Greenville Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Greenville, NC
It’s hard enough to lose a loved one, but to lose them because of someone else’s negligence can leave you in even more distress. You don’t have to go through the trauma of this sort of loss on your own though. When a family member passes because of carelessness or negligence, you can turn to the civil justice system for help as well.
The Carolina law group is a collection of wrongful death attorneys in Greenville, North Carolina. We are here to help you through this time and assist your case in any way possible.
In Greenville, North Carolina the law identifies a wrongful death as any death which resulted because of wrongful actions. Another way of looking at this very general law is to question if the victim would have a right to file personal injury claims if they had lived. The reason these laws are kept so loosely defined is that it allows families to speak with a wrongful death attorney and discuss if their situation applies to these laws.
Many wrongful death lawyers are understanding and compassionate in handling wrongful death situations as unique. Consult with your family and call a wrongful death attorney to discuss the details to pursue a wrongful death claim.
People seek out a wrongful death claim to obtain compensation for the loss of their loved one. Although no monetary compensation can justify the loss of your loved one, compensation can help you help you through the financial struggles that often come with unexpected deaths in the family.
Many families struggle with the difficulty of deciding whether to pursue a wrongful death claim. But, when families decide to go through with a lawsuit, it is usually to cover financial damage suffered because of their loss.
Wrongful Death Details and Specifics
In Greenville, North Carolina a wonderful death claim can be one step to hold the other party responsible. Because many deaths because of negligence don’t have extensive consequences for the other party, families often seek justice through the civil court’s system. The use of the civil court system can help those who act recklessly see and understand the extent of damage their negligent actions cause.
Many wrongful death attorneys see cases where a drunk or distracted driver walks away with court-mandated treatment and minimal jail time. While the family involved in the lawsuit has lost a loved one forever.
If you or your family is seeking justice, a civil lawsuit for wrongful death can help ease the grief. Most often a wrongful death lawyer will assist you in calculating a figure to seek compensation. The figure relies on these aspects and outstanding bills:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills (special circumstances)
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages require a bit more explanation, but for now, the financial damages will be the basis for compensation for your wrongful death claim. As each of these areas is looked at more thoroughly, you and your family can decide whether a wrongful death claim is right for this instance.
Carolina Law Group understands the delicate situation you’re in and urges you to consider all family members involved when filing a wrongful death claim. Because of the sensitive nature of this situation, many families disagree on pursuing a wrongful death action. A wrongful death lawyer can assist your family only if the persons capable of making a claim believe it is the right thing to do.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Nearly anything can lead to a wrongful death situation. Because North Carolina statutes so loosely define a wrongful death it is easier to ask these two questions:
- Was the death caused because of someone’s negligence?
- Did dangerous behavior aggravate the situation?
There are many instances where not any one person is responsible for the wrongful death. Because negligence is a factor considered for wrongful death, there are many instances where a company, hospital, local government, or even employers are responsible. If a company, government, hospital, or employer is responsible, they are equally subject to a wrongful death lawsuit.
It is important to know though, that if you are taking on a large company, it’s important that your wrongful death attorneys understand the legal backing the company has.
Of the most common causes of wrongful death, the Carolina Law Group sees these situations:
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Medical malpractice
- Incorrect prescription filling
- Negligent caregivers
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and falls
- Accidents on construction sites
- Sports fatalities
- Deaths resulting from assault and battery
- Domestic violence
- Accidental drowning
Although this list is not all-inclusive, it covers many of the possibilities. A wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family identify which category fits your unique situation.
The difficulty in most wrongful death cases in Greenville, North Carolina is that the burden of proof falls on the accuser. Providing proof of negligence is difficult for those who aren’t grieving. So, many families pass on this opportunity to seek justice through the civil court system because they can’t take another heavy burden on at the moment.
To show that a party, either an individual or company, directly contributed to the death of family member you must show clear negligence or dangerous actions. If the criminal trial has already gone through the legal process and determined the other party as guilty, a civil case may go over very easily.
However, the civil legal system has many quirks which wrongful death lawyers are familiar with because of years of experience. They can use the results of criminal proceedings to build their case.
What Compensation is Available for Wrongful Death Claims?
Wrongful death attorneys categorize compensation types into two different categories: economic, and non-economic. The economic compensation claims include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Lost household income
- Lost anticipated benefits
However, these are not the only compensation claims a family can make regarding a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death attorney in Greenville, North Carolina can help families recover non-economic damages as well. These include:
- Emotional pain
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of society
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of future life events (such as seeing a child graduate or get married)
The family of the deceased can recovery compensations for economic and punitive damages suffered. Usually, families lose a significant portion of their household income when they unexpectedly lose a family member. If the victim had one, or multiple, dependants these family members may be entitled to compensation for future income lost.
Like the loss of future income that was anticipated to continue if their loved one remained alive, they may be entitled to certain benefits they would have shared in throughout the deceased’s life. Medical benefits from an employer, or a pension plan that would continue to increase over the years.
Unlike the lost income and benefits, another economic damage is the cost of funeral and burial expenses. Unfortunately, funerals and the burial process is extraordinarily expensive, regularly costing tens of thousands of dollars. Most families cannot pay these expenses on their own in unexpected circumstances.
How are Damages Calculated?
In Greenville, North Carolina anticipated pay and benefits are calculated using a system based on a timetable. This timetable lays out the expected lifespan of the deceased, then accounts for their earnings at the time of death and how many years they had left until retirement. They use this same method for calculating pensions, and other employer offered benefits.
A wrongful death attorney should offer guidance on how this will affect your claim. If they believe the timetable may skew the damages incurred unfavorably, they may offer alternate options for your claim.
What are Punitive Damages?
A court awards punitive damages when there is a clear need for justice. These are closer to fines than a type of compensation as they’re intended to teach the defendant the extent of damage they caused. As a lesson, the court is trying to use punitive damages to prevent the defendant from doing the acts that led to a wrongful death again.
It is important to note that these damages are not a compensation amount that usually goes to the family. Typically, punitive damages are paid to the court. However, there are exceptions to this norm.
If punitive damages are paid to the family after a wrongful death, it is usually at the request of the court. When in the criminal court system people seek punitive damages. But, there are occasions where punitive damages are seen in civil court cases for wrongful death.
A wrongful death lawyer can place a request for punitive damages in the event that the criminal justice system was unable to discipline the defendant thoroughly. Carrying justice to the victim through punitive damages isn’t common but is seen in wrongful death cases from time to time.
For instance, distracted driving comes with very few consequences. Usually, the criminal court extent of a wrongful death caused by distracted driving is less than five years in jail and often requires no jail time. Usually, there is very little done in the criminal justice system if there is a distracted driver, or a private property owner failed to update to recent safety standards involved in the wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Unfortunately, when a family member dies unexpectedly, the worst in distant relatives seems to come out. To protect the grieving family, the defendant, and to save the civil court system time only a surviving spouse, beneficiaries, dependents, and children of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
Many wrongful death lawyers can provide immediate assistance for anyone falling into one of these titles. If there is a case where the victim does not have any surviving family that fits these categories, the executor of the estate may file on the family’s behalf.
The allowance of the executor of the estate is made so that way any surviving family can submit a lawsuit if it is in the best interest of the family and the estate. The overall concept of these restrictions is to prevent distant family members, or friends from attempting to capitalize on a tragic death.
If a surviving family member such as a child or spouse does choose to submit a wrongful death claim, their wrongful death attorney can help them include the pain and suffering of other close family members. By stacking the pain and suffering of various family members who are eligible to submit a wrongful death claim a wrongful death attorney can prevent multiple lawsuits.
In Greenville, North Carolina a wrongful death claim must address the person or entity most closely tied to the wrongful death as possible. For example, if a family member died in a drunk driving accident, the family could not sue the family of the drunk driver, only the individual driving.
Is there a Statute of Limitations?
The state of North Carolina set a 2-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. The state believes that two years is long enough for families to come to a consensus on whether they are going forward with a claim.
Although two years passes quickly, especially after losing a cherished member of your family, this is a reasonable window of time to submit a wrongful death claim.
Settlement v. Lawsuit
Many families seek a wrongful death lawsuit because they believe that there are outstanding injustices. For some families, a settlement is too difficult to accept, and they want to see the case move on to a lawsuit in court.
However, following the guidance of a wrongful death attorney is important. Settlements are often meant to spare not only the defendant but also the family. If the case has already gone through a criminal court trial, additional court time can cause further distress to family members.
A wrongful death attorney can help you decide if a settlement is “worth” taking. Accepting a settlement is by no means an attempt to devalue the life of your loved one. Most often a settlement is made to save everyone the strain and stress of a lawsuit going to court. Of course, you have the final decision and can make the decision that’s best for your family.
Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Wrongful death cases utilize many different areas of the law and the criminal justice system. Wrongful death lawyers must understand how to mix the regulatory and statue violations with the proof of criminal activity and the present negligence. In some cases, there are multiple victims, and multiple wrongful death attorneys involved.
Finding the right wrongful death lawyer for you should be as easy as finding someone who is compassionate but able to have complex and interwoven situations.
A wrongful death attorney should be able to explain how the criminal investigation will affect a civil lawsuit and which government regulators or states are usable in this case. You can save yourself and your family a ton of time and effort in trying to understand which type of negligence goes with this case.
Hiring an attorney should take a lot of the burden off your shoulders. Let them remember the important court dates, paperwork deadlines, and do necessary interviews. In Greenville, North Carolina a wrongful death attorney should depose and interview witnesses. They should accommodate the number of witnesses, even for large class action lawsuits.
Any wrongful death lawyer should assess your case individually in any other case because they are all unique. From the start, there is no guarantee that there is a valid case as the civil court system reviews wrongful death on a case-by-case basis. If you are seeking a wrongful death lawsuit based on the circumstances of the situation you need a legal professional.
A wrongful death attorney can conduct the investigation and determine if a wrongful death lawsuit is an appropriate move for your family. Because of this, the Carolina Law Group encourages many grieving family members to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the death of their loved one.
Even though no amount of legal action could bring back your lost loved one, or that will make your grief go away, it is one avenue of justice. A wrongful death lawyer that understands the sensitive nature and can easily handle the lawsuit is a valuable tool. For many families, it is in their best interest to hire a wrongful death attorney to hold the other party responsible.
No one wants to hear that they’ve unexpectedly lost a loved one. What is worse is when this loss is because of a person’s negligence or dangerous behavior. Unfortunately, people lose their lives because of preventable accidents daily.
In the end, the families are left with questions such as “why did this happen” and “what do we do now?” But, there are very little options left to family members. While many council grieving families to pick up and keep going, mounting expense, lost income, and the continued grief makes moving on difficult.
At the Carolina Law Group, we don’t pretend to comprehend the grief your family is feeling. Our law offices are made up of sympathetic and understanding wrongful death attorneys who want the best for you and your family in Greenville, North Carolina.