Four young women were tragically killed in Rocky Mount, N.C. on Monday when the vehicle they were in crashed with a second vehicle. The accident occurred in front of the North Carolina Wesleyan College campus. All four of the victims were in their first year at the school.
The crash occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. and is still under investigation by law enforcement. The driver of the second vehicle was taken to UNC Nash Hospital and was being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The school canceled classes the day after the accident, but has since reopened. College officials announced that grief counselors are available for both students and staff to help cope with the tragedy.
Although nothing can ever make up for the tragic death of a loved one, families of accident victims are able to file a wrongful death action against those responsible for the death, under North Carolina law.
Damages that can be recovered under the law include:
- Any medical expenses related to treatment and/or hospitalization of the injury which caused the victim’s death. These expenses can include medications, rehabilitation, and hospice services;
- Compensation for the pain and suffering the loved one endured from the injury before they died;
- The cost of funeral expenses;
- The loss of the victim’s income for his or her family.
- The loss to the family of the victim’s assistance, care, protection, and services; and
- The loss to the family of the victim’s comfort, companionship, guidance, and society.
Under the law, it is also possible to sue for punitive damages in a wrongful death action. Punitive damages are based on what the victim could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit had they survived. Loved ones can also be awarded punitive damages if the victim’s death was caused by malice, or by wanton or willful misconduct.
Even if the person responsible for your loved one’s death is facing criminal charges for their action, you may still be entitled to damages. Contact an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what civil recourse you may have.