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As hard as it is to lose a loved one, it is even more difficult when you realize the death could have been prevented if only someone had lived up to their responsibilities. A death caused by neglect or wrongful behavior is considered a wrongful death under state law. In many situations, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim to seek damages from those responsible.

A Wake Forest wrongful death lawyer could explain that although a lawsuit will not bring back the one you have lost, it may provide answers and compensation to protect the family in the future. A compassionate personal injury lawyer could assist with investigating the cause of death and then explain your family’s options going forward.

When Should Someone File a Wrongful Death Claim in Wake Forest?

Although some people in Wake Forest may find it inappropriate to consider speaking to a lawyer right after a death in the family, it is often wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Evidence showing liability for negligence or wrongful conduct is most reliable and easiest to obtain shortly after the incident that causes the injury that leads to death. An experienced Wake Forest wrongful death attorney could provide advice about collecting and preserving evidence or assist in the process.

In addition, a lawyer could aid in answering questions or providing statements so that family members do not inadvertently jeopardize options for recovery of compensation or otherwise impair their rights. In addition, if settlement offers are made, an attorney could evaluate the factors involved to determine whether an offer provides fair and reasonable compensation under the circumstances.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases?

Finally, and sometimes most importantly, a seasoned lawyer familiar with wrongful death cases could help ensure that actions are taken in compliance with the state statute of limitations, which can be complicated to apply.

In many situations, a claim can be filed up to two years after the date of death, but the time period may be much shorter if the injury that caused the death occurred sometime earlier. If the statutory deadline is missed, the opportunity to seek recovery is lost.

What Damages May Be Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases?

The North Carolina wrongful death statute, which is set forth in section 28A-18-2 of the state code, specifies that in a wrongful death claim, compensation may be awarded to cover several different consequences. Some of the damage awards may be provided for the support of family members, while others assist with covering expenses left behind by the deceased person.

A wrongful death claim may seek damages for:

  • The income that would have been provided by the deceased person for the benefit of survivors
  • The protection, care, and assistance that the deceased person would have provided to family members
  • The comfort, companionship, and guidance the deceased person would have provided to the family
  • Burial expenses
  • Medical costs from the final illness or injury
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased person before they died

The statute explains that a lawsuit must be filed by a personal representative. Compensation received may partially be applied toward satisfying expenses, but money will also go to a surviving spouse, children, or other relatives if there are none.

Speak With a Wake Forest Wrongful Death Attorney

The family member you lost would not want to see the family struggle to pay bills left behind or to make up for lost support. So, if you believe the negligence of another may have caused the death of a loved one, it is worthwhile to consult a Wake Forest wrongful death lawyer for an evaluation of your case.

An experienced wrongful death attorney understands that the situation may be complicated and that it will certainly be emotional. But to prevent someone else’s wrongdoing from causing future concern, you owe it to your family to learn what may be possible to achieve. For more information, call now.