Wrongful Death Claims for a Slip and Fall Accident
March 11, 2020
Falls are a leading reason for accidental deaths. Hitting the head on pavement or another hard surface often proves deadly. When someone dies from a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a property owner, the family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. While head injuries account for the largest number of slip and fall deaths, other types of injuries in such a situation may prove fatal. These include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Infection resulting from the fall leading to organ failure
Slip and fall accidents or deaths fall under the legal category of premises liability. Property owners are supposed to maintain their premises in a safe condition. For example, if someone is shopping at a supermarket and slips on a wet floor that was not marked with warning signs or cordoned off, the property owner is usually liable. Much depends on the actual circumstances surrounding the fall and the individual’s subsequent death. A slip and fall lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident leading to the person’s demise.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In New Jersey, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of a relative due to another party’s negligent or reckless behavior. The executor of the late person’s estate, who may or not be a family member, files the lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
Any damages awarded in the lawsuit generally go to the surviving spouse or children of the deceased. If the deceased did not have a surviving spouse or offspring, the next in line to receive damages are the surviving parents. If there are no surviving parents, then surviving siblings, nieces, and nephews would receive compensation. A person who can prove they were dependent on the deceased, as per the statute, may also share in damages awarded.
Wrongful Death Damages
Damages in a wrongful death case may include:
- Medical bills relating to the final injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of household services contributed by the deceased
- Companionship loss and loss of guidance
In New Jersey, wrongful death damages do not include pain and suffering of the family members due to the loss of the loved one. There is an exception if a family member witnessed the death and then experienced extreme distress, but that must involve a separate lawsuit. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death, not the date of the slip and fall accident. Failure to a file a lawsuit within that timeframe means the claim cannot go forward.
Camden Slip and Fall Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Clients with Slip and Fall Claims
If you lost a loved one due to a slip and fall accident, you need the services of an experienced Camden slip and fall lawyer at DiTomaso Law. We will hold the negligent party responsible and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 856-414-0010 or fill out an online form for a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.
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