When someone else’s negligence or intentional act results in the loss of a loved one, the pain and distress can be devastating for the surviving members of the family. It’s hard to know who to turn to in such circumstances, and the complex nature of the law can leave bereaved family members even more confused and distraught.
This is why it is so important to know that you can always call on the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Strickland, Agner & Associates to help you in your time of need.
Find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for a loved one’s wrongful death in North Carolina. Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation that comes with no strings attached.
Common Types of Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death Claims
Some of the most common types of incidents that result in wrongful death claims include:
- Car, truck, motorcycle and other traffic accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents and other premises liability cases
About North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Law
In North Carolina, the definition of wrongful death is a death caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another. It is a civil matter, even when a criminal act caused the victim’s death.
The law provides for the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a claim to recover damages that are a result of the wrongful death. In fact, a wrongful death claim may be pursued in civil court even while a criminal action is being prosecuted in criminal court for the same incident. This is because the civil action seeks monetary damages, while the criminal action seeks to punish the wrongdoer with imprisonment, fines or other penalties.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
North Carolina’s law on wrongful death claims sets forth the types of damages one can recover in a wrongful death case. These include:
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering the deceased went through prior to death
- The loss of the victim’s companionship
- The loss of the victim’s services, protection, care and support
- Punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and warn others about similar conduct
Who Can Recover Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The estate of the deceased is the entity that actually recovers damages in a wrongful death case. The estate, usually through its personal representative, will file the wrongful death action in state court on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members.
If the deceased had a will or an estate plan and named a personal representative, that person will serve as the representative in the claim. But if the deceased did not have an estate plan or a will, the court will appoint another person, usually a surviving spouse, a parent or a child of the deceased.
Damages awarded to a deceased person’s estate first are applied to repaying the estate for the costs of pursuing the wrongful death action, payment of reasonable lawyers’ fees and the payment of any outstanding funeral, medical and burial bills. Any remaining amounts are then distributed to the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.
Our Lawyers Help Families of Wrongful Death Victims
At Strickland, Agner & Associates, we are committed to helping the families of wrongful death victims seek the compensation they deserve. Decreasing the anguish and overwhelming distress of families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or intentional act of another is our utmost concern.
We are here to solve problems for our clients and deal with the legal matters while the family focuses on grieving and putting their lives back together. We can pursue the wrongful death claim on behalf of the personal representative or court-appointed family member, handling all aspects of the case from the initial court filing through to final judgment and collection of damages. We also coordinate payment to all interested parties, satisfying any medical bills, funeral bills or burial expenses that are outstanding.
The peace of mind families experience knowing that a qualified, experienced Goldsboro wrongful death lawyer is handling their matters is immeasurable. Contact our firm today for a free consultation and set your appointment at a convenient time that fits your schedule.