When a person in North Carolina suffers injury due to the negligent or reckless act of another, the law says that the victim may be in a position to sue for that personal injury and be compensated for the losses endured. If a person happens to be killed as a result of that kind of situation, the law allows for the possibility of filing a similar suit by a decedents appointed personal representative.
But that is only one facet of the law when asking about what constitutes a legitimate claim for wrongful death. This is why it’s so important for families who have lost a loved one due to the apparent wrongful act of another should be consulting an experienced attorney. And because there is a deadline for when action must be taken, the sooner the consultation takes place the better.
Monetary compensation that may be recovered through a wrongful death suit is broad. If the victim required medical care for injuries from the accident, the costs associated with that care may be claimed. The pain and suffering the victim endured before death can also be assigned a compensation amount, as can the pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members.
Not all states provide for the awarding of punitive damages. North Carolina law does. Such damages are meant to punish particularly bad acts. The hope is also that the level of the award will deter the defendant and others from committing such an act.
As for what kinds of actions might prompt a punitive award, impaired driving stands out from many others. Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is considered so heinous that limits on punitive awards that apply in other cases don’t apply where DWI is a factor.
Each case is different and so the elements of each need to be fully assessed before deciding how best to proceed with any legal action.