According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 136,000 unintentional injury deaths and another 14,000 in unintentional deaths from falls each year in this country. Many families of victims killed in accidents choose to file wrongful death claims against the party or parties
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of civil action that can be brought forward by the victim’s family or a representative of the victim’s estate. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to address the losses that family has suffered because of the victim’s death. Some of the losses that can be awarded in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of income and benefits the victim provided for the family. This can also include future income;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of companionship;
- The value of services the victim provided. For example, a stay-at-home parent with young children. The surviving parent must now pay to have someone watch the children so they can support them; and
- Loss of consortium.
Wrongful Death Causes
There are two main causes of wrongful deaths. Survivors of victims can file wrongful death claims for both types. These main causes are:
- Negligence: This is when the death was caused by the unintentional acts of another party. For example, a driver who causes a fatal car crash because they were not paying attention to the road around them. They are at fault because they failed to practice good driving behaviors, but they did not mean to cause the accident.
- Intentional Acts: These are actions which are considered criminal under the law, such as assault.
Wrongful Death Accidents
There are multiple types of accidents in which the victim is killed and the families can bring forward a wrongful death claim. Some of the more common are:
- Car accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Medical malpractice; and
- Dangerous or defective product injury.
Contact a North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the actions of another person, contact a North Carolina wrongful death attorney to discuss what legal options you may have. We realize that no amount of money will ever make up for the death of a loved one, but we also understand that these tragic deaths often leave families with overwhelming financial burdens.