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What Damages Can Be Recovered When a Family Member is Negligently Killed?

New Jersey provides two forms of relief when someone is killed due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person or organization. The first is known as a survival suit. The purpose of this action is to keep the dead person’s (decedent’s) rights alive when he or she dies. If the decedent would have been able to bring a personal injury lawsuit had they survived, they (and their estate) shouldn’t lose that right solely because the injuries were severe enough to cause death.

The law allows for the award of certain damages in a survival action. These damages are intended to compensate the estate for losses that the decedent suffered before death, including:

  • Hospital bills and medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Disability and impairment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These damages are based solely on what the accident victim experienced before death. The amounts awarded can vary drastically depending on how long the decedent survived after the initial injury. Any money recovered becomes part of the estate.

In most cases, the representative of the estate and the family’s attorney will bring the survival claim at the same time that they bring a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is intended to compensate family members who have lost a loved one. The money from this type of claim is divided amongst family members directly. It does not become part of the estate.

Spouses, children and other dependents may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death case. These damages are intended to compensate those family members for their own losses. Wrongful death damages include:

  • Reasonable burial and funeral expenses
  • Lost wages and lost financial support
  • Loss of guidance
  • Lost household services (chores and childcare)

It is important to remember that wrongful death actions must generally be brought within two years of the date of death. It is essential that you contact an attorney much earlier to give them time to prepare the case fully.

When you need an attorney who will treat your family with compassion and care, contact Seigel Law. Our Bergen County attorneys skillfully represent families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. To learn more about how we can help or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 201.444.4000 or contact us online.

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Meet Our Attorneys


  • (61 Reviews)

    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.

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    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...

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  • (61 Reviews)

    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.

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  • (61 Reviews)

    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.

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  • (61 Reviews)

    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...

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What we offer our clients


Knowledge

Personal injury and medical knowledge

Our knowledgeable team of personal injury lawyers includes a medical doctor who advises on complex medical topics

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One-on-one attorney attention

By maintaining a limited number of cases, our attorneys can provide personalized attention to each client we serve

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Results-oriented strategies

Our lawyers have won numerous high verdicts and settlements, many in the high six- and seven-figure range, for our injured clients

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Trial experience

Every trial attorney in our firm is a certified trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court

Communication

Communication as a priority

We understand how important communication is to a successful attorney-client relationship, we return calls within 24 hours

Community

Community involvement

Our lawyers and staff are active in community outreach and community service programs

Testimonials
  • "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.

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