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Many often question why one would file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ocean County given that no monetary reward can bring his or her loved one back. While that assumption overlooks the fact that you and others who suffer through the unexpected loss of a loved one often require compensation to help deal with costs of your family member or friend’s death (along with the financial void he or she leaves behind), it is true that amount of money may assuage your grief. More important than the financial assistance that your loved one provided may have been the companionship you enjoyed with him or her. Can you be compensated for that loss, as well? 

Per the Civil Jury Charges issued by the New Jersey State Judiciary, a jury can reward you for being the following benefits your relationship with your loved one provided: 

  • Companionship
  • Comfort
  • Consortium (marital relations)

These are often referred to as “per quod” damages. “Per quod” is a Latin term meant to represent the idea that losses are often measured in extrinsic circumstances (or elements that cannot be explicitly shown or stated). Such is the nature of a relationship, in that you typically cannot quantify the affection you felt for a loved one, yet the losses you suffer (companionship, comfort and consortium) offer an empirical idea of what they might be. 

Typically, the loved one lost must be your spouse in order for you collect damages per quod. The exception would be if you lost a minor child. In that case, the law allows you to be compensated not simply for the loss of your child’s companionship, but also any earnings or services he or she might have provided to your household prior to reaching the age of majority. 

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