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Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death?

Apr 15, 2020 Brown Moore

When someone is injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, they might pursue a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their losses. However, if a person dies due to their injuries, they still deserve justice. Under North Carolina law, certain people may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, our wrongful death attorneys in Charlotte want to discuss who can file these claims.

What The Law Says About Wrongful Death In NC

North Carolina law defines wrongful death as occurring when someone is killed due to a wrongful act of another person or corporation. The law states that the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a claim if the injuries are such that, had the person lived, they would have been able to file a lawsuit for damages against the at-fault party.

Who Can File A Charlotte Wrongful Death Claim?

The wrongful death law in North Carolina claims that only the individual designated as the deceased’s personal representative may file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased person had a will, then the personal representative will be the executor named in the will. If the deceased had no will, North Carolina’s intestate succession laws determine who the personal representative will be.

After recovery of damages is obtained through a settlement or jury verdict, any expenses advanced will be paid back to the estate. Then, the attorney’s fees are paid. After that, burial expenses are paid, as well as hospital and medical expenses (not to exceed $4,500).

The Intestate Succession Act outlines how the remaining balance of funds will be distributed according to the class and number of survivors. This is done in priority order, beginning with a spouse (if the deceased was married). The spouse will receive an initial amount of the damages recovered, and then the remaining balance will be divided between the spouse and any surviving children (or parents of the deceased if there are no children).

If the deceased was not married at the time of death, the remaining damages will be distributed amongst any surviving children (or parents if there were no surviving children).

The formula for who receives compensation can become complicated, and a skilled Charlotte wrongful death attorney will help sort through this entire process.

Our Team Is Ready To Help

If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, contact an attorney immediately. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, our compassionate and experienced team is dedicated to helping clients secure compensation for their loss. This can include:

  • Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
  • Mental anguish damages
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Cost of pre-death medical care
  • Loss of consortium or companionship damages
  • Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent party

If you need a wrongful death attorney in Charlotte, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 800-948-0577.