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Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a traumatic experience. When someone else’s careless or wrongful action is the cause of that loss, it can feel even more devastating. Surviving family members in North Carolina who have lost someone due to another party’s negligence can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Although no action can make up for the loss, these claims can not only help ease the financial impact but also secure a sense of justice. Since 2012, Raleigh wrongful death lawyer Jason Michael Burton has helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation including wrongful death cases arising out of trucking accidents, drunk driving accidents, and thermal burn incidents. Our firm assists families in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Durham, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, as well as Southern Virginia.North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
The applicable North Carolina law defines a “wrongful death” as a death caused by a wrongful act after which, had the victim survived, he or she would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party. As a result, these claims can arise out of many situations in which a fatality results due to someone’s negligent behavior. Some common examples include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck crashes, medical malpractice, and workplace accidents. Depending on the circumstances, various individuals, companies, hospitals, or employers may be liable for causing a person’s death. Often, there is at least one insurance company involved as well, making these cases quite complex.
In order to prevail in a wrongful death claim, it must be shown that the defendant, or defendants, acted negligently in causing the victim’s death. This requires a wrongful death attorney in the Raleigh area to show that the defendant owed a duty of reasonable care to the victim, that duty was breached by the defendant, and the victim’s death was proximately caused by this breach. For example, all motorists owe others on the road a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act given the same or similar circumstances. Therefore, if one motorist is busy texting instead of paying attention to the road, and they strike a pedestrian, whose injuries prove fatal, that motorist can be held liable.
In North Carolina, wrongful death actions can be brought by the person who is responsible for overseeing a decedent’s estate, known as the “personal representative” of the estate. Depending on whether or not a decedent named a personal representative in a will, as well as other circumstances surrounding a case, this person could be a surviving family member, an heir, legatees, or other parties stipulated as such in a will. A knowledgeable Raleigh wrongful death attorney can advise you on whether you have a right to bring a claim.
In North Carolina and Virginia, the statute of limitations within which a personal representative needs to file a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of a victim’s death. If negligence is shown, families can be awarded damages in the forms of any medical expenses incurred by the victim as a result of his or her fatal injuries, burial costs and funeral expenses, lost earnings, and any pain and suffering endured by the victim, as well as the family’s loss of assistance and care and loss of companionship. In some instances, punitive damages may be awarded in order to penalize an at-fault party for egregious wrongdoing.Hire a Knowledgeable Injury Attorney to Assert Your Rights
When you are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, considering legal matters can be overwhelming. However, many families need the financial assistance that a wrongful death claim can bring. Attorney Jason Michael Burton takes on his clients’ legal burdens by offering compassionate and comprehensive legal services throughout all stages of a case. At the Burton Law Firm, we can help you with the investigation into what caused your loved one’s death, deal with insurance companies, and negotiate a fair settlement or pursue any necessary litigation. If you want to speak with a wrongful death lawyer in the Raleigh area about your legal rights, contact our office today online or at 833-623-0042 to schedule a free consultation.