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. During your free consultation, you can speak with a member of our team about your legal options.
Choose Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for Your Wrongful Death Case
When you’ve been victimized by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, you’ve suffered an immense injustice. Sometimes, the responsible party is just a person who should be held accountable. Other times, you may be facing the ire of an entire company with a large legal team to defend them. In either case, you shouldn’t have to face off against them in the court of law by yourself. That’s where we can use our experience and expertise to fight for justice.
Our team of attorneys has experience fighting and winning cases for people in our community in difficult circumstances. We know the people of North Carolina and the suffering that is unique to our neighbors and friends. That is why we pursue each case with passion and individualized attention.
During the legal process, you shouldn’t feel left in the dark about the progress of your case. We will keep you updated about each setback and victory. When we are faced with a decision, we will offer the best legal counsel we can provide and always defer to you for the final say.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Shelby, call 828.286.3866
Potentially Recoverable Damages for Surviving Family Members
G.S. § 28 A-18-2 outlines the recoverable damages that are available in a wrongful death claim. When the personal representative files this case, 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
Our attorneys want to understand the depth and breadth of your losses. When we talk with you during your free consultation, we can get a better idea of the value of your case and the kinds of damages we can pursue on your behalf.
The Value of Your Family’s Pain and Suffering After a Difficult Loss
We know how difficult it can be to have a value placed on your loved one’s pain and your family’s personal loss. No amount of money can accurately represent the suffering of your loved ones. However, these personal losses come with steep, long-term effects that may make it difficult to work, maintain relationships, or emotionally thrive.
The purpose of pain and suffering damages is to mitigate these effects. Using your own testimony, your loved one’s medical records, and other pieces of evidence, we can estimate an amount that would help your family to grieve and move forward. Your attorney can explain in greater detail how we calculate our estimates for pain and suffering damages.
Shelby Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving family members of someone who lost their life in a negligence-based accident. Surviving family members have the right to file a claim or lawsuit which, in turn, may provide them with a degree of financial support.
Negligence refers to a business or person’s failure to behave as a reasonable person or entity should. For example, when a business or building manager neglects areas of their property that pose a danger to employees, invitees, or patrons, they are liable for resulting injuries.
Some wrongful death cases stem from the following forms of negligence:
- Drivers who are under the influence
- Vehicle crashes, including those involving motorcycles
- Medical malpractice
- Diseases due to toxic exposure at work, in your home, or in another environment
- Workplace accidents, including electrocutions and falls
- Dog bites or animal attacks
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
The Definition of Wrongful Death Under North Carolina Law
North Carolina G.S. § 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 have filed a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible.
No amount of money can make up for the loss that families suffer when someone else’s negligence causes a fatal accident; however, our lawyers can pursue a wrongful death action to help you recover as much as possible.
This action is meant to hold the responsible party accountable while also giving the surviving family a financial cushion in the wake of their loss. Survivors can obtain financial compensation to pay funeral expenses and medical bills, and recover lost wages and future financial support their loved one would have provided. During such a difficult time, having an advocate who will pursue justice on your behalf may help to provide peace of mind.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action?
North Carolina G.S. § 28 A-18-2 also states that only the victim’s personal representative can file a wrongful death action. Usually this person is designated in the loved one’s will. However, if the victim did not have a will or the person who is the personal representative prefers not to serve in this position, the court appoints one.
An attorney can work with surviving family members to designate a personal representative. We can walk you through the process of getting this person legally appointed. Then, with the help of a lawyer, this person would pursue damages on behalf of the lost loved one’s beneficiaries.
Family members who may be eligible to serve as personal representative include:
- Adult children
Who Can Benefit From a Wrongful Death Action?
Per G.S. § 29-14, any financial restitution will be distributed in this order:
- The surviving spouse will receive all of the financial award if there are no surviving children.
- If there is one surviving child, the spouse and the child will split the award. Additional children will receive an equal part.
- If there is no spouse, nor surviving children, lineal descendants such as grandchildren can be the legal heirs
Should none of these parties be available to claim compensation, other family members may be eligible, such as the parents or siblings of the deceased. One of our wrongful death attorneys can help you determine who is eligible to collect damages after the loss of your loved one.
North Carolina Time Limits for Wrongful Death Lawsuits Could Affect Your Case
We know how difficult it can be to consider taking legal action after a difficult loss. However, it may be advisable to get started on your wrongful death action as soon as possible. According to G.S. § 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.
However, as victims of another’s negligence and carelessness, you won’t have to take the actions necessary to fulfill your case requirements. We will manage everything related to your case on your behalf, so you can dedicate your time and emotional resources to your priorities.
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Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Will Fight For Justice On Your Behalf
Turning to a lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC will allow us to begin working diligently on the investigation and search for proof of the actions that led to your loved one’s passing. Investigations into wrongful death cases often 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
Though these investigations are preliminary, they help us understand the claim and who is at fault. In the process of gathering evidence, we will uncover the at-fault party. Then, we will be responsible for meeting the legal elements of negligence.
The Criteria for Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
To prove that the responsible party is financially liable for your losses, we must demonstrate that their actions meet the criteria for negligence. That means, we must demonstrate:
- 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.
This can look different depending on the kind of accident that resulted in your loved one’s passing. For example, if your loved one passed away due to a vehicle accident, we may use the police report to prove that the at-fault driver committed a traffic violation, causing the collision. These would meet the criteria for “breached duty of care” and “causation.”
Let Us Deal With the Insurance Company on Your Behalf
You and your family are going through enough. Dealing with the insurance company can be a taxing burden. Let us deal with them.
Not only is it taxing to keep up with communications, but insurance adjusters have been known to devalue potential settlement or lawsuit amounts through manipulative tactics. By allowing our attorneys to handle these communications, we can protect your case from these bad-faith tactics.
We will shield you from lowball offers and attempts to twist the narrative in a way that places your loved one at fault. Plus, we will present a compelling case that testifies to the liable party’s role in the incident and the extent of your suffering.
Secure Legal Representation for No Upfront Costs or Fees
We know that losing a loved one can put surviving family members into dire financial straits. You shouldn’t have been forced to reckon with these losses and expenses to begin with, so you definitely shouldn’t have to file a case on your own due to an inability to afford an attorney.
Our firm takes wrongful death cases on contingency. While we can discuss more about what this looks like during your free consultation, in the simplest terms: You don’t pay until you get paid.
Through this arrangement, you don’t pay a retainer nor any fees associated with filing your case. Instead, we will take a percentage of your final financial award to cover the costs of our services and your filing fees.
Secure Your Shelby Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
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.