Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death Attorney Raleigh NC

Raleigh Attorney Assisting Families After Fatal Accidents

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 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 your loved 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 their own 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.

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.

Moving Forward

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’s 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. 

Raleigh Wrongful Death Law FAQs

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 another relative.

How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

North Carolina requires a wrongful death suit to 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.

Raleigh Wrongful Death Lawy Infographic

6 Damages that may be awarded in a successful wrongful death suit Infographic

The court may also award punitive damages.

As a wrongful death lawyer in 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 the 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.

What are the wrongful death claim elements?

In general, as your wrongful death lawyer in Raleigh, NC families trust at Burton Law Firm would inform clients, a wrongful death must have been caused at least partially or completely by the conduct of someone else. In cases like these, the defendant will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the negligence resulted in the victim’s death. A child, spouse, beneficiary, or other dependent is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawyer can be a useful resource during a wrongful death case, who can perform investigations, help gather evidence, and confirm that the situation warrants legal action.

What type of damages may be recoverable?

There are several damages that may be recovered by taking wrongful death action. The damages received can vary greatly depending on the contributing factors and circumstances of the wrongful death. Examples of damages that the surviving family may be entitled to include expenses associated with the death, loss of anticipated earnings, pain and suffering of the deceased before passing, punitive damages, and loss of care, protection, or companionship. Your Raleigh wrongful death lawyer can assess your case and let you know what damages your family may be entitled to.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages get awarded to further punish the defendant and their behavior. Punitive damages are not awarded unless it can be proven that the defendant’s behavior caused the death and that their conduct in doing so was malicious or intentional. For the state of North Carolina, punitive damages are allowed if there are aggravating factors present, such as wanton or willful conduct, malic, or fraud.

How is the amount of punitive damages determined?

The jury will decide the proper amount to award the surviving family for punitive damages. If the claim is settled before trial, then it will be because there was an agreed upon settlement amount concluded between the defendant and the plaintiff’s lawyers and insurance companies. If the case goes to trial, the jury may take into consideration the following factors before awarding punitive damages:

  • Reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct and motivation
  • Likelihood of serious harm at the time
  • Duration of the defendant’s conduct
  • Degree of defendant’s awareness that their conduct would lead to harm
  • Similar past conduct committed by the defendant
  • Whether the defendant had profited from their conduct
  • The ability of the defendant to pay punitive damages, evidenced by net worth or revenue

How is a life expectancy value calculated?

Many states use a life expectancy table when calculating future losses that the surviving family may incur. It is common practice to consider the victim’s earnings at the time of their passing, and calculate what they would have likely earned in their remaining years until retirement or anticipated death. A Raleigh wrongful death lawyer at our law firm knows that wrongful death cases are intensely emotional, and rightfully so, as someone’s life was taken before their time. We understand that the judicial system process may seem callous compared to the true grief and pain that survivors are going through, but you can rest assured that we can handle the legal side as you focus on yourself and your family. 

Burton Law Firm, PLLC Raleigh Wrongful Death Lawyer

3008 Anderson Dr #250, Raleigh, NC 27609

Raleigh Wrongful Death Lawyer Google Review

“Jason Burton and I have worked together on several cases when he is licensed in a state where I do not practice. He has great communication and has consistently produced solid results. I highly recommend him to anyone who has been injured as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing.” – Gabriel S.

The Advantage Of Having A Wrongful Death Lawyer

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Raleigh, NC. A good place to start is with Burton Law Firm, PLLC.

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.

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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.

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.

Wrongful Death

Raleigh Attorney Assisting Families After Fatal Accidents

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.​

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"Jason is the best lawyer anyone could ever use in this area. From the moment that I first contacted him concerning an auto accident I was involved in, he erased all worry that I had. I was not a major client, but every time we talked, he made me feel as if I was the most important client he had. He made it simple, easy and always explained the steps completely and in terms I could understand. If you ever need a lawyer, please, please contact Jason. You will never regret using him"
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