Can You Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Few things in life are more devastating than the death of a loved one, particularly when it’s caused by the careless or improper acts of a third person. Under the law as it currently exists, you can bring legal action against a wrongdoer who caused that death. In this series of blogs, we’ll take a closer look at the legal concept of wrongful death—what it is, what you need to prove, who can seek compensation for losses incurred, what types of losses can be recovered, and who is potentially liable.
What Is Wrongful Death?
At the most fundamental level, a wrongful death is one that is determined to be the legal fault of another person. While you can always bring a lawsuit based on an intentional killing, as a practical matter, most wrongful death claims are based on the legal principle of negligence. Under the legal theory of negligence, there’s an accepted standard of care to which all members of society must adhere, when engaged in any type of behavior. For example, when driving a car or manufacturing a product or maintaining real property, all persons are expected to act reasonably so as not to pose an unreasonable risk of harm to others. Driving your car in excess of the speed limit, failing to test a product before putting it on the market, neglecting to fix a broken stairway rail—all these actions can be considered a failure to use the commonly accepted standard of care. The conduct is then considered “wrongful” and if someone dies as a result, the death will be considered a “wrongful death.”
Interestingly, the concept of wrongful death is a relatively new one, only arising in the last couple hundred years. Wrongful death actions are now relatively common, and can be filed in any instance where there’s wrongful conduct that causes the accidental death of another person. However, a person must have “standing to sue” to recover damages for wrongful death.
Contact Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to people in New Jersey who have lost a loved one because of the wrongful act of a third party. To set up an appointment with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer, contact our office online or call 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692) to arrange a meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.