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What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in North Carolina? Typically, the state gives a personal representative two years to file a claim. Waiting past this deadline to file a claim means the court can dismiss a request for financial damages. 

You can learn more about the deadline for your specific situations with a Raleigh wrongful death lawyer from our team at the Whitley Law Firm. We can provide you with compassionate guidance through the legal system after a fatal accident. 

Call or fill out our online contact form to learn more. 

How Long do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-53 (2021), you have two years from the time of a death to file a wrongful death claim. Generally, this deadline starts from the day you lost your loved one, not necessarily the day of the accident. 

We understand that determining exact legal timelines can feel stressful and emotionally challenging in the aftermath of an accident. Fortunately, you can rely on a lawyer to track this information on your behalf. 

Can Everyone File a Wrongful Death Case?

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina? It’s important to understand that the state only allows a personal representative (or executor) to file a wrongful death claim. You have to identify this person before you can move forward with a case. 

In some cases, individuals can select a personal representative in their will. However, if your loved one failed to provide this information, the court will have to appoint someone to this role. 

The process of appointing a personal representative can take time, cutting into your deadline to file a wrongful death claim, so the professionals recommend that you identify this individual quickly. 

What Happens if You Miss a Wrongful Death Deadline?

You must move forward with a wrongful death claim before the statute of limitations expires to have a chance of securing damages. If you wait too long, the court will dismiss your claim and prevent you from receiving any financial compensation. 

How Quickly Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Deadly Accident?

We understand the emotional turmoil you can feel after a deadly accident. You need time to take care of your family, to handle arrangements, and to sort out your future. However, it’s also essential to reach out to a wrongful death law firm for help. 

Building a wrongful death claim requires your lawyer to investigate and collect evidence. This process goes more smoothly when you contact an attorney right away. 

Hiring a lawyer quickly helps you avoid issues with the statute of limitations. Also, it means you’ll have someone on your side to deal with insurance agents and handle all legal complications, giving you more time to focus on your family. 

What Do Lawyers Do During a Wrongful Death Claim? 

After you hire us, our firm will take care of all your legal needs. We focus on identifying the liable party and collecting evidence that shows they caused a deadly accident. Our investigation may require us to:

  • Speak with all eyewitnesses
  • Visit the scene of the fatal accident
  • Look for videos or pictures of the accident
  • Work with wrongful death experts 

We also take care of insurance agents and handle potential negotiations, as many of our clients choose to settle out of court. 

If the insurance company refuses to treat you fairly, your attorney can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. This legal action helps your family get damages and can hold the responsible party accountable for their deadly actions. 

How Long does a Wrongful Death Claim Take to Resolve?

Resolving a wrongful death case in North Carolina can take a significant amount of time. Sometimes, cases last for over a year, especially if you choose to file a lawsuit against the liable party instead of settling out of court. 

Once your lawyer resolves your claim, it can allow your family to secure financial damages to cover your loved one’s: 

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Medical costs 
  • Pain and suffering

A wrongful death claim may also provide funds to cover the loss of your loved one’s income, care, protection, comfort, and guidance. You can begin the legal process today with our team

Review the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases

What’s the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in North Carolina? Typically, the state gives a personal representative two years to file a claim after a deadly accident. Waiting too long means you cannot seek damages after a fatal accident. 

Our team at the Whitley Law Firm can get started on your family’s case today. Get a free case evaluation by calling or completing our online contact form.