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Wrongful Death

Have You Lost a Loved One Before Their Time?

It is a devastating blow to a family when one of its members dies suddenly, and is especially hard when the death was not natural, but the fault of some other person.  Knowing that it never would have happened but for someone else’s negligent or careless action is difficult.  In addition to the emotional hardships caused by the sudden loss of a loved one, families may also face considerable financial strain.  In some cases, the sudden death of an individual can cause their family to lose essential income. Furthermore, victim’s families may face high medical bills that the deceased incurred prior to death.  As a result, victim’s families may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one’s death was caused by another party’s negligence.  At Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., our wrongful death attorneys understand significant emotional and financial strain caused by an unexpected death.  We realize that the sudden loss of a loved one will be one of the most difficult and stressful times of our clients’ lives.  While we can’t alleviate the sense of pain and loss caused by an unexpected death, we do our best to help lessen the financial burden by pursuing maximum compensation in court.

Has someone you love unexpectedly died?  Do you believe their death was the cause of another individual’s negligence?  If so, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.  Please call Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. at 908-735-5161. We serve clients in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Mercer Counties.

New Jersey wrongful death cases result from a variety of negligence cases.  Our lawyers handle wrongful death cases in the fields of:

  • Auto accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Plane accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Farm accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Criminal actions
  • Nursing home negligence
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Boating and Recreational accidents
  • Fires and explosion accidents
  • Products liability, including motor vehicle defects causing death
  • Police chase/police misconduct
  • Premises liability such as accidents caused by wet floors, broken stairs, and damaged pavement

When Can You Make a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?

Close family members may make a claim for wrongful death any time someone is killed as a direct result of negligence or wrongdoing.  Family members can include spouses of the deceased, parents who lost children and children who lost parents.  In certain cases, even siblings or other close relatives could bring the claim.  If the victim would have been able to make an injury claim, had he or she lived, then a wrongful death claim is usually appropriate.

Those who bring a claim will need to be able to prove several different elements of their case.  A New Jersey wrongful death lawyer can help surviving family members to show:

  • That the defendant had a legal obligation to the deceased. People have a general legal obligation not to engage in high-risk behaviors.  For example, drivers are expected to be reasonably prudent.  Manufacturers also have an obligation to ensure that their products aren’t harmful.  Establishing a legal duty usually isn’t hard as long as there was some relationship, however tangential, between the deceased and the defendant.
  • That the obligation was breached.  Usually, a negligence standard is used to determine this.  Would a reasonable person have been more careful?  If so, the defendant is negligent.
  • That the breach was a direct cause of the death.  If the defendant’s actions led to the death occurring, then you can make a wrongful death claim.


It can be very difficult to determine an appropriate amount of compensation for wrongful death, but an attorney will help you assess what your case should be worth.  Your attorney will help you maximize compensation by either going to court or negotiating with the defendant or his or her insurer.  The insurance industry begins to work against you and your claim immediately.  You need the experience and knowledge of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. working for you immediately.

Help for Bereaved Family Members

We understand that the grieving process takes time, and you may not feel ready to deal with a wrongful death action right now.  But our clients often tell us that holding the negligent party accountable for the terrible loss the family has suffered helps bring closure.  When you need help, we are here for you. We are prepared to shoulder the burden and handle the many tasks that need to be done, from appointing a personal representative to negotiating with the insurance company and preparing your case for trial.

As soon as we accept your case, we will immediately begin filing the paperwork, investigating the cause of the accident, and consulting doctors and expert witnesses.  In the courtroom, we aggressively negotiate for the highest settlement possible so you will have the financial resources you need to care for your family now and in the future.

Contact Us

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another in New Jersey, delay in obtaining legal representation may be a costly mistake. The insurance company wants to settle your case as soon as possible – and for as little money as possible. Please call 908-735-5161 to schedule a free consultation. or fill out the contact form on this site.  Our firm serves clients throughout central and northwestern New Jersey.