Trenton is home to some pretty busy streets, and with more vehicles comes an increased risk of accidents. When pedestrians are involved, an accident can be even more troublesome, and in some cases, devastating.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicates that 156 pedestrians died in New Jersey in 2012. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, wrongful death law allows you to file a claim to recover damages.
Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Wrongful Death Case
If you wish to take legal action, you must establish fault. Sometimes, a pedestrian accident is the fault of the pedestrian. On the other hand, some accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence. Inattentiveness or distraction of the driver may play a role in a pedestrian accident, as well as aggressive and reckless driving.
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
While less common, some fatal pedestrian accidents may not involve a motor vehicle at all. For example, a slip and fall accident, falling signage, or falling debris can also cause a pedestrian accident that results in death.
Whatever the case, if you can prove liability of another party for your loved one’s death, you may recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against that party.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members of the decedent to pursue compensation for damages they’ve suffered as a result of losing their loved one in a fatal accident that the defendant caused.
Below are some common damages that surviving family members seek.
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs prior to death
- The decedent’s income they are now without
- Loss of services or benefits provided by the decedent
New Jersey does not allow survivors to recover compensation for emotional distress, though survivors can speak with an attorney for other options they may be available to recover such damages, such as if survivors witnessed the accident.
Your attorney can also review the specifics of your case to get a better idea of which damages may be recoverable. Keep in mind also that a survival action allows for recovery of damages the decedent suffered, which will benefit the estate.
Who can file a wrongful death suit?
A personal representative of the decedent may bring the wrongful death action for the benefit of a spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. Others may also be able to recover in some cases. Meanwhile, a personal representative may bring a survival action to benefit the estate of the deceased, and the damages would then be distributed per the deceased’s will or per New Jersey law.
It is also important to be aware that there is a time limit for when you can file an action for wrongful death in New Jersey, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is two years from the time of death.
The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer after a Fatal Pedestrian Accident
Like all legal processes, the specific requirements for filing a wrongful death suit for damages and proving negligence can be complicated without legal training. If you’re filing a claim for wrongful death after a pedestrian accident, get help from a lawyer. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys will help you establish negligence and causation, and the damages to which you’re entitled.
If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in the Trenton area, call us now at 215-642-2335 or use the form on our contact page to set up a free consultation to review your case and options to recover damages.