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Wrongful Death

Charlotte, NC - Personal Injury Attorney

A wrongful death is a death resulting from the wrongful act or negligence of another.

The surviving family in a wrongful death has the legal right to file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation through a personal representative of the estate.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Statute of Limitations

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. A statute of limitations is the time limit or deadline set for filing a claim.

Personal Representative

Under the North Carolina wrongful death statute, the legal representative of a decedent's estate may bring a lawsuit against anyone who was responsible for causing the decedent's death. This requires opening an estate and having the clerk formally appoint a personal representative. The surviving family, the spouse, children, parents or siblings may work with an attorney to decide on which family member would best serve as the legal representative in a wrongful death action.

While the legal action would be brought by the representative of the estate with counsel of his or her lawyer, the compensation from the wrongful death suit would not go to the estate, but would be distributed to the heirs of the estate as entitled by law.

Compensation/Recoverable Damages

Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim include compensation for:

  • Care, treatment and hospitalization expenses related to the injury resulting in death;
  • Decedent's pain and suffering;
  • Funeral expenses;
  • Loss of the decedent's net income;
  • Services, protection, care and assistance the decedent would have provided for the surviving family;
  • Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice the decedent would have provided;
  • Punitive damages, if the decedent's death was caused through malice or willful or wanton misconduct.

Wrongful death claims are often complex with many legal points that are difficult to understand. The Law Offices of Paul Whitfield, P.A., will arrange a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your concerns and offer explanations to help you evaluate the potential of pursuing a wrongful death claim.

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