Obtaining Compensation For A Victim’s Survivors
Losing a family member is never easy. A survivor’s family must deal with the loss of someone he or she holds dear. The costs can make the situation even worse. A decedent’s spouse and children have to face the medical and funeral costs as well as face the uncertainty that always follows someone’s death.
Farris & Thomas Law is a law firm based in Wilson, North Carolina, that fights for the survivors of someone who passed away because of the actions of another person. If you lost a family member, you should know your legal options.
What is wrongful death in North Carolina?
North Carolina, like other states, allows you to sue for financial recovery if your family member dies as a result of another person’s actions. Typical examples include a death as a result of an auto accident or an industrial mishap at work. A personal representative of the decedent may file such a suit. This is different from a criminal action for murder, where a person who is charged goes to jail. A wrongful death suit allows the surviving family to recover monetary expenses and other damages. Someone who is charged with a crime that resulted in the death of another person may also be sued for wrongful death.
Who may sue for wrongful death in North Carolina?
North Carolina allows a “personal representative” to file suit on behalf of the estate of an individual who died. This means that the estate of the individual who passed away must be opened in probate. The clerk of court formally appoints a personal representative, such as the executor, to represent the estate and that person’s family in court. As a result, only one person may represent the decedent in court. There cannot be multiple wrongful death lawsuits. If compensation is received, the money is distributed to the heirs of the estate.
What damages can a person receive for a wrongful death claim?
The damages for every case are different. In North Carolina, a person with a successful wrongful death claim is allowed to recover costs for:
- Expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization
- Compensation for pain and suffering of the decedent
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages, if the responsible party’s actions were willful or wanton
- Monetary compensation for the income of the person who died
- The loss of companionship, comfort and guidance
- Nominal damages
As with other types of personal injury lawsuits, it is very important to bring a wrongful death claim before the statute of limitations expires. A statute of limitations is a time limit to bring certain types of lawsuits. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years.
Contact our office to learn more about how to bring a wrongful death action in North Carolina
Losing a loved one because of the actions or negligence of another person is a tragic situation. Farris & Thomas Law is a law firm in Wilson, North Carolina, that handles wrongful death actions with sensitivity and discretion. If your family has lost a loved one recently, speak with one of our attorneys to learn more about what we can do for you. Contact us at 252-360-1379 or online to schedule an appointment.
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