Losing a loved one is never easy. Knowing that the death was caused by another person’s careless behavior makes the grief even harder to bear. Survivors deserve to seek justice and experience closure, so that they can begin the healing process. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors can hold the person who caused the death accountable. A wrongful death claim also allows the survivors to pursue compensation for funeral expenses, lost income, and other financial hardships arising from the victim’s death. If you lost a loved one to a fatal accident or injury in North Carolina, the Charlotte wrongful death lawyers of Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. are here to provide counsel, representation, and support.
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., we have more than 30 years of combined experience representing the spouses, children, and other family members of wrongful death victims. We understand the tremendous pain and sensitivity of these cases, and are committed to handling your claim with the utmost compassion, professionalism, and respect for your loss. We will be there to provide a guiding hand and supportive shoulder while fighting aggressively to maximize your family’s recovery. To arrange a free legal consultation about how we can help your family, contact our law offices online, or call Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. at (704) 377-3737.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in NC?
Wrongful death lawsuits in North Carolina are subject to strict rules. Our attorneys understand that learning these rules is the last thing on your mind right now. We will handle all of these details for you, such as managing the insurance documentation and legal deadlines, so that you can focus on your loved ones. However, it is important for survivors to know some basic information about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina.
The person filing the lawsuit is called a “plaintiff.” The plaintiff must be a personal representative of the deceased person, who is called the “decedent.” The personal representative may have been named in the decedent’s will. If the decedent did not have a will and did not designate a personal representative, an administrator may be appointed by a court.
A death is “wrongful” if “caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another,” as provided by G.S. § 28A-18-2(a). Under this broad definition, wrongful death claims in North Carolina can arise from many types of accidents and injuries, including:
- Fatal brain injuries
- Fatal burn injuries
- Fatal bus accidents
- Fatal car accidents
- Fatal injuries caused by defective products
- Fatal motorcycle accidents
- Fatal neck injuries
- Fatal falls or slip and fall accidents
- Fatal spinal cord injuries
- Fatal truck accidents
NC Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Just as there are laws limiting who may sue for wrongful death, there are also laws limiting when wrongful death suits may be filed, known as the “statute of limitations.” The North Carolina wrongful death statute of limitations is two years, meaning survivors have two years to bring a lawsuit from the date of the decedent’s death. However, unnecessary delays can harm a case by restricting the time to compile and prepare evidence. The sooner an attorney can begin working on your case, the more time will remain to build the strongest claim possible.
If you do not file suit within two years of the decedent’s death, you will lose your right to sue, and will therefore be unable to recover compensation or hold the negligent party accountable for your losses. To avoid this situation, it is crucial to consult with a wrongful death attorney in Charlotte as soon as possible.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Compensation, which is also referred to as “damages,” may be available for various losses resulting from the wrongful death of your husband, wife, mother, father, or other loved one. The damages recoverable in a North Carolina wrongful death case are set forth at G.S. § 28A-18-2(b). Depending on unique factors in your case, it may be possible to recover compensation for:
- Funeral costs and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship, care, comfort, protection, and services
- Loss of income
- Medical bills, such as medical expenses related to surgery, hospice care, hospitalization, or other medical services provided to the victim before his or her death
- The pain and suffering the decedent suffered before his or her death
Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You File a Claim
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., we consider it our job to ease your family’s financial and emotional burdens and hold the responsible parties accountable. If you lost a loved one unexpectedly, we will pull together a team of skilled investigators to comb through the details of the case and find out what really happened to your loved one, and if the death could have been prevented.
It takes experience and sophisticated legal tactics to prove that a defendant was negligent. There are statutes of limitations to consider, and the preservation of important medical evidence is key. Consulting a wrongful death lawsuit attorney from Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. as soon as possible can make all the difference. Our compassionate and caring staff will handle your case with personal attention and diligence.
The attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. know how to put the law to work for grieving families who want an explanation. For a free legal consultation about wrongful death in North Carolina, contact us online, or call (704) 377-3737.