The death of a loved one is never easy. We all hope to live long, fruitful loves, surrounded by those we care about the most. However, sometimes tragedy strikes and death results from someone else's neglect or mistake.
Knowing a loved one is gone because of the fault of another can be difficult to accept. For many, it is challenging even to consider a wrongful death claim because of the pain of knowing your loved one would still be here today, had it not been for the accident of another.
However, it is important for you to know all of the rights the law allows to bring some justice for the death of your loved one. You are going through a great deal of pain and suffering, and it is important to hold the responsible party accountable. This is not just for you and your family, but for the families of others who might come in contact with the wrongful party. That is why you need to look into help from wrongful death attorneys.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
This is one of the most common questions, and it is important to receive a direct, straightforward answer. This kind of claim is a civil case. Often, the District Attorney’s Office will bring criminal charges against the other party, but this does not prohibit bringing a civil case against the same party. In a wrongful death claim, certain close family members, or the executor of the deceased loved one’s estate if the person had a will, can seek out possible compensation for the death of a loved one.
Wrongful death is, by definition, when the death of one party is caused by neglect, wrongful act, or default of another party. In this instance, the at-fault party might be liable for paying the same kind of financial damages paid out in a personal injury lawsuit. There are additional pain and suffering aspects to consider, which can change the potential financial compensation for the wrongful death.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can happen in nearly any situation. However, some incidents are more common than others. Some of the most common wrongful death cases include motorcycle accidents, auto accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, nursing home neglect (or abuse), medical malpractice, and defective equipment or medication.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Typically, the administrator or executor of an estate will file the wrongful death claim. This might be a spouse, a child, or another professional in charge of handling the estate (which is more common with larger estates). Usually, if the individual is outside of the immediate family, they will be listed within the estate plan.
If there is no estate plan, there is no need to worry. The immediate family can still file a wrongful death claim, and the court might appoint an administrator to handle the estate. It is important to point out that only certain close family members can seek financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. This means a friend or someone not within the immediate family is likely not able to file such a claim. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, the claim needs to come from close family members.
For example, the spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit at the time of death. A former spouse is not able to do so in most cases. A child of the deceased can file a claim, and if there are no children or spouses, parents can file a claim. However, every case is different and you should consult an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney if you have questions about who can file such a claim in a given situation.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Nobody ever wants to be put in this kind of position. However, if you do find yourself looking for wrongful death lawyers, it is important to take the next step and schedule your consultation. It's better to move forward with this now than to let it linger. Here at Wilson, Lackey, Rohr & Hall, P.C., we specialize in handling the legal needs of individuals, just like you. Our experienced team of attorneys will go over your claims and, from there, provide you with all the necessary information to potentially move forward with a wrongful death suit. But it all starts with that one phone call. Let us take care of the rest.