PA & NJ Wrongful Death Attorneys Help You Seek Justice for Your Loss
Right now you may be experiencing a flood of emotions. Losing a loved one is the hardest thing a person will ever have to go through. Sudden loss due to someone else’s negligence is unbearable. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone. Survivors deserve justice as well as compensation for their loss.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help to bring closure to your family and ensure that all of the responsible parties are held accountable for their failures. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s mistake, contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling wrongful death cases in Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ, and all surrounding counties in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
The experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman work closely with qualified experts who will lend their experience to your case when it comes to gathering testimony, medical evidence, and, when necessary, accident reconstruction information.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in PA & NJ?
Wrongful death is generally caused by another person’s careless or reckless actions. Sometimes, wrongful death is the result of a person’s deliberate actions. A person facing criminal charges for murder can also be sued for wrongful death. However, even when the person who caused the death wasn’t aware of their wrongdoing, that may still be considered negligence.
There are many specific causes of wrongful death, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Death caused by driver negligence or an automotive defect
- SEPTA accidents
- Construction accidents: Site operators, contractors, subcontractors, and insurance companies can all be held responsible for serious injuries resulting from construction accidents, including accidents involving fork lifts, ladders, and electricity
- Dangerous property defects: Death caused by a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property or an injury caused when a property owner fails to maintain the building or surrounding property
- Medical malpractice: A surviving family member can sue for wrongful death caused by medical negligence, such as an error involving anesthesia, failure to monitor a patient, failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis of an illness, or birth injuries
- Product liability: A manufacturer, designer, or distributor can be held responsible for wrongful death caused by defective products
- Exposure to toxic chemicals: Death resulting from deliberate or negligent industry practices
Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Suit in NJ or PA?
Under Pennsylvania law, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by immediately family, which is limited to a spouse, parent, or child. However, New Jersey wrongful death law allows a sibling to recover damages in some instances. If someone you love died due to someone else’s mistake or negligence, you need an experienced lawyer who will fight tirelessly for your family’s right to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and more.
What Are the Major Differences between New Jersey and Pennsylvania Wrong Death Statutes?
In New Jersey, the Wrongful Death Act permits recovery of financial losses, such as lost future wages. However, other types of damages are generally recoverable only in certain circumstances and require survivors to rely on other statutes. Our knowledgeable lawyers will advise you about related information, including:
- A survivor who wishes to seek damages for emotional distress must file a separate tort action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- In fact, NJ courts explicitly instruct juries in wrongful death cases to separate the emotional and financial components of the damages.
- Punitive damages are not recoverable under the NJ wrongful death statute, unless the person found guilty of causing the wrongful death acted with malice or with reckless disregard for the decedent’s life.
While New Jersey law limits survivors to recovering only financial losses in wrongful death actions, Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act allows a survivor to be compensated for loss of services that they would have received from the decedent. PA courts have interpreted “services” broadly to mean emotional and psychological loss caused by wrongful death. The effect is that emotional distress damages may be recoverable in a PA wrongful death case.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania also have survival statutes, which allow recovery for mental and physical damages suffered by the decedent prior to death, including pain and suffering. Additionally, if the conduct of the person causing wrongful death was particularly egregious, both states’ survival statutes permit a court to award punitive damages.
Call the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman for a Free Consultation with a Dedicated New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyer
The wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman are compassionate, dedicated attorneys who are sensitive to clients’ needs outside of the courtroom. At this difficult time, you deserve to be with your loved ones. Let an experienced wrongful death attorney take care of your legal matters. Call Craig Altman, or use our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.