Somerville, NJ asked in Wrongful Death for New Jersey

Q: My 19 year old died im filing a wrongful death case will the absent parent get money when they did nothing for the child

the other parent did nothing for our child. had court orded visitations and didn't show up. Didn't pay child support so I dropped it cause they had other kids an I didn't want her to go to jail. My son died an I might have a wrongfull death lawsuit. will she get half they money even though im filing the claim and I paid for everything for our son by myself his whole 19 years of life.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gerald D. Siegel
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  • Plainsboro Township, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I am sorry to hear of your son's passing.

If he died without having made a Will (most 19 year-olds do not have a Will), then any settlement will be distributed in the way prescribed under the NJ Intestacy Statute. Under that statute, the money first goes to the parents. The takeaway is that your son's mother is legally in line to receive settlement proceeds.

However, if there is a settlement, and as the custodial and supporting parent, you do have a number of arguments to be made why you should receive more of the settlement proceeds. A wrongful death claim, in layman's terms has 3 aspects: the pain and suffering the decdent esperienced form the time of the negligent act, to his death, pecuniary loss to the estate-loss of earnings, and "loss of advice and companionship."

To answer your question even further, I would need to know how your son died, who are the parties potentially responsible, when his death occurred and much, much more.

I hope this helps.

Gerald D. Siegel, Esq.

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