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Addressing the complexities of a wrongful death action


When a New Jersey resident dies due to a negligent act or failure of another to act to stop injury, then the victim's family and dependents may have the right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against the person whose negligent act led to the victim's death.

In many situations, wrongful death lawsuits stem from the same set of facts and circumstances driving a criminal case of homicide or manslaughter. However, the burden of proof in a wrongful death lawsuit is less stringent than a criminal case because the guiding principle of proving a criminal charge is "beyond reasonable doubt" and this is not applicable in a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Many surviving dependents of victims often consult professional and experienced attorneys to initiate lawsuits so they may receive financial compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the careless actions of those responsible.

As a principle provided by New Jersey law, the first entity with a right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit is the local prosecutor's office. However, family members including spouses, dependent children or even dependent parents have also successfully initiated wrongful death lawsuits in the past.

Furthermore, the attorneys at Marmero & Mammano, P.C., have also noticed that in many cases, family members are often so overwhelmed with grief from their loss that they overlook many of the legal options available. However, ignoring or being unaware of the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be detrimental to future of the deceased's loved ones.

Under New Jersey law, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed within two years of the victim's death or discovery of the wrongful act of the defendant. Furthermore, in cases where the wrongful death lawsuit is based on similar facts from a criminal manslaughter case, then the wrongful death lawsuit may be filed at any point after the verdict of the criminal case has been rendered.

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