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Ways to obtain compensation for wrongful death in New Jersey

Thousands of people in New Jersey are victimized by criminal acts every year. These acts can sometimes culminate in the loss of limb or life and can cause serious emotional trauma to the victim's family. The fallout of these crimes may not be just the pain and suffering of the victim and his or her family, but it also may leave them with extreme medical costs, physical disabilities, loss of employment, damage to property and a poor quality of life.

Victims or representatives of victims of criminal injury and wrongful death have the right to seek compensation for the losses that they have suffered. New Jersey laws provide several methods of obtaining compensation. One such method of compensation is restitution. A judge may order a perpetrator to pay restitution to his or her victim or his or her representatives for any expenses that arose from the crime. Restitution can be part of the perpetrator's sentence in many types of criminal cases committed either by an adult or a juvenile.

The amount of restitution is directly related to the expenses borne by the victim or his or her family because of the crime; it may include medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Another method of compensation is State Crime Victim Compensation, which is available to victims of crime in the state of New Jersey. This compensation is provided in order to reimburse individuals for losses and expenditures related to the crime. It may include medical costs in case of injuries, funeral bills in case of fatalities, lost wages, lawyer's fees and other costs.

In cases in which restitution and State Crime Victim Compensation do not help, victims may initiate a civil action in order to seek compensation. This kind of lawsuit also can provide compensation for a victim.

Source: The National Crime Victim Bar Association, "Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in New Jersey," accessed Dec.5, 2014

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