How is death considered wrongful? Examples included.

A wrongful death case arises when the negligence of a person or a company causes the death of another person. It often occurs in the context of a motor vehicle accident, but it can also arise from a work related accident, a construction accident, a fall or even a dog bite. For example, if the owner and operator of a tractor-trailer, bus, motorcycle or car is negligent and it causes someone to die, this can give rise to a wrongful death case. If someone falls due to a dangerous condition of property and strikes their head and suffers a subdural hematoma or another type of brain injury and dies, this also would give rise to a wrongful death case. If a worker falls from a roof and there was no fall protection and death occurs, this is another example of a wrongful death. In summary a wrongful death occurs when someone is negligent and it causes the loss of life.

However, a criminal act such as murder can give rise to a wrongful death case. While you can sue a person in civil court for murder, it is not likely that that person has much in assets to pay a civil settlement or judgment. However, if the murder occurred in part due to someone’s failure to provide adequate security, this is a potential wrongful death case.

Wrongful death cases must be filed in Court within two years of the event which caused the death. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” Failure to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations is a permanent bar to any potential recovery for wrongful death damages.

When a person dies to the fault of another, New Jersey law recognizes three types of losses, which can be recovered. They are:

  1. In Life Pain and Suffering“; that is, a claim for the suffering, which the deceased endured from the time of the accident until the time of death
  2. Monetary loss to the survivors. In other words, if the deceased was a working person, the loss of earnings and benefits that the survivor suffer, which the deceased would have earned can be recovered
  3. Loss of Advice and Companionship” These are damages which the law recognizes for the monetary value for the replacement of the services of the deceased. For example, if a parent died and they were very close with their children, and provided them with guidance about college, getting a job or financial advice, the law recognizes this as a loss, which can be recovered.

What should you do if you’ve been bitten by a dog?

Being bitten by a dog can be a terrifying experience. Since a dog can be rabid, it is important to call the police right away. They will bring in the animal control officer. Together, they will ascertain who the owner of the dog is and whether it has had its rabies shots.

New Jersey law is very helpful to the victims of dog bites. The most important requirement is that a dog bite victim be able to identify the owner of the dog or the house that it came from. Once ownership of the dog is established, New Jersey law imposes absolute liability on the dog owner. The dog bite victim does not have to prove that the dog was vicious. It does not matter that the dog never bit anyone before.

Get medical attention immediately at your local hospital emergency department. They will need to know whether the dog has been vaccinated in order to provide you with proper treatment. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible and then consult with a personal injury attorney.

A traumatic brain injury can happen in any type of accident, such a a car, truck, bus or motorcycle accident. It can occur in a fall or a work related accident also.

A traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain suffers an injury inside the skull and some type of tissue damage occurs. It can happen due to someone stiking their head on a car window, windshield, pavement or any surface involved in an accident. The brain is like a china cabinet that has china inside. When the cabinet is struck or jarred the china is shaken and sometimes some pieces of it can break.

You don’t have to lose consciousness to suffer a traumatic brain injury. Certainly, if a person strikes their head, this is critical information. However, evidence of a traumatic brain injury can include, but is not limited to an “altered mental status.” An altered mental status is an abnormal change in your responsiveness and awareness:

  • It can affect your speech, memory, attention span and alertness.
  • It can be a feeling of confusion, dizziness, wooziness, not being aware of one’s surroundings, not knowing where you are, feeling detached from your body.

Other evidence of a traumatic brain injury can be:

  • Forgetting how to go to a very familiar place
  • Getting lost while you are driving somewhere
  • The inability to complete sentences
  • Loss of your inhibitions (example: when a person who is normally reserved in social settings becomes very loud and makes comments that are inconsistent with his/her personality)

We see these symptoms where there is a frontal lobe injury to the brain.

Sometimes, the injured person themselves is unaware of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. It will be observed by family members and friends. People will forget if they put a roast in the oven or they may forget to pick up a child at school. They find themselves having to make lists of their chores, or a spouse or significant other has to make them a list.

People who suffer a traumatic brain injury should be seen by a Neurologist and a Neuropsychologist. A Neurologist is a medical doctor who evalautes and diagnoses brain injury with tests and in a clinical setting. A Neuropsycholgist is a psycholoigist who specializes in testing the brain to document brain injury and to provide a treatment plan. Both experts are essential in documenting traumatic brain injury.

There is no cure for a traumatic brain injury. It takes about one year to determine the extent of the permanency of a traumatic brain injury. Improvement and accomodation to the injury can be accomplished with cognitive rehabiltation where the injured person is taught skills to work around the injured area of the brain.

If you have been involved in a trip or slip and fall accident, do the following:

  • Take a picture of the substance or condition that caused you to fall
  • Make a report to the operator of the premises as soon as possible
  • If you know what caused you to fall, point it out to the person taking the report
  • Obtain the name and business card of the person taking the report
  • If anyone witnessed the fall, get their names and contact information
  • If you feel pain, tell the person taking the report
  • Get medical care either by the local rescue squad or at the emergency department or your doctor and provide the history that you were injured in a fall
  • Seek legal advice right away

Individuals and companies that own and operate businesses have a legal duty/responsibility to make reasonable efforts to ensure that their premises are safe for customers and other people who have a right to come on their property. If this duty is broken, a commercial property owner can be liable to a person who suffers an injury.

Some examples of commercial property owners are:

  • Supermarkets
  • Giant department stores
  • Strip malls
  • Restaurants
  • Owners of multi-family housing
  • Apartment complexes
  • Condominium associations

The breach of this duty can consist of not making adequate inspections of its premises; it can consist of failure to make repairs to premises when the owner knew of an unsafe condition, or that it should have discovered with a reasonable inspection; and it can consist of a failure to warn of a dangerous condition, such as failing to put up a wet floor sign.

Examples of the types of cases which can give rise to liability are:

  • The failure to make regular inspections of the produce section in a supermarket to avoid fruit or vegetables falling to the floor
  • The failure to repair sidewalks in front of a store
  • The failure to fix torn carpeting; the failure to adequately mop and dry the floor of a restaurant
  • The failure to adequately plow a parking lot
  • The failure to salt, sand or otherwise treat a parking lot or a walkway with ice melt

The mere happening of a fall by itself, without a a specific reason does not give rise to liability on the part of the property owner. If someone slips and falls, the injured party must be able to state what casued them to fall or there is no case.

Siegel & Siegel: Launching A New Website

The law offices of Siegel & Siegel, P.C. are pleased to announce the launch of their newly redesigned website.

Part of their ongoing initiative to better serve the people of New Jersey, the new website is designed to provide quality information in a way that is both user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

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