues and to give them time to consult with expert witnesses about how much your case is worth.
Your fatal truck accident attorney in North Bergen, NJ may work with an expert economist to calculate how much money your loved one may have contributed to the family if they lived, or speak with a medical expert to get an opinion about the level of pain they felt before death. This kind of testimony is powerful evidence that could persuade an insurer to pay more in your settlement.
Contact a Fatal Truck Accident Attorney in North Bergen, NJ
If you live in North Bergen and you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you could face an enormous amount of debt and lost income. No amount of money can bring back a loved one, but suing for wrongful death can help with the financial shock until you adjust to the new normal.
Find out how our fatal truck accident lawyers can help you with one free case evaluation. Call or email Morelli Law to learn how we can help you win a wrongful death claim. Your consultation is free and our services are free unless you win compensation. Call now.