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How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?


After losing a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit might be the last thing on your mind. Fortunately, you have 2 years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim for monetary damages. New Jersey has a 2-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits, so as long as you file your claim before the deadline, you will be able to recover compensation for your losses.

What Happens If I Miss the Deadline?

If you file a claim outside the statute of limitations, the defendant can ask the court to dismiss your claim. This means you automatically lose your case, and you will be unable to recover damages.

In other words, if you miss the 2-year filing deadline for a wrongful death lawsuit, you lose your right to file a claim entirely.

What Do I Have to Gain from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Many people ask us why they should file a wrongful death lawsuit. After all, nothing can bring your loved one back to life. Still, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you cope with the financial realities of death, including:

  • Final medical expenses (especially if your loved one was in an accident or was hospitalized before succumbing to their injuries or illness)
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost household income
  • Lost potential income
  • Loss of companionship and support
  • Emotional distress
  • And more

Not only can these damages offset the costs you must deal with while wrapping up your loved one’s final affairs, but they can also give you the time you need to grieve. With damages for loss of companionship or emotional duress, for example, you can afford to take more time off work and even go on a healing retreat if it would help you move forward.

Wrongful death lawsuits also leave many of our clients with a much-needed sense of justice.

So, When Should I File My Claim?

You should file your wrongful death claim as soon as you feel up to it – and before the statute of limitations expires. When someone dies, most families must deal with attorneys during the probate process, so contacting an injury attorney before or at the same time you contact your estate planning attorney is a good idea.

In New Jersey, the damages from a wrongful death case are awarded to the deceased person’s estate, then to their beneficiaries. Essentially, the wrongful death claim is part of the estate.

For this reason, keeping all your attorneys informed of your situation is a good idea.

Additionally, the sooner you file your wrongful death claim, the sooner you can recover the benefits you need. Filing earlier can also help your lawyer preserve important evidence and build a stronger case on your behalf.

How Do I Get Started?

In New Jersey, only the deceased person’s personal representative can sue for wrongful death. If you are the personal representative, we encourage you to call us at (732) 709-4400 for a free consultation.

If you are not the personal representative, talk to them about your wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit and refer them to Palmisano & Goodman, P.A.

We have more than 100+ combined years of experience and the skill it takes to secure a favorable outcome in your case. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the injured and bereaved in our community, and we provide all clients with honest advice, compassionate representation, and personal attention.

Notably, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no fees unless we win your case.

When you are ready, please contact us to seek the justice you deserve.