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Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim

Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim

By Attorney, Roy McDonald Should I Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim? If you believe someone is responsible for the death of a loved one and are thinking about pursuing a wrongful death claim, there are a few things you should know. What is a Wrongful Death? Pursuant to Section 28A-18-2(a) of the North Carolina General Statutes, a wrongful death is a death caused “by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” What are Examples of a Wrongful Death? Examples of a wrongful death include, but are not limited to, a death caused: By an automobile collision.By a drunk driver.During the commission of a crime.By the accidental discharge of a firearm.By a property owner’s failure to correct a known safety issue.By a defective product.By a health care provider’s malpractice. Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim? A wrongful death claim is made by the personal representative designated to wrap up the decedent’s final affairs.  This person is likely named in the decedent’s will as the decedent’s executor or executrix.  If the decedent did not have a will, the Clerk of Superior Court will appoint a person to be the decedent’s administrator or administratrix.  In either case, an estate must be opened with the Clerk of Superior Court and a personal representative must be designated to make a wrongful death claim. What Damages can be Sought in a Wrongful Death Claim? Pursuant to Section 28A-18-29(b) of the North Carolina General Statutes, the following types of damages may be sought in a wrongful death claim: Medical expenses.Pain and suffering.Funeral expenses.Loss to the decedent’s family, including:Loss of the income the decedent would...
Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

The death of a loved one, whether it is expected or not, can throw you and your family into turmoil as you enter a period of grieving. There are so many things that must be handled, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Some things must be dealt with quickly, while others can wait a few days or weeks. In some cases, these items may be handled by a friend or family member, while in others they must be completed by the Executor of the estate or another individual specified by the decedent or by law. Here is a list of the top 10 things that typically must be handled. Note this list is not comprehensive and other tasks may still need to be completed. If your loved one dies in the hospital or a nursing home, hospital staff will issue a legal pronouncement of death, discuss their process, tell you what they need from you, and advise what help they will provide. If the death occurs at home while under Hospice care, contact them, otherwise, call 9-1-1 to report the death. You may wish to get multiple certified copies of the death certificate (a dozen or more are often required). The funeral home typically assists with obtaining these.If your loved one is an organ donor or has left his or her body to science, time is of the essence. Medical professionals should be made aware if a terminal patient desires to be an organ donor. If death is anticipated in the hospital, doctors there will likely speak to the family about their loved one’s wishes. If the deceased did...