While drivers have traveled fewer miles since the start of the Covid pandemic, the number of traffic fatalities continues to rise on U.S. roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle-related deaths rose substantially across the country during the first half of 2022. In the Southern Northeast region — which comprises New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania — there was an 11 percent increase in such deaths.
More than 700 New Jersey families lost loved ones in fatal crashes in 2022, which marked a 15-year high, according to a New Jersey State Police report. There is no way to fully make up for the devastation caused by such a loss, but surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver or other people responsible for the accident. A wrongful death suit might allow a family to recover monetary compensation for loss of financial support they had received from the victim and for loss of companionship. In addition, a representative of the victim’s estate can bring a survivorship action, raising any claims the victim would have been entitled to bring if he or she had survived the accident. Any damages recovered are then passed on to the victim’s lawful heirs.
Wrongful death and survivorship claims are complex, especially as to proving that another party’s negligence or other fault caused the fatality. Fatal car wrecks can be caused by numerous factors such as driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving and distracted driving. Some fatal accidents are due not to the fault of another driver but to a manufacturing defect or design flaw. Whatever the possible causes, such cases require retaining an experienced attorney to handle the multiple aspects of the legal process and to ensure that families receive fair compensation for loss of their loved one.
Siegel Law in Ridgewood assists clients with wrongful death and survivorship claims throughout northern New Jersey. Please call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free appointment to speak with one of our attorneys.