When you lose a loved one due to the actions of another, whether deliberate or accidental, suing for money may be the last thing on your mind. However, money will be important when it comes time to handle funeral expenses, settle the estate, and—even in some cases—pay your personal bills. It can be tricky to recover damages from the person at fault at a time when you don’t need extra stress. Learn the basics of determining fault in a wrongful death suit, and how an attorney may be the best friend and ally you can possibly have.
The Wrongful Death Case
When a person dies and that death is someone else’s fault, that’s wrongful death. Every person has a reasonable duty of care towards the people around them. That means you are expected to behave responsibly and in a manner that ensures the safety of others. When someone fails in this duty, either deliberately or through negligence, they can be held financially liable for the death.
Some examples of wrongful death include:
- Irresponsible drivers who cause an accident that results in the death of another
- Criminals who assault or otherwise fatally injure someone
- Property owners who fail to resolve dangerous situations which then prove fatal
- Nursing home staff who neglect or abuse their patients
Wrongful death is a form of personal injury law, and often becomes an aspect of another type of personal injury case. In the examples above, the case would be both a wrongful death case as well as an auto accident case, general personal injury, premises liability or nursing home case, respectively.
Who Can Sue
Generally speaking, those who are directly affected by the loss can file suit to recover damages. These people can include the following:
- Family members, including spouses, children and parents
- Legal life partners
- Financial dependents
- Anyone who suffers financially from the death
What You Can Recover
The damages you can recover from a wrongful death case are varied and depend largely on the circumstances of the death and your relationship to the victim. Some of the damages can include:
- Medical bills before the death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of support
- Loss of future potential support
How an Attorney Can Help
When you suffer a loss, the last thing you need is the extra stress of fighting a legal battle to recover money that you feel like you shouldn’t even have to fight for. An attorney can be your best friend in this process. They can stand in your corner and handle the most stressful parts of the process while applying legal expertise to make sure those responsible are held accountable.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in North Carolina, and it’s someone else’s fault, you don’t have to stand alone and confused. Read some more about how personal injury laws work, and get in touch with us for a no obligation, free case review of your situation today.