Traffic Deaths Lead to Re-Evaluation of Teen Driving Law

A New Jersey lawmaker who sponsored a law barring new teenage drivers from carrying more than one passenger said he would look to see if the law needed to be strengthened to ensure greater compliance, following the deadly crash of an SUV driven by a high school football player and carrying seven of his teammates.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents are among the most common grounds for wrongful death claims. Such claims may also arise when a family member is killed:

  • On the job, including at a construction site
  • By toxic chemicals or dangerous legal drugs
  • In a plane crash
  • While participating in a recreational activity or sporting event
  • Due to medical malpractice
  • As a result of a defective product
  • In a criminal attack

Surviving family members may be entitled to bring a wrongful death suit whenever a loved one is killed through the actions or neglect of a person or business.

The New Jersey Wrongful Death Act is designed to compensate survivors for financial losses arising from a wrongful death. Although the Wrongful Death Act does not provide for compensation for the survivor’s grief and emotional suffering, claims for such injuries may be available under other laws.

For example, if you actually witnessed the death of your loved one, or the injury leading to that death, you may have a claim for your own severe emotional distress.

Wrongful death damages are primarily based on the economic loss to the surviving family members, measured by the deceased’s projected income over what would have been the rest of his or her working life. This amount is generally paid in a lump sum, discounted to the “present value” of that income stream.

Survivors can also recover for the monetary value of household services such as cleaning, child care, home maintenance, and yard work normally provided by the deceased. Survivors can also claim damages for the loss of less tangible benefits such as nurturing, education, and guidance.

Medical, hospital, and funeral expenses can also be included in a wrongful death claim.

To better understand your rights and options as a survivor, contact the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.