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How much is a human life worth? This is a question most of us would rather not think about. But, if you have lost a loved one, this might be the question that a jury is forced to answer. To learn about wrongful death claims, contact a Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer who can advise you about your rights. A compassionate personal injury attorney could help you determine possible strategies for resolving your case.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

As a Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer knows, a cause of action exists for the death of a human being caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or default of another individual. The reason that caused the death is left out of the statute, allowing for a number of accidents and wrongful acts to fall under the legislature’s definition, including construction accidents, negligence, crimes, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, and unsafe premises.

The legislature of North Carolina has determined that if an individual would have been able to file a lawsuit against another person for their wrongful act, negligence, or default that caused a death, then the personal representative of the decedent (the person charged with handling the deceased’s estate) can sue instead.

This rule flows from the injustice that would be caused if the person who caused the death escaped liability because the victim is dead. Lawmakers recognized this injustice and enacted the wrongful death statute in an effort to provide some type of relief for the deceased’s loved ones.

Potential Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case

While there is no legal remedy that could adequately replace the loss of a human life, the law allows for financial compensation to be awarded in these situations, which is certainly better than no remedy at all. In a wrongful death action, the deceased’s loved ones may be able to recover the following damages:

  • Costs for the care, treatment, and hospitalization related to the accident or wrongful act that led to the death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses (within reason)
  • Net income
  • Loss of consortium (a claim available to the deceased’s personal representative or family members who will lose the society, companionship, comfort, and guidance of the deceased because of the wrongful act or negligence of another person)
  • Punitive damages (designed to punish the defendant or wrongdoer, and discourage bad conduct from that individual, as well as others)

Contact a Charlotte Wrongful Death Attorney

Take the opportunity to speak with an attorney as soon as it is convenient. A lawyer can assist with investigating your claim, preserving evidence, and contacting key witnesses who may not know their important role in the case until informed.

In the aftermath of the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to balance the hardships of grief while also maintaining a lawsuit for a wrongful death. This is where a Charlotte wrongful death lawyer can assist. An experienced lawyer can review your case, discuss settlement options, and assist with the preparation of the case through trial.

According to North Carolina law, a lawsuit must be filed for a wrongful death claim within two years from the date of death. Failure to file within this time frame will bar that claim from ever being filed again. Due to the complexity of the legal process, a lawyer should be retained before the lawsuit is filed in order to prevent making a costly mistake that could affect the outcome of your case.