Coping with the loss of a loved one in an unexpected accident or event is extraordinarily difficult. First and foremost, you have suddenly lost the love and companionship of a family member. In many instances, you may also be facing extensive bills for any medical treatment they received prior to their death, plus funeral and burial expenses. Additionally, if the deceased contributed financially to your household, you now have to figure out a way to support your family and pay your bills without that income. All of these consequences of an unexpected death can be overwhelming and devastating.
If the death occurred as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to recover for your losses by filing a wrongful death claim in court. Such a claim can help you recover financially, as well as find closure and a sense of justice for your sudden loss.
Events Leading to Wrongful Death
The most common occurrences that lead to wrongful death claims are:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Workplace accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Products liability (death caused by a defective product);
- Premises liability (death caused by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property); and
- Criminal acts of violence.
Unfortunately, any of these incidents could unexpectedly happen to anyone, at any time. Though you can never be fully prepared for the sudden loss of a family member, you should know what to do to help you and the rest of your family recover from the loss.
How You May Recover
The laws in both North Carolina and South Carolina allow families to bring wrongful death claims against the responsible parties. Depending on the details of your case, some of the damages you may be awarded in court include compensation for:
- Expenses for medical treatment, hospitalization, or other care received for the injuries prior to death;
- Any pain and suffering the deceased suffered prior to death;
- Reasonable funeral expenses;
- The estimated financial value of the deceased, which may include: lost past and future wages; services, protection, assistance, and care from the deceased; companionship, comfort, and kindness of the deceased; and
- Punitive damages if the wrongful act was particularly egregious, or if the death occurred because of malice or willful or wanton conduct.
Though money can never replace a loved one, it can help the future financial security of you and your family. Furthermore, you may feel a sense of closure by holding the negligent or wrongful party legally responsible for their actions.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complicated process as the laws and procedures vary in every state. Our firm is well-versed in the wrongful death laws of North Carolina and South Carolina. If you have lost a loved one, contact our office as soon as possible to discuss a possible wrongful death claim.