It is difficult to think about legal issues when you mourn the loss of a loved one, but it is important to talk to a lawyer in North Carolina if you believe that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence of another person or entity. A lawyer can assess whether you have a recoverable claim and take care of the details.
North Carolina Wrongful Death Limitation Statute
You only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina. Wrongful deaths can occur in a variety of situations, including:
- Car accidents, fatal truck accidents, or other motor vehicle accidents
- Medical negligence
- Defective products
- Boat accidents
- Drunk driver accidents
- and many others
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the process.
What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death in North Carolina
North Carolina has a specific law related to wrongful deaths. The statute is NCGS § 28A-18.2. Under these provisions, it is typical to have an estate created with the clerk's office in the county of your loved one's residence.
If your loved one has a will, the will can determine who will serve as the estate administrator. Usually, we see that the spouse or an adult child serves as an administrator. In this process of the creation of an estate, family members will be named as possible beneficiaries of the proceeds of action for wrongful death.
The estate serves as the entity that has the right and ability to continue the action and the estate administrator is the one that has the right to retain them as the estate attorneys and all possible beneficiaries.
The estate has the right to recover money for damages on behalf of a loved one and surviving relatives or beneficiaries. It is important to keep in mind that the recovery of a claim for wrongful death is not considered a gain in equity, so it is not subject to payment of other inheritance debts.
The damages payable in a wrongful death case are established by law as follows:
- Expenses for medical care, treatment, and hospitalization
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to the nature, extent, and degree of the injury and how long your loved one endured the pain before death.
- Reasonable funeral expenses: We have never seen a problem with the detection of whether an amount is “reasonable.”
- The current monetary value of your deceased loved one to relatives. This is the most difficult damage to determine because no life can be easily measured by a monetary value. There is no fixed formula and the instructions to the jury states that compensation will be determined by the application of logic and common sense; however, the statute can serve as guidance.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney TodayThe most challenging and difficult cases of wrongful death involve the death of children and young parents due to the severity of the permanent emotional impact of parents, children, and other beloved family members. No amount of money can replace a life, and sometimes we are limited by the amount of insurance and in some cases, the earnings of the guilty. If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, contact the attorneys at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today to schedule a consultation.