A wrongful death claim arises when someone is killed because of the negligent or reckless acts of another person or entity. If the deceased person had lived, he or she would have had a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer. While this basic concept is generally easy to comprehend, fully understanding a wrongful death legal claim is actually more complicated than it sounds.
One of the hardest parts about this type of legal claim is dealing with the loss of your loved one. Nothing can bring your loved one back, and, for most people, starting a lawsuit is not going to make the loss easier.
However, wrongful death claims help family members deal with the reality that their loved one is gone from a financial perspective. If, for example, a primary breadwinner in your family is now gone, losing that person not only affects you emotionally, but it will hit you financially as well. These types of lawsuits can also sometimes bring closure to the family and other loved ones after the sudden loss of their loved one, too.
Understanding the basics of a wrongful death claim in High Point will help you decide whether starting one is possible or if it is a good idea for you after the loss of a loved one. You can get specific recommendations and advice for your unique situation from a High Point wrongful death lawyer, too.
Wrongful death claims can arise out of virtually any situation. But some types of accidents and injuries are so severe that they frequently result in fatalities. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death claims include:
Wrongful death claims can also arise from the deliberate harm of another person, such as through assault or domestic abuse.
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to try to replace the loss that your family experiences when they lose a loved one. Of course, you can never really make up for the loss that you are going through. However, North Carolina law does not have a meaningful way to account for this loss apart from awarding money damages.
The money damages that you may be able to receive in a wrongful death claim might address things like:
Because the loss of income will cover the rest of your loved one’s life, you will likely need an expert opinion to help you determine how much income is truly lost because of your loved one’s death. A wrongful death attorney in High Point will be able to help you gather this evidence and report it to an insurance company, judge, or jury.
Although you may be very close to a loved one who has passed, North Carolina law only permits that the decedent’s personal representative can bring a wrongful death case. If the person died without a will, then this person is the Administrator of the estate. If they had a will, then it is whoever is named as the Executor or Executrix in the will.
Because the personal representative is the only person who can bring this claim, other loved ones may wonder how they can reach the money damages that are awarded in this type of case. The money is used first to pay any expenses of the estate, including the costs incurred in bringing the litigation, such as attorney fees. Then, expenses related to the burial and care of the decedent should be paid. There are specific limitations in North Carolina about how much of the funds can be used to pay the hospital or medical expenses.
Once these expenses are paid, the remaining amount is paid based on the Intestate Succession Act, even if the person who passed had a will that is not in line with the Intestate Succession Act. Those who receive the funds may not have to pay other debts or liabilities of the estate with those funds. Instead, the funds are paid to family members such as the living spouse and surviving children.
There are many nuances and complications that arise in a wrongful death claim, and many of those are based on how your loved one was killed. It is a good idea to get advice about your situation from a High Point NC
wrongful death lawyer. He or she will be able to explain your rights and obligations to you and help you decide what to do next. Contact Clausen Law Firm today by clicking here to set up an appointment with a High Point NC wrongful death attorney.