It is extremely difficult when we lose a loved one as the result of another person’s negligence. When this happens, the surviving family members may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims are commonly seen in the following types of cases, among others:
- A DWI crash where the drunk driver kills another driver and/or his passengers, bicyclist or pedestrian through his or her negligent actions;
- Medical malpractice or pharmacy errors, where the patient is killed through the negligence of a medical provider;
- Premises liability cases where a property owner fails to correct a known safety issue, resulting in the death of one or more parties;
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
The time limit to file a wrongful death claim in North Carolina is different than a personal injury claim without death. In general, an estate is opened for the decedent and a claim is brought to include pain and suffering (if the decedent lived for even seconds), loss of companionship, mental anguish, and the loss of care, maintenance and financial support resulting from the death of victims who were primary wage-earners. The wrongful death claim may be filed against the individual or entity (business, organization) that caused the person’s death. If that person is deceased, the claim is filed against their estate. In certain circumstances, third parties may also be included in the lawsuit. As an example, the “dram laws” in North Carolina currently allow a bar or establishment that serves liquor to be held liable for an individual’s behavior in specific situations. In the case of a defective product, the seller and manufacturer may both be named in a lawsuit.
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, we would be happy to speak with you about your rights. Call (336) 249-2101 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.