The pain of losing a loved one amplifies when a third party’s negligence is to blame. You may be facing financial worries and other challenges, while you are in the difficult space of grieving. A Shelby wrongful death lawyer understands your struggles and is available to help you file a wrongful death claim. Call (704) 482-1112 for a free case evaluation from a Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC team member.
In This Article
What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is one that the survivors of a victim of negligence file. Surviving family members have the right to file a claim for negligence which, in turn, may provide them with a degree of financial support.
Negligence refers to a business or person failing to behave like a reasonable, careful entity or individual. These actions could include a business or building manager neglecting areas of their property that pose a danger to employees, invitees, or patrons.
Some wrongful death claims could stem from the following forms of negligence:
- Drivers who are under the influence
- Vehicle crashes, including those involving motorcycles
- Medical malpractice
- Diseases tracing back to a specific source
- Workplace accidents, including electrocutions and falls
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Shelby, call 828.286.3866
Understanding How North Carolina Defines Wrongful Death
North Carolina Code § 28 A-18-2 states that a wrongful death is caused by a third party’s negligence. It further indicates that if the victim survived, they could file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible. No amount of money can take the place of the loss that families suffer when they lose a loved one due to someone else’s fault, but lawyers can pursue a wrongful death action to help families recover as much as possible.
Instead, this action is available to hold the third party responsible. Survivors also have an opportunity to obtain financial compensation to pay funeral expenses, medical bills, and recover lost wages. During such a difficult time, seeking the justice that could deter future harmful conduct can help ease a survivor’s grief.
Shelby Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Defining Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action
We also learn from North Carolina Code § 28 A-18-2 that the victim’s personal representative can file a wrongful death action. When victims have a will, that is where you can find who is the personal representative of their estate. However, if the victim did not have a will or the person who is the personal representative prefers not to serve, the court appoints one.
When filing a wrongful death claim, the personal representative files on behalf of the victim’s estate. Those who are often named as a personal representative include:
- Adult children
Potentially Recoverable Damages
North Carolina Code § 28 A-18-2 also outlines the recoverable damages that are available in a wrongful death claim. When personal representative files this claim, they have the right to seek damages for:
- Compensation for the pain and suffering the victim suffered before their death
- Compensation for the assistance, care, protection, and services the victim provided to the family
- Compensation for the care, comfort, companionship, and society the victim provided to their family
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses relating to the injury leading to the death, including costs for emergency care, hospitalization, and more
To learn more about how the wrongful death claims process works, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (704) 482-1112.
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North Carolina Time Limits for Wrongful Death Lawsuits Could Affect Your Case
As difficult as this situation is, you may want to file a wrongful death action as soon as possible. The main reason is that—according to North Carolina Code § 1-53-4—the timeframe for filing these claims is two years (starting from the date of the victim’s passing). Personal representatives are responsible for meeting that deadline the same way the victim would, if they had survived.
Due to these time limits, a Shelby wrongful death lawyer must work quickly to investigate the accident and secure evidence (while it is still available). Failing to file within this timeframe could mean that you are unable to pursue damages.
Contact Our Team to Handle Your Case
Turning to a lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC will allow us to begin working diligently on the investigation and search for proof of actions leading to your loved one’s death. If your loved one’s passing was due to a car crash, it is the responsibility of your lawyer to secure evidence proving that the at-fault driver is negligent. Investigations into wrongful death cases involve:
- Analyzing medical records, including the coroner’s report
- Examining the police report (if there is one on file)
- Identifying and interviewing witnesses
- Inspecting the accident scene
- Working with an accident reconstructionist
- Looking at photos and videos of the accident
- Looking into the criminal and accident record of the other driver(s)
Though these investigations are preliminary, they help us understand the claim and who is at fault.
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, you can count on a Shelby wrongful death lawyer to provide representation during a wrongful death case. If you or a loved one suffered the loss of a family member or loved one due to wrongful death, you may want to pursue damages. Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for a free case evaluation: (704) 482-1112.
If you choose to represent yourself, know that you will be solely responsible for proving that:
- The negligent driver owed your loved one a duty of care.
- The negligent driver violated this duty of care.
- This violation caused or contributed to your loved one’s accident and caused your loved one’s death.
- The accident which caused your loved one’s death also caused you losses as well.