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Overview of New Jersey’s wrongful death laws -- Part II

When the loss of a loved one is because of someone else’s negligence, New Jersey laws allow the surviving family members of the victims, and certain other people, to initiate a wrongful death action. How the action is executed is mentioned in the previous post on our blog. After the wrongful death action is completed and the surviving family members have obtained a favorable judgment, the next step involves distribution of the amount that has been awarded.

According to New Jersey wrongful death laws, any amount that is awarded as compensation after a successful wrongful death action is distributed among those people who are entitled to the victim’s personal property in the event that the victim died intestate. The allocation will be the same as in the case of a person dying without a will. However, if the deceased victim had a surviving spouse or surviving children, they would be eligible for equal portions of the total compensation amount.

However, in the event that the wrongful death action was filed by an administrator against the responsible party, that administrator will not receive the compensation. Instead, the amount is paid to the general administrator of the deceased victim’s estate provided that the estate administrator has submitted a bond, which guarantees that the people who are entitled to the wrongful death compensation will receive it.

Another question that many people in Camden County may have pertains to how juries determine the amount of compensation that surviving family members should receive. According to the statute, such damages are determined after taking into consideration various factors, such as financial losses sustained as a result of the victim’s death, medical expenses and funeral expenses.

While New Jersey laws have provisions for claiming compensation in the event of a wrongful death, establishing the wrongdoing in court can often be a challenge. Therefore, surviving family members may find it beneficial if they choose to file an action over the loss of a loved one with the help of an attorney. The attorney’s knowledge and experience of personal injury cases may help them tremendously.

Source: New Jersey Statutes, “Title 2A – Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice,” Accessed on June 30, 2015

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