The loss of a loved one is never easy. Sometimes a loved one's death comes after a long illness or simply due to old age. However, sometimes a person's death is caused by the negligence of another, for example, due to an accident caused by a drunk driver. These deaths can be particularly difficult to bear, as they could have been prevented if the person responsible had not acted negligently. In such situations, the victim's loved ones may want to pursue a wrongful death claim through the New Jersey court system.
In general, the damages sought in a wrongful death claim are pecuniary in nature. Pecuniary means financial, and can include medical expenses, funeral costs, the lost prospect of an inheritance, the loss of financial support and the loss of services. The deceased individual's age, health, earning capacity and life expectancy may be considered when calculating pecuniary damages.
For example, if the deceased was an adult wage earner with a child, then the primary components of the damages suffered could include lost wages and the loss of parental guidance. Compensation for the loss of a child can be more difficult to ascertain, as the child is not a wage-earner supporting a family. Similarly, compensation for the loss of an elderly person can also be more difficult to ascertain, especially if the deceased was no longer supporting a dependent.
Still, when a person of any age passes away due to the negligence of another, the deceased individual's survivors may want to determine what legal options for compensation are available to them. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate in certain circumstances. Since this post only provides general information on the topic of compensation that could be sought through a wrongful death suit, those who have questions about what types of damages may be available to them will want to seek advice that is tailored to their specific situation.