One of the most important things to know about wrongful death claims in North Carolina is that the statute of limitations is shorter than a general liability claim.
Generally, personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims, premises liability claims, etc. have a three-year statute of limitations. This means that the claim must either be settled within three years, or a lawsuit must be filed to toll the statute of limitations. As a rule, in North Carolina, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. However, if your family member did not pass away on the same date that the negligence occurred, we are here to make sure that the claim is not forever barred. That is why it can be important to get a North Carolina wrongful death attorney involved as soon as practicable after the action that caused the initial injury.
Wrongful death claims can come in many forms—auto accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, Workers’ Compensation, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, or product liability to name a few. As noted above, a claim can, unfortunately, become a wrongful death case even if it did not start out that way. You need someone with the experience to handle these issues in a caring yet objective manner during your time of grief.
Because the death is often unexpected in cases where the death is caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another, many times the individual passes away without a will. This can cause concerns as to who should be the Administrator of the Estate and how any recovered settlement funds should be distributed so as to avoid arguments within the family to the extent possible as most often this is controlled by statute. Sadly, these claims can bring long-lost or unknown family members out of hiding or obscurity if they think there is money in it for them. We are prepared to guide and assist you through this process from getting the Estate in place to determining rightful heirs.
Another difficult task that we are posed within these cases is determining the value of someone’s life. I think we can all agree that all lives are equally precious and have worth. However, being able to prove that worth in a court of law can be an arduous task. Many factors need to be considered in establishing a value that can be converted into real dollars, such as age, education, income history and potential, the individual’s health prior to the negligent act that caused the death, and whether the person was responsible for the support and care of any dependents.
No amount of money can ever replace your loved one, but we are North Carolina wrongful death attorneys who try to maximize that recovery to the extent possible.
Contact our Personal Injury Attorneys
Contact us today to speak with one of our Charlotte, Hickory, Greenville, Rock Hill, or Columbia attorneys.