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When can someone file a wrongful death claim?

| Feb 10, 2017 | Wrongful Death |

A death in a North Carolina family can substantially disrupt normal life and inflict financial hardships. When a surviving family member has cause to believe that negligent actions by another party resulted in the death, then a lawsuit can be brought forward on behalf of the victim’s estate. Generally, any wrongful acts or neglect that might have imposed liability for damages upon someone if the victim had survived would serve as qualified reasons to pursue damages for wrongful death.

A state statute sets forth the types of damages that might be collected through a wrongful death action. Hospital bills that arose after the fatal injury top the list of allowable damages. The law allows for pain and suffering to be figured into the demand as well as the application of punitive damages upon the defendant if malicious or wanton actions caused the death. Funeral expenses may also be claimed in addition to losses attributed to the decedent’s net income, loss of care to individuals dependent on the decedent and loss of companionship.

A survivor may draw upon the assets of the victim’s estate to pay for the legal services needed to manage the lawsuit. These expenses would need to be repaid to the estate if the lawsuit succeeds in collecting a settlement.

A person grappling with the aftermath of a loved one’s unexpected death will often face financial issues in addition to the grief. When the decedent was the breadwinner, those contributions to the household budget will somehow have to be replaced. An attorney for the survivors of a person who was killed as the result of another party’s negligence can often assist in seeking appropriate compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

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