Losing a loved is always an emotionally difficult experience, but the severity
of grief increases when their death was caused by someone else’s
negligence or wrongdoing. North Carolina law defines wrongful death as
one caused by a wrongful act, neglect or fault of another. If you’ve
recently lost a family member and are pursuing legal action, our North
Carolina personal injury attorney explains what you need to know about
your wrongful death case.
Is There a Time Limit?
There is a deadline you must adhere to when filing a wrongful death claim.
In North Carolina, these types of claims must be filed within two years
of the deceased person’s death. Typically the court will refuse
to hear the case if you miss the deadline.
Who Can File the Claim?
Only certain people can file a wrongful death claim, and this varies state-by-state.
In North Carolina, the claim must be filed in court by a personal representative
of the deceased person’s estate. This person is usually someone
that is named in the deceased person’s estate plan. If there is
no personal representative or estate plan, the court will then appoint
a personal representative – either a spouse, parents or adult children.
What Damages Can be Recovered?
There are several types damages you may be eligible to recover in a wrongful
death claim. You’ll want to hire an attorney who can explain to
you the different types of damages and how each can be applied to your case.
Some recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses: This can include any hospitalization, surgery and hospice
care for the deceased person.
- Any pain and suffering the deceased person experienced before his or her death
- Reasonable funeral costs
- Loss of companionship
Some wrongful death cases in North Carolina are eligible to recover punitive
damages. The purpose of punitive damages is not to repay the family, but
to send a message to the defendant if the death was caused by an act of
malice. These types of damages are meant to punish the behavior that caused
the death and to warn other people and companies that it is not tolerated.
With more than 60 years of experience, the compassionate North Carolina
wrongful death attorneys at Twiggs, Strickland & Rabenau are well-versed
in seeking justice on behalf of clients who have needlessly lost a loved
one. We strive to provide service that is caring and responsive while
building the strongest case possible for each client. If you have questions
regarding your wrongful death claim, call us today at (919) 701-8132.