Human beings want to make their own decisions, they want self-determination, a choice in how things turn out, and a chance to change fate. When you lose a loved one because somebody else was negligent, your grief is going to mix with anger and frustration. It was not their time, it shouldn’t have happened, and we agree. However, at the same time you are mourning, Someone has to pay the bills, manage the expenses, and learn how to live without someone who was taken from you. It’s not fair, but it’s reality.
North Carolina law allows the family of a person who dies as a result of someone else’s negligence to file a wrongful death claim. This is the way to seek justice financially and also find emotional closure. You should work with a wrongful death lawyer in Raleigh, NC, who has the experience that you need. Burton Law Firm has over five generations of experience in one family, and could be the ideal choice for your wrongful death needs.
A wrongful death lawsuit is the law’s attempt to quantify the impact of your loved one’s loss on your family and afford the opportunity to recover financially from that loss. Like many things in the field of law, there is a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. For these claims it is two years from the date of the person’s passing with few exceptions.
The claim must be made by someone who is considered a “personal representative” of the person that passed away, otherwise it will not be allowed This is a spouse or another family member–legally the term is “administrator of their estate”. This administrator is going to be legally acting on behalf of the person who passed away.
North Carolina law might seem confusing, especially when you have a lot on your mind such as grieving for yourloved one, so do not hesitate to ask for help from a wrongful death lawyer in Raleigh, NC, such as the ones available at Burton Law Firm.
A wrongful death attorney is going to help you in several ways, as your family deals with a difficult time. They are there to help investigate the incident that led to your loved one’s passing, gather information, and identify the ways your family and livelihood have been impacted. If necessary, they are there to help you prepare the estate of your loved one. They can also help prepare and file the wrongful death claim on your behalf. They will negotiate with insurance companies and all other parties on your behalf, and, if necessary, they will plead your case in court.
Burton Law Firm can take up the fight on your behalf and stand by your side to ensure you get the compensation you and your family deserve after losing a loved one due to another party’s negligence.If you need a wrongful death lawyer in Raleigh, NC, you’ll want to talk with the Burton Law Firm, PLLC. They are specialists in wrongful death law.
What, Exactly Constitutes A Wrongful Death In NC?
In NC, it may help to think of a wrongful death case as similar to a personal injury claim, but in this case the injured person is deceased,so they can’t sue on theirown behalf. Instead, someone else, known as a personal representative (see below), sues on the deceased’s behalf.
Typically, a wrongful death falls into one of these three categories:
- A car or other accident that was caused by negligence
- Medical malpractice
- Some sort of intentional act, including but not limited to a crime
A wrongful death suit in NC can only result in financial compensation from the victim’s estate, not unlike personal injury law. This means, among other things, that a wrongful death case is very different from a criminal homicide case. The former can only result in monetary damages, while the latter may result in serious prison time and other penalties.
The Standard Of Proof
While most people understand that a criminal case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, wrongful death is considered a civil lawsuit, so the required proof is different. A civil lawsuit requires only that the proof be a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard. North Carolina law also allows the accused to be tried in criminal court and civil court at the same time.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In NC?
North Carolina says that only a personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death action on their behalf. If the person who died had a will, chances are someone was named executor of that will; this person would become the personal representative. If no one was named, or the named can’t or won’t serve, the court will appoint someone. This will often be a spouse, parent, adult child or other relative.
How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
North Carolina requires a wrongful death suit be filed within two years from the date of death.
What kinds of damages may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Damages that may be awarded in a successful wrongful death suit include:
- Medical and hospital expenses involving the injury or illness that caused the death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before the death
- Realistic funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased person’s income to the family, etc.
- Loss of the deceased person’s services, protection, care, and assistance, and,
- Loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice.
The court may also award punitive damages.
As a wrongful death lawyer Raleigh, NC families trust from Burton Law Firm can imagine, losing a loved one is traumatic in any circumstance, but when you believe the death could have been prevented, the pain you experience is exacerbated. In the aftermath of such a loss, you may be overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed in determining whether medical staff acted negligently in caring for your family member. Keep reading for an overview of the steps you could take if you suspect your loved one was the victim of wrongful death.
Wrongful Death Defined
Wrongful death refers to cases in which someone dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. Though there are many examples of types of wrongful death, this article will focus on medical malpractice deaths. Wrongful deaths in the medical field occur when a preventable death occurs due to the actions of a physician or other medical professionals.
If you suspect that your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, your first step should be to reach out to several malpractice attorneys. Most families have not dealt with this area of the law and will need someone with experience to assist them in navigating it. Once you have dealt with the immediate shock and grief at the unexpected loss of your family member, set up a consultation with a Raleigh wrongful death lawyer from our law firm as soon as possible.
Supporting Your Case
Although the attorney you select will do most of the leg work to gather evidence for your malpractice lawsuit, you can assist by keeping all of the medical records available to show that your loss was a result of negligence. It can be helpful to keep a physical and electronic folder to hold all of these records in one place. Additionally, the law firm will need to identify the defendant or defendants in the case. You can be of assistance with this as well by providing the records you’ve kept and supplying medical bills listing the professionals and facilities involved in providing care.
You and your lawyer will also need to determine the damages you plan to seek in your lawsuit. Damages include such costs as the deceased’s medical bills, funeral costs and loss of future family income. Furthermore, as our Raleigh lawyer wrongful death team can explain, the pain and suffering of the deceased and surviving family will often be included in the damages for medical malpractice claims.
The Advantage Of Having A Wrongful Death Lawyer
Burton Law Firm offers a free consultation. Take advantage of this to get your questions answered. You’ll find an email form on their contact page, which also has their phone numbers and their physical address.