The passing of a family member is a traumatic event no matter the circumstances, but it can be particularly difficult when death occurs as the result of a workplace accident which could have been avoided. More deaths take place in the construction industry than in any other. Those with family members who have construction jobs, are particularly sensitive to the risks of potential injury and death.
If a person sustains an injury in a New Jersey construction accident, or dies as a result of their injuries, it’s important to know what steps to take to protect the injured person’s or their heir’s rights. You’ll want to consult with a construction accident injury attorney who can explain your options and the claim process.
Who Can File a Claim?
A construction accident wrongful death claim is usually filed by the person who has been left in charge of the deceased’s estate; often a spouse or child of the decedent, but may include other authorized representatives of an estate. Those who may benefit from restitution may include the decedent’s spouse, children or grandchildren, parents and siblings, and others who may have been economically dependent upon the decedent.
Types of Claims
There are two types of claims that can be filed after a workplace-related death:
• Wrongful Death: A wrongful death claim asserts and seeks to secure compensation for the losses and damages suffered by the heirs of a decedent.
• Survival Action: This claim seeks to secure compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent, and, if applicable, lost wages from the time of the accident until the decedent’s passing from their accident related injuries (often that can be many months or years).
What Kind of Damages Can Be Pursued By Heirs in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Damages for which compensation is sought in construction accident wrongful death cases may include: lost wages, loss of financial support, companionship and household services, and costs associated with medical, funeral, and burial expenses.
How Long Do You Have to File?
Pursuant to the Statute of Limitations, New Jersey construction accident wrongful death claims generally must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. However, depending upon the entities involved (including State and Municipal parties), there may be notices required within 90 days of the decedent’s passing (Notice of Claim requirement). It is therefore important to consult with and possibly retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Time may be of the essence in collecting and/or protecting valuable information and evidence. The passage of time may greatly affect one’s ability to effectively pursue claims of this nature.