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New Jersey & Pennsylvania Premises Liability Lawyer > Blog > Wrongful Death > What Types Of Injuries Can Lead To Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

What Types Of Injuries Can Lead To Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Question

Wrongful death law can be difficult to understand since it is closely related to, but distinct from, personal injury law. The most obvious difference between a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit is that the injured person files a personal injury claim, while another party must stand in the shoes of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. Yet you may be wondering: is it possible to file a wrongful death claim for any type of injury that would have otherwise given rise to a personal injury lawsuit?

Generally speaking, the answer is yes. In most situations where it would have been possible to file a personal injury lawsuit if the injured person had survived, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim. However, wrongful death laws are specific to each state, so it is important to understand how wrongful death law will apply in a particular case.

Understanding the Application of Wrongful Death Law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

 The wrongful death statutes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are similar to one another. Under Pennsylvania law, it is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit when a person’s death is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” Similarly, under New Jersey law, it is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit when a person’s death is “caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default.”

As you can see, in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, fatal injuries that result from another party’s negligence, as well as fatal injuries that result from another party’s intentional act of violence, may give rise to a wrongful death claim.

Types of Injuries Common in Wrongful Death Cases 

Like personal injury lawsuits, there are a wide range of injuries that can lead to a successful wrongful death claim. Common types of injuries in wrongful death lawsuits include but are not limited to:

  • Auto accident injuries;
  • Pedestrian accident injuries;
  • Dog bite injuries;
  • Injuries resulting from medical negligence;
  • Birth injuries;
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect injuries;
  • Injuries that occur because of an unreasonable hazard on another party’s property;
  • Injuries caused by product defects; and
  • Assaults.

Since a person who sustains fatal injuries is no longer able to file a claim themselves, another party must file the wrongful death claim arising out of the fatal injury or injuries. Under both New Jersey and Pennsylvania law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate (i.e., the executor of the estate) is the party who must file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative can then seek damages on behalf of the surviving family members.

Contact a Pennsylvania and New Jersey Wrongful Death Attorney

 If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent party, or as a result of a third party’s intentional act, it may be possible to seek financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. You should seek advice from one of the experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey wrongful death attorneys at Monaco Law PC. Joseph Monaco is a New Jersey and Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer serving Atlantic County, Burlington County, Cape May County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Salem County and all of South Jersey.

Sources:

legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=42&div=0&chpt=83&sctn=1&subsctn=0

law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2016/title-2a/section-2a-31-1

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