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A death caused by someone’s purposeful, negligent, or reckless conduct that ends in the accidental taking of human life is described in the following paragraph from an article about traumatic loss:
“A death is considered traumatic if it occurs without warning; if it is untimely; if it involves violence; if there is damage to the loved one’s body; if it was caused by a perpetrator with the intent to harm; if the survivor believes the loved one suffered; or if the death, or manner of death, is unfair and unjust.”

Wrongful Death Is a Civil Action

Families who have been saddened by the untimely loss of a loved one as a result of another person’s carelessness have legal redress in the form of civil lawsuit. Certain family members can file a lawsuit against the person, corporation, or organization responsible for the accident or injury with the aid of a personal injury wrongful death attorney.

The Reasons to Pursue Wrongful Death Litigation

On behalf of the surviving spouse, small children, or parents, a personal injury lawyer fights for financial restitution. A New Jersey wrongful death lawyer will not be able to change the reality that a family must now face the future without the love and support of a loved one. There is no amount of money that can possibly replace a future that has been irreversibly damaged. Rather than organizing their next family gathering, the survivors are forced to organize a funeral.
The choice to file a wrongful death lawsuit is tough, and grief may be overwhelming. When death strikes unexpectedly and without notice, the traumatic experience can trigger complicated sentiments of rage, remorse, melancholy, and hopelessness. The sadness that follows a violent and preventable accident is considerably different from the anguish that follows a death that was predicted or anticipated.
A wrongful death claim involves a difficult legal process, and the road to recovery is rarely simple. A wrongful death case, on the other hand, can:
  • Restore a family’s feeling of purpose and order
  • Provide the resources required to provide a sense of financial stability.
  • Offer a semblance of closure
  • Seek retribution for the death of a loved one.
Why Help avoid future wrongful death lawsuits by exposing the defendant’s irresponsibility.

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What Our Clients Say

David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

Advocating for Those Injured Since 1995

The firm’s persistent commitment to fighting for their clients has resulted in millions of dollars in negotiated settlements and court-ordered penalties. Because each case is unique, it’s impossible to predict outcomes, but our team will fight for you and do everything we can to establish a solid case against liable parties so that you get the best possible outcome.

David A. DiBrigida legal team has more than 30 years of expertise helping injured clients get the compensation they deserve for losses caused by negligent parties in vehicle accidents and injuries.

Six Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths

Accidents involving automobiles and trucks are among the most common causes of wrongful death cases. According to the National Highway Road Safety Administration’s annual report on traffic deaths, an estimated 37,461 persons died in motor vehicle traffic collisions in the last year, with 3,174 of them in New Jersey. The sorts of tragedies that might lead to wrongful death lawsuits on our roads and in our community are not uncommon in Fort Myers.
A 20-year-old biker was cut off by a vehicle on Pondella Road in New Jersey in November 2018, according to WINK. When turning left at a green light, the car’s driver failed to notice a yield sign and drove out in front of the bike. The motorcycle, who was over the speed limit, was declared dead at the scene, according to the New Jersey Highway Patrol.
According to the New Jersey News-Press, a 23-year-old New Jersey man was murdered and another badly injured in August 2018 after a truck failed to stop at a signal and drove into the car they were in.

Bicycle accidents

When it comes to sharing our roads, bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as motorists. Cyclists are particularly susceptible in accidents between a bike and an automobile due to a lack of protection. According to the New Jersey News-Press, a biker pedaling along a sidewalk on Bonita Beach Road was murdered on February 20, 2019, after he was struck by a car that went off the road after a collision.

Medical malpractice

Medical mistakes are one of the most common causes of mortality in the United States today. According to a recent poll by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 21% of respondents said they had personally encountered a medical blunder. The family of a 49-year-old registered nurse who killed suicide while a patient filed a wrongful death complaint against Centerstone of New Jersey in Bradenton in August 2018, according to the Bradenton Herald. On the night he killed himself, the dead was on suicide watch and should have been checked on every 15 minutes, but he had not been checked on in over nine hours.

Product liability

A wide range of injuries can be caused by defective items. Burns, respiratory problems, and severe allergic responses can all be caused by hazardous materials and chemicals used in manufacturing operations. Consumers are at danger of fractures, lacerations, catastrophic damage, and, in the worst-case scenario, death when devices are not manufactured according to specifications or when designs are defective. A 2016 Tesla Model S caught fire and charred the 48-year-old driver beyond recognition, according to the Insurance Journal in March 2019. Accidents on construction sites are common. The construction business is a high-risk work environment that may be exceedingly dangerous, not just for personnel on the job, but also for nearby pedestrians. A pedestrian bridge under construction on the New Jersey International University (FIU) campus collapsed in March 2018, killing six people and injured many more. The accident might have been caused by design errors.

What Our Clients Say

David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

How did you become hurt?

We understand the frustration of dealing with an injury and the financial fallout that comes with expensive medical bills. Losing your ability to work after an injury and being pressured or ignored by the insurance company is something no one should go through.
No matter how you were injured, a New Jersey personal injury lawyer from David A. DiBrigida may be able to help you recover your losses.

Car Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

Truck Accidents

Uber & Lyft Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Pedestrian Accidents

Trips, Slips and Falls

Workplace Accidents

Catastrophic Injury

Wrongful Death




Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home

On every level, the wrongful death of a loved one in a nursing home or personal care facility may be avoided, compensated for, and is wrong. On both the federal and state levels, this is a heavily regulated business. Employees must pass both personal and professional background checks, and administrators must follow tight hiring processes. Employees must also meet extremely specific educational standards. Acceptable care standards allow no space for interpretation, and anybody providing patient care is held to a high degree of competence.
Residents at nursing homes die of natural causes, which is to be expected, but when healthcare personnel make mistakes, someone dies before their time, which is a wrongful death.

Who Is Considered a Survivor

In New Jersey, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by a deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, or any blood family or adopted sibling who relied on the deceased for assistance or services.
Survivors are defined under New Jersey law as the deceased’s spouses, children, and parents. In addition, any blood relative or adopted sibling who is at least partially financially reliant on the deceased might be deemed a survivor. The amount of money recovered in some circumstances can be substantial. Take into account the following:
• From the date of the deceased’s death through the date of the survivor’s death, each qualified survivor may seek monetary compensation for the expected value of lost assistance and services.
• If the dead was the principal salary earner, the surviving spouse may be able to recover the value of any missed services and economic assistance.
• The spouse has the right to seek compensation for the loss of companionship and protection, as well as pain and suffering.
• Children under the age of 25, as well as all children if there is no surviving spouse, are entitled to compensation for loss of parental companionship, teaching, direction, and mental anguish and suffering, according to the legislation.
• Each parent of a minor child who has died is entitled to financial compensation for mental anguish and suffering.
• The survivor who paid medical and burial expenditures directly connected to the decedent’s injury is entitled to reimbursement.
David A. DiBrigida, realize how stressful and confusing the period following the death of a child, spouse, or parent may be. We are here to help if you have unanswered questions regarding your rights and recovery, and we take our obligations seriously.

What Should You Consider When Projecting the Value of Lost Support and Services

Although most wrongful death cases settle without ever having to go before a jury, our planning tactics at David A. DiBrigida cover all the bases when evaluating the expected amount of financial compensation. We use our combined skills and experience to build a case that is both powerful enough to tilt the scales in our favor during settlement discussions and compelling enough to persuade a judge and jury that this tragic loss is worth the greatest amount of money.
Every instance is different, and each person’s future needs should be carefully assessed and considered. It all counts and makes a difference when estimating the value of lost assistance and services in a wrongful death accident lawsuit. We consider the following, among other things:
  • All qualified survivors’ present age and expected life expectancy
  • The number of years it will take for all minor children to reach adulthood.
  • The decedent’s projected life expectancy
  • The decedent’s expected lifetime earnings potential
  • The potential of future dependents’ demands increasing.
  • The likelihood that the decedent would have supported any of the survivors financially based on prior contributions

The Ties That Bind

Relationships are important. The relationship a survivor had with the deceased will almost certainly be taken into account by a jury and especially by the insurance adjusters investigating the case when determining the value of a survivor’s potential financial compensation, both in the court of public opinion and in a New Jersey courtroom. Past infidelity, previous separations, divorce processes, and family strife may all have a big impact on the overall amount of money given. We urge potential customers to be absolutely honest about any issues in their relationships. In the perspective of a judge and jury, there may be mitigating factors that prevent perception from becoming reality.
The skilled New Jersey’s wrongful death lawyers at Viles & Beckman have experience dealing with insurance companies, investigating accidents, and helping clients recover damages for their injuries. Let a qualified attorney handle the details of your case.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

What Our Clients Say

David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

New Jersey Wrongful Death FAQ

The death of a loved one can cause immense anguish to family members, particularly if the carelessness or recklessness of another person caused the death. This type of situation not only leaves family members wondering how to make ends meet, but also leaves them wanting to hold responsible parties accountable. If you’ve lost a loved one in New Jersey because of another individual’s reckless or negligent actions, you should pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are some of the questions we most commonly hear about wrongful death claims.

Florida law defines wrongful death as “the death of a person … caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including breaches that occur on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.”

Wrongful death may include:

  • Deaths that were the result of accidents caused by the negligence of other individuals, such as motor vehicle accidents or premises liability accidents in which a company neglected to improve a dangerous feature on its property or post warning signs. Other types of negligence-caused accidents that may produce a wrongful death include medical errors, such as birth injuries, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, or medication errors, and product liability accidents, where the manufacturer or distributor fails to ensure that a product is safe for consumer use.
  • Deaths caused by intentional acts, such as assault.
  • Deaths that occur during the commission of a crime. An example of this might be a bank robber who caused a motor vehicle accident while attempting to flee from police.

Some of the types of accidents that may result in a wrongful death include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including those that involve cars, commercial trucks, motorcycles, aircraft, watercraft, pedestrians, and bicycles
  • Nursing home abuse or negligence that results in death
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil legal action filed on behalf of the decedent’s family or estate seeking compensation for damages caused by or connected with the death.

How is liability proven in a wrongful death case?

To establish a defendant’s liability for the decedent’s death, lawyers in Florida generally (though not necessarily always) need to prove:

  • The defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. This duty depends on the circumstances that led to the death. For example, if the death was the result of a car accident, the duty of care that the defendant owed the deceased would have been to operate the motor vehicle safely and legally.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care. The defendant’s behavior that caused the accident generally constitutes the breach. Continuing with the car accident example, the breach may have been speeding, driving drunk, or whatever behavior the defendant exhibited that caused the accident.
  • The breach caused the accident, which resulted in the death and damages that the family now has the right to claim.

Those who can recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • The deceased’s spouse
  • The deceased’s children
  • The deceased’s parents
  • Any blood or adoptive relative that is wholly or partly dependent on the deceased for support
  • The deceased’s estate
Generally, no. Florida law states that in cases involving unmarried parents, the child can recover damages if his or her mother dies. However, if the father dies, the child may only obtain compensation if the father formally recognized the child as his and was obligated to financially support the child. A wrongful death lawyer can, however, analyze your situation to determine whether you have a good case for seeking compensation.

Some of the damages you may recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses incurred during treatment of the deceased’s final injury
  • Funeral expenses
  • The loss of support and services that the deceased provided to a family member
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection that was provided by the deceased individual
  • The mental pain and suffering due to the loss of a child

The decedent’s estate may recover the following expenses:

  • Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings from the date of the deceased’s final injury until the date of death
  • Loss of future earnings that the deceased could have been reasonably expected to receive had he/she lived
  • Medical expenses and funeral costs that were paid directly by the estate
No. Florida’s wrongful death law does not allow the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit due to the death of a fetus. However, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit and obtain compensation for your loss through that action. An experienced attorney can advise you on this matter.
Yes. An arrest is part of the criminal process handled by local governments. Criminal cases seek to punish individuals for breaking laws by charging them with crimes and seeking convictions and punishment. Wrongful death actions are a civil matter, filed in civil court to prove through a preponderance of the evidence that the at-fault party is liable for the plaintiff’s damages. These are two entirely different legal actions, with different outcomes, and one may occur without impacting the ability to pursue the other.
Florida personal injury protection (PIP) policies are required when drivers register their vehicles in the state. If your loved one died due to a car accident, the policy will provide a $5,000 death benefit regardless of who was at fault in the accident. While this is certainly useful, it is not a lot of money, particularly if your loved one required extensive medical treatment before death, or the family incurred extraordinary losses. A wrongful death lawsuit allows you to pursue an amount of compensation that is based on the entirety of the damages you’ve suffered.
Unfortunately, no. Wrongful death lawsuits are only permitted to be filed on behalf of the spouse, children, parents, and other relatives who financially depended on the decedent.
Unfortunately, no. Wrongful death lawsuits are only permitted to be filed on behalf of the spouse, children, parents, and other relatives who financially depended on the decedent.
Accidental deaths in the workplace are generally covered by death benefits through the decedent’s employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, some circumstances warrant a wrongful death claim, such as where: The employer did not provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees. A third party who was not a coworker or an employer caused the death. An intentional act for which the employer had no liability, such as workplace violence, caused the death.
Yes. In fact—as is the situation with most civil actions—the majority of wrongful death cases settle out of court. A wrongful death attorney typically works to achieve a fair settlement on his or her client’s behalf. Cases usually only end up in courts in front of judges and juries when the parties cannot achieve a settlement.

Every case is unique, and most settlements are confidential between the parties, which makes it difficult to come up with a meaningfully accurate or useful average figure.

The financial outcome of a wrongful death case depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The age of the deceased at death
  • The overall health of the deceased before his or her final injury
  • The life expectancy of the deceased before his or her final injury
  • The earning capacity of the deceased
  • The number of dependents the deceased had
  • The expenses incurred in medically treating the deceased in an attempt to save his or her life
  • Egregious behavior on the part of the at-fault party that could result in punitive damages
  • How much insurance the at-fault party has available to compensate you
  • The strength of the case for proving liability
Never agree to a settlement without speaking to an experienced wrongful death attorney first. The reason for this is that insurance companies will always attempt to minimize their losses. One of the ways in which they do this is by offering quick settlements that don’t take into consideration the complete picture of the losses that you’ve incurred. If you accept the settlement and then later realize that the compensation wasn’t enough to cover your expenses, you likely cannot go back and ask for more money. An experienced wrongful death attorney knows how to evaluate a case to determine the amount of money the grieving family of a deceased victim deserves to receive. Families should always speak with an attorney before considering any offer from an insurance company.
To start, not all cases settle. A settlement is an agreement to give up legal rights in exchange for financial compensation. As we said above, lawyers virtually always try to negotiate fair and reasonable settlements on their clients’ behalf, but that does not always mean a settlement will happen. Some cases only get resolved through a trial before a judge and jury. Even if your case does end in settlement, the amount of time it takes to get to a deal can vary widely. We have represented clients in wrongful death matters that were resolved in months, and we have had cases settle only after more than a year of legal battling. Speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney to get a sense of the prospects of a settlement in your wrongful death matter.
Generally, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. DO NOT WAIT two years before contacting a lawyer, however. Your case depends on evidence, witness testimony, and many other things that can vanish or fade with time. Call us as soon as possible if you believe a loved one died in a wrongful death case.
According to the IRS, wrongful death settlements and awards for compensatory damages are not generally taxed, except for punitive damage awards in some circumstances and awards for lost wages and benefits that would have been included as income.

Having an experienced wrongful death attorney help you after the tragic death of a loved one is absolutely crucial. Some of the services that an attorney can usually provide for in a wrongful death matter include:

  • Information and guidance regarding the legal process involved with a wrongful death case
  • Identification of all potentially-liable parties and evaluation of the financial resources those parties have to compensate you and your family
  • Evaluation of a wrongful death claim to determine an accurate amount of damages that your family has suffered
  • Skilled negotiation in the attempt to obtain a fair settlement of your case
  • Timely filing of legal pleadings and other litigation documents
  • Attendance and representation at all hearings, conferences, and trials
  • Collection of evidence and deposing of witnesses to prove your claim
  • Efforts to collect a settlement or award
  • Continued representation if the defendant in your case chooses to appeal the verdict

The experienced attorneys at Viles & Beckman understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, filled with a lot of questions. We can help answer those questions. Contact us for an evaluation of your case.

Do Not Make the Insurance Adjuster’s Job Easier

When a large compensation is possible, the defendant’s claims adjuster will almost certainly approach the surviving spouse, parent, or child. Except for the deceased’s own life insurance company, families are under no duty to receive phone calls, respond to emails or messages, or make a recorded statement to anybody.
Every element that an insurance company may extract from a chat with a victim, no matter how little or trivial, can and will be utilized to discredit and invalidate a case. Although each survivor has separate rights to compensation, now is the moment to unite and stand firm; direct any communications with the defendant’s insurance company to a New Jersey wrongful death attorney.

ou Don’t Have to Pursue Recovery Alone. Call Our Fort Myers Wrongful Death Attorneys Now

Following the loss of a loved one, the best line of action is to get legal advice from a reputable personal injury company. Put your faith in us; we offer a free, private case assessment to all of our potential clients. We have represented clients in wrongful death lawsuits in New Jersey, and our experience will help us maximize your compensation. To make an appointment, call David A. DiBrigida at (800) 322-5529 or send us an email. We’ll be here to listen when you’re ready to chat. We aim to assist you in both financially and emotionally recovering from your loss.

If You Suffered Major Injuries

Never try to move if you feel pain or if you are bleeding profusely. If you are able to talk and are able to reach your cell phone, contact first responders. Otherwise, stay down so that you don’t sustain additional injuries and ask someone else to contact first responders. Do not try to “tough it out” and do not refuse medical care. The records created when first responders and doctors treat you will serve as powerful evidence of the injuries caused by the collision. As above, do not throw your bike away or get it repaired.

What Your Loved Ones Should Do

Instruct your loved ones what they should do if you suffer catastrophic injuries. Obviously, medical care should be your first priority. The same rules as above apply to keeping records and preserving evidence.

No matter the severity of your injury, after your condition stabilizes you can benefit from contacting an experienced bicycle accident attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better, because attorneys benefit from having the opportunity to conduct a thorough investigation while the evidence relating to your accident is still available and memories of witnesses to the accident are still fresh.

In the meantime, also take care never to admit your own “fault” to anyone. Even if you believe you were, in fact, partially at fault for your accident, New Jersey law may permit you to recover damages.

Settling With Insurance Companies

After a bicycle accident leaves you injured, you will probably have to deal with insurance companies. Your own insurance companies may require you to give them notice of an accident. When an accident wasn’t your fault, the other party’s insurance company may contact you, also.

Do not try to handle negotiations with someone else’s insurance company on your own.

Insurance adjusters have a huge advantage over you. They conduct negotiations every day, and they know how much money they can typically convince injured people to take to “settle” a case quickly (here’s a hint: it’s almost always far less than what a lawyer would accept on that person’s behalf). In other words, they will try to take advantage of the situation and get you to settle for less than you deserve.

Instead, let an experienced bicycle accident injury attorney negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Lawyers, like insurance adjusters, engage in these negotiations every day. They have a much better sense of what your claim should be worth, and how to get insurance companies to open their checkbooks.

Riding Safely

Of course, in the best case, you will never have to hire a lawyer at all because you won’t get injured in a bicycle accident to begin with. Here are some tips from the team at David A. DiBrigida to keep you safe on the road and free from harm.

Always wear the proper gear when riding, especially footwear. While it’s tempting to ride with flip flops or sandals when you are riding to the beach, resist that temptation. Carry open-toed footwear with you and change your shoes once you get to the beach.

  • Wear bright colors.
  • If you plan to ride between dusk and dawn, equip your bike with front and rear lights to make yourself visible.
  • Always wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet. Throw away any helmet that has been in an accident and buy a new one.

Keep emergency contact information in your phone and in your pack or a pouch on the bike. If your phone gets destroyed in a wreck, first responders will be able to contact a loved one through written information. Laminate the information or put it in a zippered baggie to protect it from the elements. Having emergency contact information could save first responders a lot of time in locating your identification and loved ones.

Contact David A. DiBrigida if Someone Injured You on Your Bike

If a bicycle accident injures you or a family member, you may have rights to substantial financial compensation. Contact David A. DiBrigida at 239-237-5663 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We have years of experience representing New Jersey injured in cycling accidents, pedestrian accidents and can give you the best chance of recovering the money you need and deserve.

What Our Clients Say

David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

Why Hire Us

Over 30 Years of Experience

We've been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1995, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Board Certified by the New Jersey Bar

New Jersey recognizes Attorney David A. DiBrigida's reputation for legal excellence. As a result, he upholds this prestigious title.

Case Reviews that are both free and confidential

Preparation is the key to a good case outcome. We get down with each client to have a better understanding of the personal injury issues they are facing.

You don't have to pay anything unless we win.

Because we operate on a contingency fee basis, our clients owe us nothing unless and until we win their case.

Helping those Injured in Accidents Across New Jersey

While we are proud to call New Jersey home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.

We are here to help the residents of:

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What Our Clients Say

For a man who was rear-ended striking his knee on the dashboard requiring arthroscopic surgery to repair it.
A 30 year old man who was walking to the store, a hit and run victim with a shoulder and head injury.

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