It is hard to accept the unexpected loss of a family member, especially when someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct is to blame. Even though no amount of compensation can make up for the pain and grief you feel, it helps to have the means to pay for past and present expenses that can add to your burden.
A Raleigh wrongful death lawyer can be there for you during this incredibly difficult time and assess whether bringing a case is the best course of action for your situation. The sooner you understand your legal rights, the sooner you can decide on the next steps.
Discussing your case’s facts is only the start of your journey towards seeking justice, so do not hesitate to contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800)-593-3443, as soon as possible.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Raleigh
The North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) §28A-18-2 considers wrongful death as one that arises due to another person’s wrongful act, neglect, or criminal misconduct. Essentially, survivors who file a wrongful death claim are doing so on behalf of their deceased loved ones. This is because, in North Carolina, wrongful death is just like a personal injury case wherein the victims are no longer around to bring their cases to court. Those eligible to file a wrongful death claim can seek recovery for the deceased person’s damages and those of the surviving family. The state’s wrongful death law does not look for a certain degree of negligence when finding liability—any negligent act, conduct, or omission will suffice.
Unlike criminal offenses, a wrongful death suit is a civil case that aims to award monetary damages to victims and not imprison liable parties. However, you can file a civil case even if a corresponding criminal case is ongoing because they are mutually exclusive or separate in North Carolina. In taking legal action, you must follow the wrongful death laws of the state. A Raleigh wrongful death lawyer can guide you when it comes to navigating your case’s legal complexities.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Raleigh, call 800-593-3443
Eligibility in Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Raleigh
Family members in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina are not automatically eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The executor of the decedent’s estate or its representative must be the one to bring legal action on behalf of the family and the estate. This representative is usually named in the decedent’s estate plan or will and is typically the decedent’s surviving spouse, adult child, or parent. When a will is lacking or if the named executor is unwilling to serve, the court will be the one to appoint the administrator of the estate per NCGS §29-1.
Those bringing a wrongful death suit generally need to prove two things. First, the defendant’s negligence or a wrongful act caused the death, and second, the defendant should have foreseen that the fatal accident was a likely result of carelessness or misbehavior. For instance, many serious car accidents end up as wrongful death cases. Drivers who cause fatal crashes might be accountable for their victims’ loss and suffering if they disregarded traffic signals. Unsafe driving is easily foreseeable as a frequent cause of deadly collisions.
If one of the following incidents led to the death of someone you love, you might have grounds for a lawsuit in Raleigh:
- Construction site accident and other workplace injuries
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- A car accident involving distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence
- Asbestos exposure
- Truck accident
- Boating accident
- Defective product
If you have concerns about your eligibility in filing a wrongful death claim, it is best to get in touch with a Raleigh wrongful death lawyer who can explain your legal position.
Raleigh Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 800-593-3443
Statute of Limitations
A wrongful death claim will have a different legal deadline from a personal injury suit. The statute of limitations in North Carolina requires you to bring a claim within two years of your loved one’s death or risk giving up your right to pursue financial recovery. It is best to work on your case as soon as possible.
Moreover, records and other evidence may become lost if you wait for too long. Be aware that there are also rare cases where the two-year deadline does not apply, so consider scheduling your free consultation with Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800)-593-3443 at your earliest convenience.
How Contributory Negligence Can Impact Your Case
Under the law of contributory negligence in North Carolina, victims cannot recover damages if the court finds them partly responsible for their injuries. This also applies to wrongful death claims since such claims are possible only if victims would have been entitled to a personal injury claim had they lived. Thus, if the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to his death, they cannot collect compensation. The personal representative will also not seek compensation since they are bringing a claim on behalf of the deceased plaintiff. Reach out to a Raleigh wrongful death lawyer to learn more about laws that can affect your case.
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Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are several types of damages you can pursue in a wrongful death case. If your loved one did not pass away immediately after the accident, you might get compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. You may also have the right to recover burial and funeral expenses.
Apart from financial damages, it is also possible to recover emotional damages in North Carolina. Immediate family members can seek compensation for loss of love and companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of parental support and guidance. Punitive damages may also be obtainable in your case, and a Raleigh wrongful death lawyer can tell you more about this type of damages that allows additional monetary awards.
Let Us Handle the Legal Aspects of Your Case
Raleigh wrongful death lawyer can listen to you and offer advice regarding your legal options. We understand that dealing with a terrible loss can, at times, be debilitating, and we are here to take on the burden of handling legal matters for you.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800)-593-3443, to enable us to evaluate your case for free so that you can focus on grieving and healing.