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Losing a loved one is hard enough without the additional emotional strain of any injustice that may have led to the death. When a loved one dies due to another person’s or entity’s actions, there may be a remedy. Any claims that the deceased person’s estate surviving family may have are called wrongful death claims.

Wrongful death claims may include intentional claims such as murder or reckless driving. They could also include negligent or accidental claims such as careless acts. In Southern Pines, a wrongful death claim could be brought by surviving spouses, children, parents, and/or administrators of the decedent’s estate. A Southern Pines wrongful death attorney could help families bring these claims. Contact a compassionate personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the justice your family deserves.

Damages Available in Southern Pines

The intent of wrongful death damages is to compensate the plaintiff, insofar as it could be possible, for the loss of a loved one’s life. As it is difficult to measure the loss of life, there is not an exact formula to determine compensation. There are two types of damages awarded in wrongful death suits: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include compensation for the actual monetary losses and expenses that occurred as a result of the death. To receive these, the plaintiff must demonstrate that those losses stem from the negligence of the defendant.

These damages include medical care that was necessary, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Lost wages are calculated using all means of income that was earned and is not limited to salaried income. This could include hourly wages, independent contracting, reliable side jobs, and more.

Once this total income is calculated, then probable taxes are calculated and subtracted from that total. That value is reduced by estimated living expenses and inflation. An experienced Southern Pines wrongful death lawyer understands what goes into the calculation of these numbers to help the plaintiff receive a suitable amount.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages include compensation for the non-monetary losses that occurred as a result of the death. Similar to economic damages, the plaintiff must demonstrate that those losses stem from the negligence of the defendant.

These types of damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. Pain and suffering is not unique to only the surviving members. Pain and suffering could include any suffering the decedent may have experienced prior to the time of death.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Suits

Every state has what is called a “statute of limitations” for filing a claim. This is the time allowed by law for a plaintiff to bring suit. A plaintiff generally may not bring suit if they have missed the statute of limitations. North Carolina’s wrongful death statute of limitations is trickier than some other states, in that it is specific to the actual injury or wrongful death.  It may be advisable to seek legal advice from an experienced Southern Pines lawyer to avoid missing this deadline.

Consulting With a Southern Pines Wrongful Death Attorney

An experienced Southern Pines wrongful death lawyer may not only help on the wrongful death claim itself but may also help with the other matters in the estate. A compassionate attorney may help you navigate all matters surround the death of your loved one.