Losing a loved one can be devastating. However, if your loved one was the victim of negligent conduct, you could recover financial compensation from the tortfeasor. There are strict requirements for filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim. Consider speaking with a Rutherfordton wrongful death lawyer if you believe you are entitled to recover damages following the death of a loved one.
A lawyer can:
- Pursue damages from liable parties
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- File a civil lawsuit for wrongful death
- Collect evidence
- Depose witnesses
- Argue your case at trial
- Work with medical providers and health coverage providers to maximize recovery
Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the death of the decedent under G.S. § 1-53(4). If you do not file a claim within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from recovering damages. Wrongful death claims can be filed when negligent conduct results in the death of a loved one, which can include:
- Medical malpractice
- Car or truck accidents
- Murder and manslaughter
- Negligent care
A wrongful death claim does not have to involve criminal conduct. Generally, you can file a wrongful death claim if the other individual committed a tort against the decedent (and the decedent would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim if they did not die). A lawyer can help you pursue economic and non-economic damages.
If your loved one died as the result of an intentional or unintentional tort, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866.
Requirements to File a Wrongful Death Claim
A lawyer can file a wrongful death claim if your loved one died because of an intentional or unintentional tort. Intentional torts typically involve criminal behavior, such as:
- Drunk driving
- Robbery and burglary
- Crimes of violence
Intentional torts require the tortfeasor to act with wanton, willful, or malicious motive. Evidence such as criminal investigations and autopsy reports can demonstrate that the offender acted with bad intent.
Unintentional torts involve behavior such as:
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
Unintentional torts involve negligence. To establish negligence, your lawyer must prove that the tortfeasor violated a duty of care and that their actions directly resulted in death. Negligence claims mean that the other individual failed to act as a reasonable person would.
A Lawyer Can Help You Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim
A Rutherfordton wrongful death lawyer can collect evidence to establish that the other party is liable. Medical records—including autopsy reports—can outline the cause of death. The injuries sustained before death can demonstrate factors such as a delay in medical treatment or malice. If there were witnesses to the conduct that led to death, your lawyer can depose those individuals and utilize their statements to support your claim.
If the other individual was charged with a crime related to your loved one’s death, the details of the criminal investigation and trial can be used during a wrongful death claim. If the offender has a history of violence or negligent conduct, it may help establish liability.
We Can Determine Liability in Your Loved One’s Wrongful Death
To recover damages in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the other party was 100% responsible for your loved one’s death. North Carolina follows the contributory negligence rule which prevents you from recovering damages if you are even 1% responsible for the negligent conduct.
Even though the negligent conduct resulted in death, the same rules of personal injury claims apply when it comes to liability and contributory negligence. If you did not witness the conduct that resulted in your loved one’s death, a lawyer can investigate the incident by collecting medical and police records.
If you want to learn more, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Rutherfordton, call 828.286.3866
Damages We Could Help You Pursue
You can collect two types of damages during a wrongful death claim: economic and non-economic. Let us help you pursue the damages that you deserve.
Economic Losses You Could Seek Damages to Cover
Economic losses are costs you incurred as a direct result of the negligent conduct. When a loved one dies, you may have to pay for costs associated with medical care, burial and funeral expenses, and outstanding debts. When your loved one dies, you typically file a probate case to settle the decedent’s estate. During this process, you will have an itemized list of debts that your loved one had upon death. Some of these debts may be considered economic damages if they are related to the negligent conduct and have not been reimbursed by a third-party.
Unreimbursed medical bills, such as hospitalization costs, are considered economic losses. Certain economic losses are first paid to the estate to settle debts, although North Carolina limits the amount of damages you can recover for burial expenses and medical bills. The costs of litigation are also considered economic damages. Since the decedent’s estate can be used to pay legal fees, damages you receive for legal fees are used to reimburse the estate.
Non-Economic Damages You Could Recover
A lawyer can help you pursue non-economic damages for pain and suffering, which considers the emotional impact of losing your loved one. You can recover non-economic damages for:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance
- Other Non-Economic Damages
Rutherfordton Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
When you suffer a loss of a loved one, it can have a significant emotional impact. If your loved one died because of negligent conduct, a Rutherfordton wrongful death lawyer can pursue damages against the liable parties—which can provide you with financial compensation to cover expenses related to your loved one’s passing.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866 to discuss the details of your case.