When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you have recently endured the loss of a loved one, you may have questions about what subsequent action you can take, including “Do I have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit?” or “How can I determine whether or not someone else was liable for my family member’s death?” For this reason, the Whitley Law Firm would like to take the time to explain the state’s related statutes and help you to understand what rights you may possess.
Grounds for Filing a Wrongful Death Action
According North Carolina Code § 28A-18-2, the family of the deceased may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit in the event that “the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another.” This means that a wide variety of circumstances may qualify for civil action. What you must understand, however, is that you must be able to show that someone else’s careless actions have directly contributed to the death.
This should not be mistaken to mean that the responsible party has willfully or intentionally caused the death of a loved one—as this matter would be taken up in criminal proceedings—but rather that the death was an accidental byproduct of their actions.
In proving this, the family would have the opportunity to recover compensation for losses that they have suffered, including both economic and non-economic damages. If, for example, the deceased had one or more dependents relying on their income, these parties may ask to be compensated for the future loss of income that they have sustained.
Similarly, they could pursue damages for funeral and burial expenses. As far as non-economic losses are concerned, a family may request compensation for things like emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of society, etc.
Review the Facts of Your Case Carefully
Each case is different, however, and should be handled as such. There is no way to definitely determine whether or not you have a valid reason to pursue a personal injury lawsuit until you review the circumstances of your case with an experienced legal professional. In doing so, a lawyer can investigate the cause of your loved one’s death and figure out the appropriate legal action to move forward with.
For this reason, we urge you to consult with the legal team at our firm as soon as possible. We are available to look over your case and answer any questions that you may have about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit at no cost to you, so do not hesitate to contact our firm today. We will take your call 24 hours a day, secen days a week, so contact us today for your free initial consultation.