We understand the trying and sensitive times surrounding the death of a loved one. However, you should be aware that you and your family have legal rights when a loved one is injured and passes away due to the negligence of others. Wrongful Death claims often arise from medical malpractice, car accidents, or fatal injuries occurring on business premises.
North Carolina Wrongful Death Statute
In North Carolina, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a suit for wrongful death. North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Act states that only the “personal representative” of the deceased, i.e., the Administrator if there is no estate or Executor/Executrix if there is an estate, is allowed to file a wrongful death suit.
A fair aspect of the Wrongful Death Act is that any amount recovered, whether through settlement before trial or awarded after trial, is not considered an asset of the deceased’s estate. This means that the recovery is not subject to claims by creditors. However, the Act does state that the recovered amount is subject to funeral costs and medical expenses, but not exceeding $4,500 or 50% of the total amount recovered.
After repaying any expenses incurred by the deceased’s estate in the maintenance of the wrongful death suit and reimbursing for funeral costs and medical expenses, the remainder of the amount recovered is disbursed according to the North Carolina Intestate Succession Act. Even if the deceased had a will, the recovered amount is disbursed pursuant to the Intestate Succession Act.
Any Negligence Leads to Wrongful Death Claim
Fortunately for you and your family, the North Carolina Wrongful Death Act does not require a certain level of negligence. Thus, any negligent conduct, act, or omission which causes a person’s death is sufficient for finding liability under the Wrongful Death Act.
Damages that Can Be Recovered
In North Carolina, a wide array of damages may be recovered. Pursuant to the Wrongful Death Act, the following damages are recoverable:
- Care, treatment, and hospitalization of your loved one prior to their death;
- Pain and suffering prior to the victim’s death;
- Reasonable funeral expenses;
- Loss of income, care, guidance, companionship, protection, assistance, services, comfort, and
society from the victim;
- Punitive damages;
- Nominal damages.
Building a Wrongful Death Case
Our attorneys will passionately and aggressively represent your interests, thus allowing you and your family to have the peace of mind you deserve during your difficult loss. We understand that nothing will ever replace the loss you and your family suffered, but with the help of Wilson Law, P.A. you may be able to recover the financial consequences resulting from the death of a loved one. If you have a Wrongful Death claim, please do not hesitate to contact Kimberly Wilson White so we can begin seeking the justice you and your family rightfully deserve.
Please contact Wilson Law, P.A. using the form or call 919-890-0180 today to schedule your free wrongful death consultation. We serve clients in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and throughout North Carolina.