When someone is killed because of the wrongful or negligent act of a person or organization, that person (the decedent) has rights. Because the decedent isn’t alive to enforce those rights, they pass to the decedent’s estate. This means his or her family has rights to recover damages from the person responsible for the accident.
If a New Jersey wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the monetary damages that are awarded or collected in a settlement will be distributed among the decedent’s spouse and heirs. However, the law doesn’t let just anyone bring the wrongful death suit. Instead, only one specific person is allowed to bring the suit.
The proper party to file a wrongful death suit in the state of New Jersey is the personal representative of the estate. This person is determined either by the decedent’s will or by operation of state law.
If the decedent left a will and named an executor for his or her estate in that will, the executor is considered the personal representative and will be the proper party to file the wrongful death claim.
When someone dies without leaving a will, they are legally considered to have “died intestate.” This means that the law, rather than the decedent’s choices, will determine how their estate is managed and divided. In New Jersey, the law’s first choice for administrator of the estate is any surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, or the spouse does give up this duty, the right passes to the decedent’s children.
In cases where there are no children or the children do not want to serve as personal representative to the estate, other heirs and family members can be appointed with the help of a wrongful death attorney. It is important to understand that even though the representative is bringing the suit, the estate is the one recovering damages and they will be distributed to heirs according to the law.
At Seigel Law in Ridgewood, we help grieving families get justice for the loss of their loved one. We know nothing can replace the person that you lost, but we seek to help your family by recovering damages for medical bills, lost wages and burial expenses. To arrange a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey wrongful death attorney, contact us online or call us at 201.444.4000.
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By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018
I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.Read More
By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017
The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...Read More
By L C - October, 2017
After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.Read More
By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017
Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.Read More
By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017
I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...Read More
"The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.
"After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.
"I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.
"Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.