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Who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Injuries |

If you recently lost someone that you loved, the idea of going to court might be the furthest thing from your mind. Instead, your main focus will likely be on how to handle your grief and support your other family members during this difficult time. Despite the numerous losses you have suffered, you may focus on just getting through the day.

It may be several months after someone dies before their surviving family members start to think about justice. The immediate pressures created when someone dies unexpectedly due to a product failure or a car crash can make it hard for people to really explore the long-term consequences of their recent tragedy. People also tend to assume that the state will prosecute the person responsible, which doesn’t always happen.

Once people start to realize how expensive the situation will become for them and that no other justice will be forthcoming, they may start thinking about a wrongful death lawsuit. Such claims can hold a business or individual responsible for causing someone’s death. New Jersey Law does allow for wrongful death lawsuits. Who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey?

Intestate succession rules influence wrongful death claims

If you look at the law in New Jersey related to wrongful death lawsuits, it is quite clear. Typically, those who would inherit property from someone’s estate if they died without a will are the ones who have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit after their death. The closest family members have the strongest right, so typically children or spouses will be the ones to bring such lawsuits.

However, sometimes parents or other, more distant family members will bring a claim. Only in a situation where there are no dependent family members could the representative of someone’s estate bring the claim instead. Generally speaking, romantic partners who do not marry someone and other concerned individuals, like business partners or employers, do not have the right to file or profit from a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey.

Learning more about New Jersey personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits, can help those recently harmed by the bad behavior or neglect of another party.