Need an Injury Attorney for a North Carolina Wrongful Death Case?
Accidents happen every day in North Carolina, some more serious than others. We don’t prepare for injuries stemming from the worst accidents. One other thing we don’t prepare for is accidents leading to fatalities. This is why, when a loved one passes away due to the negligence of another, you may wonder where to turn in your time of need. And what happens if a reckless driver caused the injury that took the life of your loved one? You may wonder what these cases consist of. All serious vehicle accidents have the ability to be life-threatening accidents.
Where do you begin when it comes to a wrongful death case? Who is permitted to file and what damages could you be able to receive on behalf of your loved one?
Elements You Must Be Able to Show
There are 4 key elements that play a role in these unique wrongful death claims. These include the following:
- Negligence: The death of your loved one was caused by recklessness or carelessness of another party
- Breach of Duty: The defendant was supposed to do everything in their power to protect your loved one from harm, such as obeying the traffic laws or being sober behind the wheel
- Causation: You must be able to show that negligence caused your loved one’s death
- Damages: Economic or non-economic damages resulted from the accident, such as hospitalization costs or funeral expenses
Who Can File a Claim on Behalf of a Loved One?
Some people will be able to recover damages from a wrongful death claim and others cannot – this varies from state to state. Most states use a method known as the “Lord Campbell System,” which allows a claim to be brought by a designated beneficiary based on the relationship of the person filing to the deceased loved one. This means that, usually, these claims will be brought by spouses and children. However, there are many other parties that can recover, such as adopted children, siblings, grandparents, domestic partners, and many more. If somebody has suffered financially due to the loss of their loved one, there is a good chance that they will be able to recover. In other cases where this method doesn’t apply, the decedent’s estate will usually bring the claim in order to account for the losses.
What Damages Are You Entitled To?
In wrongful death cases, there are two types of damages you may be able to recover: damages experienced by the deceased and those that are losses by others.
For example, damages relating to your loved one might include pain and suffering if they were in any amount of pain before their death. The same can be said about hospital medical bills they may have experienced if they were hospitalized for any amount of time before their passing. Losses of others, on the other hand, include things like loss of income from a parent to a child, or loss of companionship when a spouse loses their loved one to a horrific accident.
There are many different ways that you can recover in a wrongful death case. You may wonder where to start – and that’s where a helpful attorney can come in and show you how to bring one of these complex cases. If your loved one has passed away due to the negligence of others, seek help as soon as possible for your claim.