Newark Wrongful Death Attorney
An unexpected death in the family causes terrible upheaval. The pain and turmoil of a sudden loss can feel especially overwhelming when a loved one’s death resulted from someone else’s wrongful actions or decisions. Family and spouses of individuals tragically taken before their time frequently want to hold the wrongdoer accountable, but they are unsure of who should lead that effort and what it entails.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is a personal injury law firm with offices in Newark and throughout the Tri-State area. Our skilled, compassionate Newark Wrongful Death Lawyers represent the families, spouses, and relatives of local residents and visitors who have died tragically in preventable accidents and mishaps. Our mission is to help those families obtain a measure of justice, usually through the recovery of money damages. If you have lost a loved one to a tragic accident in Newark, we can help. CONTACT us online or by phone at (973) 643-2707 to learn more.
About Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
Since 1972, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has been a pillar of the Tri-State legal community. Our mission from day one has been to provide top-quality legal representation to victims of accidents and tragedies, so that they have access to lawyers as skilled, talented, and experienced as the most well-funded defendants and insurance companies.
In the decades since our founding, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Newark Wrongful Death lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients mourning the senseless loss of a beloved spouse or relative, including recent cases involving motor vehicle accidents, nursing home neglect, and accidental fires, just to name a few. Our clients frequently praise not just our professionalism and determination, but also the compassion and empathy that our lawyers show in guiding clients going through some of the most difficult moments of their lives.
Newark Wrongful Death Claims That We Handle
At Jacoby & Meyers, our team represents clients struggling with the sudden, accidental death of a loved one in a wide variety of circumstances. Many of the “wrongful death” matters we handle arise out of motor vehicle accidents, simply because that is one of the most common ways that accidental deaths occur in New Jersey and around the country. But our practice is by no means limited to motor vehicle accident cases.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, attorneys, with decades of combined experience behind them, have represented mourning families and spouses in the aftermath of a vast array of tragic accidents that took lives, including construction site mishaps, medical errors, building fires, and fuel tank explosions, to name a few.
Our firm invites anyone whose family is suffering through a sudden, tragic death in the Newark area to contact us to learn about how New Jersey law permits such individuals to seek compensation. We understand and empathize with how difficult it can feel to reach out to a lawyer during this difficult time. Many of our clients have felt uncomfortable with the notion of translating an irreplaceable loss into a payment of money.
That is natural and understandable. As lawyers with years of experience, we understand that money cannot bring back a loved one or fill the hole that such a loss leaves in a family. But, the funds we work to recover for our clients in wrongful death matters can help put a family back on stable footing, pay for support the family needs, and make that tragic loss costly enough to the party that caused it to prevent future tragedies.
The work we do as personal injury lawyers for families and spouses affected by tragedy is separate and apart from the work done by law enforcement and prosecutors. Their job is to hold someone accountable for a criminal act, if one occurred. Ours is to hold the person accountable regardless of whether the accident death resulted from a crime or from mere carelessness. Whether or not the authorities decide to prosecute someone in connection with your loved one’s death, you may have rights to substantial compensation under New Jersey law.
Wrongful Death and Survival Claims in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, “when the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default,” the representative of that person’s estate (if the person had a will), or the person’s survivors under New Jersey’s laws governing distribution of a person’s assets without a will (spouses, children, parents, and relatives) have the same legal right to take legal action for damages as the person who died would have had if the injuries had not resulted in that person’s death.
There are essentially two components to this legal action. The “survival” component permits bringing the legal action for damages that the deceased person would have been able to bring, had he or she not died. The “wrongful death” component permits a legal action for damages flowing from the death itself. Specifically, for “the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death, together with the hospital, medical, and funeral expenses incurred for the deceased.”
Parties generally must take legal action within two years of their loved one’s death, except if the death resulted from the crime of murder, aggravated manslaughter, or manslaughter, in which case a legal action can be brought at any time.
What does this mean for families and spouses struggling with a tragic loss in Newark? Generally speaking, it means that by filing a combined survival and wrongful death action, the survivors of a person who died in a tragic accident may seek to obtain damages that cover:
- The pain, suffering, and other damages the deceased loved one felt before death;
- The loss of a loved one’s income and financial support;
- The cost of medical care the loved one received before death;
- Funeral and burial costs; and
- The loss of companionship and care that the loved one would have provided had he or she survived.
Because New Jersey law defines damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death action only as those addressing “pecuniary injuries,” parties in a wrongful death case cannot recover damages for their own emotional suffering, except possibly in the limited cases in which a family member witnesses a loved one’s death. (Again, a plaintiff may also seek to recover damages the loved one could have sought for his or her own “pain and suffering” before death.)
Finally, survivors of loved ones killed in tragic accidents may also, in limited cases, seek punitive damages up to the larger of $350,000 or five times the award of compensatory damages in the case. Ask your lawyer if those damages are possible in your situation.
The Importance of Seeking Legal Help After a Loved One’s Accidental Death
The days and weeks after the sudden, preventable death of a loved one frequently pass in a blur. Family and spouses frequently find it difficult to focus on the many unexpected, tedious, and surprisingly painful tasks of tending to a deceased loved one’s affairs and final arrangements. The last thing on anyone’s mind, we have found, is calling a lawyer.
But that does not mean reaching out to a trusted Newark wrongful death attorney is not important. It is. In fact, connecting with a lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers as soon as possible after a loved one’s untimely death is one of the most important, and beneficial, decisions that a family can make. Here’s why:
Time Is Short for Asserting Your Rights
As we noted above, under New Jersey law, the estate and/or survivors of the victim of an accidental death only have two years to take legal action in most cases. That is not a long time, particularly when it comes to the sort of fact-intensive investigation that is frequently required to prove liability for an accidental death. The sooner an experienced attorney can get started protecting your family’s interests and legal rights, the better the chance of maximizing your compensation.
Evidence and Witness Memories Are Fleeting
The two-year window for taking legal actions is the absolute limit, not a recommended timeframe. The seasoned lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, know that, in reality, far quicker action is needed to collect and preserve crucial evidence for proving facts, circumstances, and legal liability in a wrongful death action. For instance:
- Witness accounts of an accident can be surprisingly varied. But they are clearest and most reliable when they are recorded immediately after an event. Also, similar to physical evidence, eyewitnesses tend to scatter to the wind, both because they “do not want to get involved” or simply because people have busy lives. The sooner a lawyer can get started tracking down witnesses, the better the quality of the evidence a family will have to prove its Newark wrongful death case.
- Medical records usually get preserved in a document storage system, but sometimes the recollections of medical providers can prove equally important to building a case for damages after a wrongful death. As with other types of witnesses, lawyers need to get medical professionals on the record as soon as possible.
Insurance Companies Do Not Wait to Start Circling Their Wagons
An accidental death sets off alarm bells at any insurance company that has issued a policy covering an involved party. Insurers know that they might be on the hook for large amounts of damages. They want to minimize that financial exposure as much as possible. Thus, they get to work immediately looking for ways to pin blame on someone else, or to “cut a deal” that limits their financial damages.
One strategy that insurance companies employ is to reach out directly to the survivors of the person who tragically died. Insurance representatives might seem friendly, but these attempts at making contact are anything but. Insurance companies hope that by avoiding dealing with a lawyer, they can take advantage of a family’s vulnerability and strain during a difficult time to convince the family to give up important legal rights for a small payment—usually just a fraction of what the family’s claim is actually worth.
Do not fall for these tactics. The best defense against an insurance company hell-bent on minimizing its financial exposure to an accidental death is to refer anyone who calls to an experienced Newark wrongful death attorney like Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. Our lawyers work opposite insurance companies day-in, day-out. We know how to counter their tricks and tactics, and we will not hesitate to insist on holding the parties that they insure accountable for every cent that our clients deserve after a tragic loss of life.
There Is No Downside to Speaking to an Attorney
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, invites anyone who has suffered a tragic, accidental death in the family to reach out to our team. We do not charge for an initial case evaluation, and meeting with us comes with zero obligation to move forward with legal action. Our lawyers will typically listen to your account of what happened, ask a few questions, and offer our preliminary views of whether you may have a case.
If you have documents to show us that reflect the cause of the accident that took your loved one’s life, or the medical care your loved one received, that can also help.
Call Our Newark Wrongful Death Attorneys if You Need Help
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have witnessed firsthand the struggles that families and spouses endure after a sudden, preventable death of a loved one caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions. No one should have to live through that kind of tragedy, but if the worst does happen, there is no better ally to have on your side than a Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, wrongful death attorney.
We fight to make sure that the parties who harmed your loved one are held accountable, and that your family recovers every penny of compensation you need and deserve. We know that compensation will not bring your loved one back, but it can help you move forward.
Newark Wrongful Death FAQs: When Negligence Results in a Tragic Loss
When a loved one dies in a tragic accident caused by another person, your grief may prove unmanageable. The sudden loss of a loved one is often made more tragic by knowing that the death was preventable—had the responsible person used appropriate care. A Newark wrongful death attorney can help you fight for compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries. A free case evaluation is an important first step toward pursuing justice on behalf of your loved one.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
The term wrongful death means that someone died due to the negligent actions of another person. Liability for the death may lie with a person, a company, or an organization.
A death caused by negligence is tragic, and the loss you feel is something money can never replace. However, the pursuit of compensation for your damages can serve as a form of justice and help with your financial stress.
Everyone has a duty of care toward others. To act negligently, someone must fail to use the same type of care that a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances. For example, you may leave a bar by hailing a rideshare or with a designated driver. The person sitting next to you in the bar may choose to drive home after multiple drinks. Drivers that choose to drive drunk are liable if they cause an accident that results in serious injuries or death.
If someone engaged in behavior or action that resulted in the death of a spouse or other close loved one, Jacoby & Meyers LLP can help you with a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
What are examples of a possible wrongful death case?
Any interaction with other people or products can place you in harm’s way. There is no way to predict the behavior or actions of others until it is often too late.
The careless actions of another person that result in death may involve criminal charges. If the person responsible for your loved one’s death faces criminal charges, there is no need to worry regarding a possible civil case. Civil matters and criminal charges are separate and have little bearing on one another.
Here are examples of accidents and circumstances that may justify a wrongful death claim and lawsuit:
- Motor vehicle accidents: More than 500 people died in traffic crashes along New Jersey highways within the past year. Drunk, distracted, drowsy, and aggressive drivers plague the roadways, creating danger for other motorists. A fatal motor vehicle accident can involve a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian.
- Construction site accidents: Despite oversight by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction site accidents are far too common. OSHA lists the construction industry’s fatal four: falls, electrocutions, struck-by, and caught-between accidents.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect: Abuse and neglect of the vulnerable senior population should never occur. If a nursing home failed to provide adequate care for your loved one, the facility may face liability for your loved one’s death.
- Medical malpractice: Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that medical mistakes are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. From wrong side surgery to prescription medication mix-ups, the results are sometimes deadly, yet preventable.
- Slip and fall accidents: Cases involving premises liability focus on property owner negligence. Death can occur due to an unsafe swimming pool, a fall, unsafe steps, or other unsafe conditions. A lawyer can determine if the property owner knew of the danger yet failed to fix or warn others of the danger.
These are a few examples of how death may result in a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. These and other types of wrongful death accidents and circumstances can impact your life forever. The tragedy of your loss is that your loved one died due to someone else failing to use care.
If you lost a loved one due to a tragic accident caused by negligence, let us help you. Contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP today to discuss the details of your Newark wrongful death case.
My loved one did not die immediately. Who pays for the final medical expenses?
Some accident victims suffer a severe injury that is not survivable. If your loved one did not immediately die, but rather lingered tragically in a medical facility—such as University Hospital or Saint Michael’s Medical Center—for days, weeks, or even months, the liable party should pay for all of those medical costs. You should not bear the financial burden of any of the expenses related to your loved one’s injuries or death.
The expense of a long-term stay in an intensive care unit can involve life-saving measures that, unfortunately, ultimately prove unsuccessful. Your loved one’s final medical expenses are just one type of compensation possible in a wrongful death case.
Other examples of possible compensation include:
- Costs associated with a memorial or funeral service
- Income from your loved one’s missed time at work
- Future earnings possible had your loved one survived the accident
- Loss of support and companionship
- Loss of inheritance
These are a few examples of the types of compensation possible in a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. Your case depends upon various factors that are unique to your loved one’s accident and eventual death.
A member of the legal team at Jacob & Meyers LLP can explain how we plan to fight for compensation on your behalf. We will keep you informed throughout the process, yet remain respectful of your time with family and your need to focus on your recovery.
What is the difference between economic and non-economic damages?
Economic damages are direct expenses that result from medical bills and other related costs. The numbers relate directly to the services provided. Non-economic damages are more subjective and thus more challenging to prove to a jury.
The loss of companionship that your loved one provided is difficult to assign a monetary value. This loss is most likely invaluable to you. A wrongful death lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers LLP has the trial skills necessary to present your case before a jury.
Reaching and convincing jurors and a judge—should your case go to trial —is crucial to securing the best possible outcome in your case. Your grief may prevent you from effectively preparing your case alone.
When you hire a member of our team to represent you, you are never alone. We stand by our clients, from the free case evaluation to the outcome of their wrongful death cases.
If negotiations with an insurance company fail to produce the desired results, we are not afraid to take your case to trial. Many wrongful death cases settle out of court and never see the inside of a courtroom. At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we prepare each case for trial to stand ready if we must proceed to court.
How can a lawyer help me?
The death of your loved one may leave you with extra expenses and reduced income. A wrongful death lawyer will listen to learn more about your loved one and the accident that took his or her life.
Our team is caring and compassionate with families during their time of grief. We understand that it is a challenging time to inform friends and family and plan a funeral or memorial service.
The calm approach we provide is different from the assertive way that insurance companies approach families in mourning. While insurance representatives may appear concerned and eager to help you, their priority is to protect their best interests.
A wrongful death lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers LLP can prevent you from accepting an unfair settlement. We can easily spot tactics that insurance companies use to take advantage of spouses and other family members who qualify for compensation. When necessary, we stand prepared to go to trial.
Accepting a settlement without a lawyer by your side is risky. The terms of the agreement are the fine print that you may not read nor understand. In some cases, the insurance company may try to attempt to blame your loved one for the accident. This may prove infuriating for families. You do not need to experience such accusations alone.
Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay what families need to cover their costs. This is unfair and unacceptable. Protecting your best interests is where a wrongful death lawyer can assist you.
How can I help my lawyer?
The grief and frustration that you feel can make you eager to help your case in any way possible. You may possess information that will help your case and not even know you have it.
Important evidence that may help your wrongful death case includes:
- Police reports
- Store incident reports
- Accident scene photographs and possible video
- Witness names and contact information
- Medical records relating to your loved one’s final days
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Proof of lost wages from your loved one’s employer
If this information is difficult to locate, your lawyer can investigate and find the information needed to build your case. Pursuing compensation for your loved one’s death is an emotional journey that you do not have to take alone.
Understanding that a lawyer is by your side can give you peace of mind during a time of overwhelming turmoil. The loss of your loved one demands your full focus. Your lawyer can answer questions and address concerns as you pursue legal action.
What happened to your loved one should never happen to another person. By pursuing a wrongful death case, you may prevent the same tragedy from happening to another family. Holding the liable party accountable for any negligent actions is imperative for securing justice and will possibly protect others from a similar fate.
Can I take time to think about pursuing civil action?
The key to deciding on pursuing a civil case is to decide sooner rather than later. New Jersey law allows two years for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The clock begins ticking the moment your loved one passes away.
A sudden loss can turn your world upside down and leave you guessing as to the day of the week. Taking care of important legal matters is the last thing you need on your shoulders at this time.
A lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers LLP can manage the details of your wrongful death claim and lawsuit. To get started with building your case, your lawyer must carefully examine all evidence to determine liability and prove negligence.
If you do not file a wrongful death lawsuit within the required two years, there is no second chance. Contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP today to learn if your relationship with the decedent qualifies you to pursue civil action.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP: Your Newark Wrongful Death Attorneys
Protecting your future and fighting for justice on behalf of your loved one is where we can help. Our free case evaluation leaves you nothing to lose as you explore your options for moving forward with legal action.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we handle wrongful death cases involving motorcyclists, seniors, construction workers, and more. Those that lose their lives due to the negligent actions of others are never forgotten.
The void left in your life by your loved one’s untimely death is something no amount of money can fill. Compensation can, however, give you one less worry during this challenging time.
Our previous success demonstrates our commitment to helping those harmed by the reckless actions of others. Previous case results do not guarantee, nor do they predict, the outcome of your wrongful death case.
Wrongful death law is complicated and best left to a member of our legal team. Securing the best outcome now can save you from additional heartbreak later. Your current suffering is enough; let us get to work for you today.
For more than 30 years, we have helped accident victims and grieving families pursue compensation and justice. CONTACT us for your free case evaluation, during which you can explain the details of your situation, ask questions about your legal rights, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation.
550 Broad Street suite 608
Newark NJ 07102
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“The case managers are one of the most helpful individuals in the office, the attorneys are great in explaining my case and the process of the legal system. I felt secure in my choice of selecting Jacoby & Meyers for my legal representation and I’m thankful for their hard work. Preparation is key, and I’m glad my team of legal representation had my back when I needed them most. I hope this review steers you readers into the right direction in selecting Jacoby & Meyers as your legal team as I did for my case. Greta was one of the individuals who made me feel secure in addressing all of my concerns. Thank you Jacoby & Meyers for your representation and your time.”
Review by: Roberto M.
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