How to value a wrongful death claim in NJ

In New Jersey, the value of a wrongful death claim is based on financial impact, and not on emotional loss.

Financial Impact vs Emotional Loss in Wrongful Death Cases Mercer County NJCoping with the death of a loved one can be so stressful and emotionally draining. You may be experiencing overwhelming grief and at the same time anger about your loss. You may have to plan a funeral, settle your loved one’s personal and business responsibilities, and deal with suddenly intense financial needs as a result of your loss.

But you may be eligible to win financial compensation by means of a wrongful death claim. It depends on the cause of your loved one’s death, either by medical malpractice, an accident in the workplace, a deadly assault, or other circumstances.

What Is Wrongful Death in New Jersey?

“Wrongful death” is defined as the death of a person due to an act that should not have occurred (such as neglect), or an act that the person would have been compensated for had they survived. Common wrongful death cases include:

Who Can Benefit?

A wrongful death claim can be made by the surviving dependents of the deceased person, according to N.J.S.A. 2A:31-4.  These can include:

  • A spouse and any children or grandchildren.
  • Parents of a deceased person, typically if that person was unmarried with no children.
  • Siblings, nieces, or nephews of the deceased person.
  • Anyone who is able to prove that he or she was truly dependent on the deceased person.

First priority in paying out wrongful death cases is given to the surviving spouse and children, then to parents, and then to siblings, nieces, and nephews.

What Can I Seek Compensation For?

Commonly, people file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for:

  • What Can I Seek Compensation For?Loss of the finances provided by the deceased person. This is based on the amount of money that the deceased would have earned had he or she lived.
  • Loss of household services, like childcare and chores.
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, or care.
  • The expense of medical care related to the injury, and funeral expenses related to death.

Please note that, in New Jersey, the value of a wrongful death claim is based on financial impact, and not on emotional loss. Surviving family members cannot recover from emotional distress or seek punitive damages in a wrongful death claim.

However, depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you might be able to make a claim under the NJ Survival Statute. This allows the estate of the victim to pursue compensation for suffering and pain, as well as lost wages and medical expenses, that the victim experienced during the time of the accident to the untimely death.

Finally, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations to file the claim. All wrongful death cases in New Jersey must be filed within at most two years of the date of death. Beyond that two-year time limit, the case will most likely not proceed.

Why would I go ahead with a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death case can provide the money you need to pay outstanding medical bills or funeral costs. It can help your family replace the income you’ve lost, and will continue to lose, as a result of the wrongful death.

The case might also benefit you by bringing the person responsible for the death to account. Often, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only way to do this.

These are important benefits, but there are also important potential costs to think about.

Potential Downsides of a Wrongful Death Case

During a wrongful death case:

  • You may have to talk about the accident and about your loved one. This can be emotionally difficult.
  • You may feel as if you are putting a price tag on your loss. However, you are not profiting financially from your loved one’s death.

If you choose to file a wrongful death claim, it is your attorney’s job to make the process go as smoothly as possible for you.

How do I file?

Contact Monmouth County NJ Lawyers TodayMost states require a wrongful death case to be filed by a representative of the estate of the deceased person, who brings the wrongful death case for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse and children if there are any, or more distant relatives if not.

Why would I need a wrongful death lawyer?

A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence, prove your case, and recover damages in court or reach a fair settlement. In reaching a settlement, your lawyer knows how to leverage evidence and present convincing arguments to get the best settlement. Your attorney can also make sure that all of your rights are protected.

Contact Trenton NJ Lawyers Today

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be overwhelmingly stressful. You need an attorney who is not only compassionate but also able to leverage legal knowledge and experience to fight for your rights.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, Our team’s skill, and dedication to your family, can make all the difference in securing compensation for the unwarranted loss of your loved one in  Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area.

To arrange a free consultation to discuss your wrongful death claim, please contact us online, or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596. We look forward to working with you.

Young Male Pedestrian Killed in West Windsor NJ Auto Accident

The Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys of KCR are here to assist you if injured in a Pedestrian Accident.

A young male, a pedestrian, had been walking in the left, northbound lane of Route 1 in West Windsor just after 11 p.m. when he was hit by a motor vehicle, according to the local police. The motor vehicle’s impact sent the pedestrian into the center lane, where he was then struck by a second vehicle.

Both drivers — a 43-year-old from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and a 35-year-old from Roxbury, Massachusetts —stopped and cooperated with police.

Mr. White was pronounced dead at the scene by the authorities.

Route 1 was closed for about three hours while the police investigated the incident, which took place less than a half-mile south of the Meadow Road overpass.

The New Jersey State Police reported that there were 558 fatal accidents in 2019.  176 of the reported fatalities were to pedestrians.

It has been reported that New Jersey is the 12th highest in the country for pedestrian fatalities caused by automobiles.

Contact Our Mercer County NJ Accident Lawyers Today

If you or someone close to you has suffered a pedestrian injury accident, at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we are here to help you pursue compensation for your losses.

Contact us online or by telephone, or through our Trenton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596 to arrange a free and confidential consultation with an experienced auto accident injury lawyer.

Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey is known for its bumper-to-bumper traffic, complicated roads, and intense, often combative drivers. Trenton and Somerset NJ Attorneys Discuss. 

Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Laws in New JerseySometimes, congested highways and people in a hurry provide the perfect storm for road rage to rear its ugly head.  Road rage is not just offensive, it can be hazardous, and it is a problem that has been on the rise as more and more vehicles fill the same congested streets. In recent studies done by AAA, throughout the United States, more than 80% of drivers admitted to driving aggressively.

Aggressive driving can include actions that one may consider a normal part of driving, such as speeding, cutting others off, honking the horn repeatedly, or using angry hand gestures.  In some unfortunate instances, that aggressive driving turns into road rage.  It is estimated that thousands of people have been seriously injured every year due to road rage, and hundreds have been killed.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by motorists. These behaviors include rude and offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats, or dangerous driving methods, including longhorn honks, swerving, tailgating, or brake checking. Those actions are targeted toward another driver or non-drivers such as pedestrians or cyclists to intimidate or release frustration. Road rage can lead to altercations, damage to property, assaults, and collisions that result in serious physical injuries or even death. At times, drivers will get out of their vehicles to start a physical fight on the roadway.

How prevalent is road rage in New Jersey?

A survey consisting of 1,012 New Jersey consumers with valid driver licenses who operate a vehicle at least once per week included questions about personal driving behavior and observed driving behavior to measure tendencies and attitudes regarding aggressive driving. The study had a 95 percent confidence interval and +/- 2 percent margin of error. It was conducted by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey, and the findings were shocking:

  • 99% witnessed at least one road rage incident
  • 96% perceived that other drivers disobey posted speed limits on major highways
  • 89% witnessed other drivers change lanes without signaling
  • 59% witnessed other drivers make insulting gestures
  • 35% reported occasional “uncontrollable anger” behind the wheel
  • 11% witnessed other drivers engage in physical altercations

How are aggressive driving and road rage different?

How are aggressive driving and road rage different?Road rage occurs when there is intent to produce bodily harm to someone else.  A driver engaging in road rage may use his vehicle as a weapon or use something else in the car to harm the other person.  According to the American Safety Council, over one-third of road rage cases involve firearms.  Road rage is considered a criminal offense due to the attack’s intentional nature and is taken very seriously by law enforcement. While equally uncalled for, aggressive driving is a much milder form of driving and is usually limited to a small incident, not resulting in damage.

How have New Jersey road rage laws changed?

A 2012 law termed “Jessica’s Law” was created after a 16-year old girl named Jessica Rogers was disabled in a car accident that resulted from road rage. Although she had had two dozen surgeries since the accident, the other car driver spent only four months in jail. Jessica worked to create stiffer penalties for road rage that results in injury to another, saying that while she serves a life sentence, the man who caused her injuries received only 4 months in prison.

After successfully lobbying in the state’s Assembly, the bill was passed unanimously, and Jessica’s Law became a reality.

Under the new law, if road rage leads to a serious injury, such as Jessica’s, the driver can be charged with a third-degree offense. Third-degree offenses in New Jersey are punishable with three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  If the aggressive driving leads to injuries of a lesser degree, the driver can be charged with a fourth-degree offense, which is punishable with up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

How can I avoid getting angry when I drive?

Leave on time.

If you feel less rushed, you will have less reason to get upset by other drivers.

Listen to music.

If you listen to music, you have something that distracts you. Music has a calming effect.  Audiobooks are a good idea as well.

Pull Over.

No, don’t pull off where the other driver went to. Instead, pull off someplace else, get out of your car, and do some deep breathing for a few minutes.

Make your car as comfortable as possible.

Your surroundings affect your mood. So if it’s hot, crank up your AC. If it’s cool, then turn your heater on.

Realize other people sometimes make bad choices.

People talk on their cell phones, eat, and even put on makeup or shave while driving. That makes them even more dangerous to be sharing the road with, so keep your wits about you and focus on getting to where you are going.

What should I do if I encounter road rage from another driver?

If angry drivers target you, try these tips:

  1. Call 911 and request help.
  2. Drive to a nearby police station, fire station, or a hectic parking lot.
  3. Attempt to get out of the way of the other driver as safe as possible.
  4. Do not look at or acknowledge the enraged driver.
  5. Do not drive home while being actively pursued.
  6. Practice defensive driving.

Contact an Experienced Trenton Personal Injury Attorney Today

Road rage accidents are often instigated by unnecessary confrontations that are better left alone. Unfortunately, these confrontations can have devastating and deadly conclusions.  At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, our diligent New Jersey experienced attorneys strive to hold responsible parties accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

To schedule a confidential case assessment with our firm today, please contact our online file or through our Morristown, NJ office at (609) 528-2596.

Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

Mercer and Middlesex County Attorneys Review Fatal Auto Accident Statistics in 2020

The New Jersey State Police recently released crash statistics revealing that New Jersey is continuing to a decrease in the amount of fatal motor vehicle accidents. The number of Fatal accidents, Year to date 2020, compared the same time last year are reportedly down approximately 11 percent.  The reduced fatal crashes have resulted in a substantial decrease in the number of fatalities by approximately 5.4 percent.

The lower amount of fatal accidents and persons killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2020 is a larger percentage decrease than from the same time period in 2019. The New Jersey statistic includes victims of accidents as being drivers of cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Total 2020 Auto Accident Fatalities in New Jersey to Date

Statistics from the New Jersey State Police website, provide the number of accidents and fatalities in the State of New Jersey, broken down by County so far in 2020. The number of fatal accidents in NJ to date total approximately 184, with the number of fatalities just shy of 200 at 199. Of the total accidents and fatalities, here is a breakdown of the data surrounding total fatalities by county in NJ:

  • Mercer County – 3
  • Middlesex County – 24
  • Somerset County – 7
  • Hunterdon County – 2
  • Monmouth County – 10
  • Ocean County – 11
  • Morris County – 5
  • Sussex County – 4
  • Warren County – 2
  • Passaic County – 12
  • Bergen County – 20
  • Essex County – 10
  • Union County – 10
  • Hudson County – 8
  • Burlington County – 12
  • Camden County – 14
  • Atlantic County – 12
  • Gloucester County – 16
  • Salem County – 6
  • Cumberland County – 9
  • Cape May County – 2

An Experienced Auto Accident and Injury Law Firm Serving Clients Across New Jersey and Pennsylvania

For those that have lost family members in a fatal accident, our hearts at Kamensky Cohen Riechelson go out to you. We have represented and guided many family members through the legal process of being compensated for their loved ones that were lost. We understand that decreased in fatal accidents are not low enough.

We have many years of successfully obtaining compensation for the loss of a husband, wife, child, and parent. While it is our sincere wish that no one experience such a huge loss, we are mindful of the pain and suffering that results from the loss of a loved one.

Contact Our Trenton NJ and Philadelphia PA Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today

If you or someone close to you has suffered a car accident injury, at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelsonwe are here to help you pursue compensation for your losses. Contact us online or by telephone to arrange a consultation with an experienced New Jersey auto accident injury lawyer.

To contact a member of our expert personal injury law team and schedule a personal consultation, please call at (609) 528-2596 or fill out our online form.

I was in an automobile accident, and the police didn’t respond to the call. How do I file a police report?

Auto Accident  Attorneys Helping clients across Mercer and Middlesex County NJ

I was in an automobile accident, and the police didn’t respond to the call. How do I file a police report?In 2017, there were over 270,000 car accidents in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Essex County led the count in reported car accidents with 29,635 in 2017, followed closely by Bergen County with 28,903 reported accidents and Middlesex Country with 27,137 reported.

Car accidents are major stressors to all parties involved, both physically and emotionally. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists such post-traumatic effects of traffic accidents as shock, anger, fear, anxiety, nightmares, and irritability.

After a car accident, one expects that the stressors will be over, and the order will ensue. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. More often than would be desired, the process of filing a police report can instigate additional stress, as authorities sometimes fail to arrive at the scene of the accident to complete the report, or they fail to even respond to the call.

Why did the authorities not arrive at the accident after I called it in?

Filing a police report is an imperative procedure when you have been in a car accident, no matter how minor or major the accident was. That said, even when one tries to file a report, there are instances in which police do not respond. Following are some of the main reasons authorities may not appear to the scene of the accident to complete a report upon its being called in:

  • Insufficient officers on duty or officers are responding to a more urgent incident
  • Minor accidents with little to no damage
  • Minor accidents with no injuries
  • Weather conditions prevent authorities from arriving

How do I ensure that a police report for the accident is filed in the absence of authorities?

How do I ensure that a police report for the accident is filed in the absence of authorities?

In the case that, upon calling to report an accident, authorities do not respond and arrive at the scene, there are some steps you can take to ensure that a police report is filed in their absence.

  • Call again the police dispatch, and request the procedure for filing a police report on your own.
  • Search your local police department’s online database to research the possibility of filing an online police report. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has a Self-Reporting Crash Form (SR-1) that can be used to report an accident that was not investigated by police
  • Physically go to the police station to file the report in person.

What do I need to ensure is included in a police report?

The National Safety Council reported in a recent study of all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., that crucial information is often left out of police reports that adversely impact efforts to save lives, as well as, perhaps, the outcomes of injury claims.

According to the study, New Jersey police reports lack information in the police reporting systems on drugs other than alcohol involved in the accidents, whether the accident was work-related, and advanced driver assistance programs involved.  As such, it is imperative that you include as much information you think would be informative to an insurance claim as possible.

Again, while a police report will not always be used, it is imperative to file one. Sometimes, because of the adrenaline and chaos of an accident, one will not feel or know they have sustained injuries. Later, upon recognizing that your body has sustained injuries and you file a personal injury claim with your insurance carrier, it will be essential to have a police report available, as it is the primary collection of evidence an insurance carrier and personal injury lawyer will use to seek compensation for injuries sustained in the accident.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney to ensure an upright outcome in your case

If you have been involved in a car accident in which the authorities did not come to the accident scene to complete a police report, file one yourself. Then contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson to consult with an experienced member of our team regarding the next steps in your personal injury claim to ensure that you receive fair compensation for physical and emotional injuries sustained in the accident. We serve in Trenton office, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick, and across Mercer County.

To connect with our firm today in a confidential and comprehensive assessment of your case call us at (609) 528-2596 or go online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a personal injury lawyer.