Understanding Wrongful Death: Insights from Certified Civil Trial Attorney Douglas Standriff 

By Doug Standriff on July 2, 2024
Wrongful death papers on desk with glasses for legal services or lawsuit

Wrongful death can have profound and enduring effects on families and communities. While no sum of money can fully atone for the loss of a loved one, wrongful death lawsuits can help families recover compensation for their losses, providing security and justice post-incident. However, such lawsuits can be complex and emotionally challenging to tackle alone. At Bergen Law, our top-rated attorneys, Douglas Standriff and associate Marissa Messinger are dedicated to helping families navigate the complexities of wrongful death claims and obtain the compensation they deserve. 

Building a Strong Wrongful Death Case

Successful wrongful death cases establish how the victim’s death resulted from the defendant’s negligence or oversight. Specifically, their evidence demonstrates four elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The defendant had a legal duty to the victim. For instance, drivers should follow traffic laws to keep pedestrians and other drivers safe.
  2. Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to meet their expected duty of care. To continue the previous example, a driver running a red light has breached their duty of care.
  3. Causation: The fatality was attributable to a breach of duty. If a driver running a red light hits a pedestrian or another vehicle, they caused the accident in question.
  4. Damages: The plaintiff suffered losses due to the death. The loss amount generally determines the damages awarded. Losses can include tangibles (such as medical bills or funeral expenses) and intangibles (loss of care, support, or love).

How an Attorney Can Help

In the post-incident haze, it can be difficult for families to take on complex legal matters. Unfortunately, a wrongful death lawsuit can’t wait. Due to the wrongful death statute of limitations, families only have a certain amount of time post-accident to file their claim—in New Jersey, this statute is generally two years. Engaging a trustworthy wrongful death attorney, like Douglas Standriff, can expedite the legal process while granting you the time and space to heal from your loss.

Moreover, wrongful death cases involve demanding legal procedures, evidence gathering, and negotiations. A slight misstep in any of these areas can compromise the integrity of your case, costing you both financially and emotionally. At Bergen Law, Douglas Standriff has the knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal system effectively, minimizing the risk of litigation.

The Role of Emotional Support

Finally, factor in time for grieving and emotional support. The loss of a loved one will bring about grief, and pursuing legal action adds stress to the mix. Hiring a wrongful death attorney will help to manage that stress, but you should seek support from friends, family, or grief counseling services.

Wrongful death claims are challenging and heart-wrenching, but with Douglas Standriff and associate Marissa Messinger at Bergen Law, you can navigate this difficult time and secure the compensation you deserve.

Expertise You Can Trust

Douglas Standriff, a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, possesses specialized knowledge of trial tactics, the Rules of Evidence, and the Rules of Court. Since 1991, Douglas Standriff has been successfully handling civil litigation cases for his New Jersey clients. Doug is among the less than three percent of all attorneys who have been appointed a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the NJ Supreme Court after meeting a rigorous set of requirements that include both passing a written examination and demonstrating extensive trial experience.

Doug and his associate, Marissa Messinger, Esq., have a proficient understanding of the complex New Jersey laws surrounding wrongful death claims. The Bergen Law team is adept at gathering evidence and will expertly develop a sound and effective legal strategy to help you realize the best outcome for your wrongful death case.

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