Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in North Carolina
Anytime we lose a beloved person in our lives the pain and sorrow are difficult to deal with. The experience is even more agonizing and trying when someone else caused the death of someone we loved.
A wrongful death claim will not bring our cherished family member back, but it may hold a negligent person responsible for the harm and pain they have caused.
What is wrongful death in North Carolina?
Section 28A-18-2 of North Carolina’s Statutes defines wrongful death as a death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” The statutes goes on to explain that a wrongful death claim is appropriate if, had the injured person lived, he or she would have been entitled to damages for their personal injuries.
Thus, a wrongful death suit is similar to a personal injury suit but the injured person is no longer alive to take the person responsible for their death to court.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
Since the victim of the negligence has passed away, someone else must file the wrongful death claim behalf of the decedent and his or her family. The appropriate person to file the suit is called a personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
The decedent may have appointed a personal representative in their will, but if not, the court handling the decedent’s estate will appoint the personal representative.
Is there a time limitation on filing a wrongful death claim?
In North Carolina there is a statute of limitations on all wrongful death claims. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a legal claim.
The decedent’s personal representative must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the decedent’s death. If the claim in not timely filed, the family may lose their chance to collect damages forever.
What types of damages are included in a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death claim in North Carolina carries with it the possibility for the family to recover many types of damages. These damages include:
- Medical expenses including hospitalization, surgery or hospice care for the decedent resulting from the negligence.
- Pain and suffered endured by the decedent before his or her death.
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
- Loss of the decedent’s income as well as their services, protection, care and assistance.
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship, comfort, guidance and advice.
If damages are awarded, the damages are applied in the following order: first to pay the estate for the expense of pursuing the wrongful death claim, then to pay reasonable attorneys fees and any outstanding funeral and medical bills, and finally to the decedent’s beneficiaries directly.
The decedent’s personal representative must file any wrongful death claim within two years of the decedent’s death. You and your family will need a seasoned attorney to represent your interest in court. Contact the legal professionals at Bice Law, LLC today in order to ensure any wrongful death claim is filed in a timely manner.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.