The death of a loved one can be difficult to cope with, especially if it was due to someone else’s negligence. You may wonder if there are penalties for those whose actions ended your loved one’s life.
On top of the emotional toll, many families may face a financial burden without the support of the person who passed away. This also includes their funeral, burial, and medical costs. A Kings Mountain wrongful death lawyer at Farmer & Morris, PLLC can help your family recover the compensation you deserve after the death of a loved one.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action against someone who can be liable for the death of another person. North Carolina requires the person designated as the personal representative of the descendant to file the lawsuit. A spouse or a parent of a minor who has passed away can also bring forward wrongful death lawsuits.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as the result of any wrongful acts or negligence of another person. Common incidents that could result in wrongful death include:
- Auto accidents: If investigators determined the person who caused the accident was acting negligently while driving, survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim against them. Examples include driving while intoxicated, texting while driving, and not obeying the traffic rules.
- Intentional homicides: If someone intentionally kills another person, a wrongful death claim could apply. The person who intentionally killed someone will most likely be tried in a criminal court. A civil wrongful death lawsuit can also be brought forth by surviving family members.
- Medical malpractice: If a doctor acts negligently with the care they provided to the victim and the patient dies because of this, survivors can file a wrongful death claim against the doctor and other medical care providers.
- Nursing home neglect or abuse: This occurs when residents of long-term care facilities suffer physical, emotional, or psychological harm because of the negligent or intentional actions of their caregivers.
Every year, families across North Carolina grieve the loss of a loved one who dies as the result of wrongful death.
How Can I Prove Wrongful Death?
After filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to gather evidence to prove wrongful death took place. The evidence needs to prove the defendant was negligent and that their negligence is what took the life of their loved one.
The following elements are used to prove negligence in a wrongful death case:
- Duty of care: A requirement that a person act toward others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person should use. If their actions do not meet these criteria, their acts could be considered negligent. Any damage resulting from the negligence could be claimed in a lawsuit.
- Breach of duty: When a person’s conduct fails to meet a standard of care. For example, a person is breaching their duty of care if they text while driving.
- Causation: A plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligent actions were the actual cause of the wrongful death.
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC we can work to negotiate a settlement with the negligent party. If a settlement is unable to be reached, we can represent you in a trial and fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Much Can You Sue for in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Compensation can be calculated by adding up the economic and non-economic damages that are associated with the wrongful death. Our lawyers can assist you with determining the amount of money you can seek compensation for during your wrongful death lawsuit.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Recoverable damages are the amount of money a court requires someone to pay for causing an injury or death to another person. Some damages can be readily tied to a dollar amount while others can not. According to NC Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2, recoverable damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Medical expenses: This includes any medical care, treatment, and hospitalization related to the incident that caused the death.
- Funeral expenses: The cost of a funeral can be a large expense for the surviving family members. This could also include cremation or burial services.
- Pain and suffering: This includes the pain and suffering the descendant went through before their death.
- Expected income: Compensation can be recovered for the expected net income of the descendant.
- Loss of expected obligations of the decedent: This includes services, protection, care, and assistance the descendent offered. This could also include companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice.
The number of damages added together can give you a good idea of how much compensation you should seek during a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney from our firm can help you calculate the non-economic damages related to your case.
You Have a Limited Time to Act
In North Carolina, G.S. § 1-53 allows victims two years to file a wrongful death case. This starts from the date of death. Once the deadline passes, you will no longer be able to receive compensation.
Building a case that includes strong evidence is crucial when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These types of lawsuits can take a lot of time, and we want you to focus on honoring the memory of your loved one. A Kings Mountain wrongful death lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC will make sure deadlines are met in your case so you don’t miss out on receiving compensation.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, To Work With a Wrongful Death Attorney
The unexpected death of a loved one is a difficult time that no one can prepare for. We understand the sensitive nature of this type of case. No amount of money can ease the pain of losing someone you love, but receiving compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit can ease any financial burdens.