The loss of a loved one in a tragic accident can be difficult to cope with. All of a sudden, you’re thrust into having to make decisions about their final arrangements at a time when you’re also mourning. This can invoke many feelings, one of which is anger.
Feeling angry when your loved one dies at the hands of another person’s negligence is understandable. You have to be careful with how you use that anger. Filing a wrongful death claim is one option for the decedent’s next-of-kin. There are four elements that must be present if you’re going to file a wrongful death claim. These include:
- Your loved one must have died.
- Their death had to be caused by someone’s intentional or negligent actions.
- The surviving family members must be dealing with monetary losses because of the death.
- A personal representative for the deceased’s estate must bring the claim.
It’s possible to launch a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court even if there isn’t a criminal conviction related to the death. The criminal court system and the civil court system are separate entities. In fact, there is a lower standard of proof required for a claim based on a death resulting from negligence.
If you’re interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit to help defray the costs associated with your loved one’s death, you should contact your attorney quickly. North Carolina law sets strict time limits for these matters, so be sure that you don’t wait too long or you may lose your right to pursue compensation.