Wrongful Death Lawyers in Raleigh, NC
Aggressively Advocating for You When Tragedy Strikes
If you have recently lost a loved one, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. You may be tempted to bury your head in the sand and hope that it will all go away. But the truth is, you need to take action. You need to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can help you get justice for the loss your family has suffered.
Every day, accidents caused by another party’s negligence result in the unforeseeable death of someone’s parent, child, or sibling. This is one kind of injury that never quite heals. Nevertheless, the law allows surviving family members to sue for financial compensation.
Every year, the law firm of O’Malley Tunstall, PC files suit for damages in the wrongful death of loved ones. There is no replacing a beloved breadwinner, caregiver, or child.
But besides paying for medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income and companionship, these lawsuits send a message that negligent acts are not to be tolerated. Many families tell us that winning a wrongful death suit helped them put closure on their grieving and allowed them to get on with their lives.
If you have suffered the wrongful death of a family member, we want to help. Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, work with expert witnesses, and use every resource at our disposal to secure the maximum possible compensation for your damages. Call us today at (919) 277-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Raleigh personal injury attorneys.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the survivors of someone who died due to another’s negligence or intentional harm. In most cases, the defendant will be an individual, although it could also be a business, government agency, or other entity.
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek financial compensation for the survivors’ losses, such as:
- Loss of income and benefits: If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, the survivors may be entitled to recover the value of lost wages and benefits, such as health insurance.
- Loss of companionship and support: The survivors may be able to recover damages for the loss of love, affection, and support.
- Medical expenses: If the deceased required medical treatment before dying, the survivors may be able to recover the cost of those expenses.
- Funeral and burial expenses: The survivors may be able to recover the cost of the deceased’s funeral and burial.
- Pain and suffering: The survivors may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they have endured.
- Loss of love, affection, and guidance: If the deceased were a parent, the surviving children might be able to recover damages for the loss of love and guidance.
In some cases, the court may also award punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior.
To file a wrongful death claim in North Carolina, certain family members must be alive at the time the lawsuit is filed. These family members include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving children
- The decedent’s surviving parents
Other family members, such as siblings or grandparents, may be able to file a wrongful death claim under certain circumstances. An experienced Raleigh personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a valid claim.
A wide variety of accidents can cause someone to lose their life prematurely. Our lawyers have won compensation for surviving family members in wrongful death cases involving:
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Car crashes
- Accidents involving defective products or parts
- Deadly and defective drugs and recalled medical devices
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Other workplace accidents
There are situations in which the behavior of the responsible party is so egregious that we seek punitive damages on top of the usual compensation. Examples of such behavior include driving drunk, reckless driving, and willful indifference toward the safety of others.
In some cases, the at-fault party may try to blame the deceased for causing their death. North Carolina law follows a pure contributory negligence rule, which means that if the jury finds that the deceased was even 1% responsible for their own death, they are not entitled to any compensation. This is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can investigate the accident and help you build a strong case.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional harm, contact our office today. We will review your case for free and help you understand your legal options.
How is Negligence Determined in a Wrongful Death Case?
To recover damages in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff (the deceased person’s family member or representative who is bringing the lawsuit) must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, breached that duty and that the breach was the proximate cause of death.
Proving causation can be difficult in wrongful death cases. In some cases, there may be multiple defendants who each contributed to the decedent’s death. For example, if a drunk driver hit and killed a pedestrian, both the driver and the bar that served him alcohol could be held liable.
In other cases, the cause of death may be difficult to determine. If the decedent died from a disease or condition that was aggravated by the defendant’s negligence, causation may be harder to prove. For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient’s cancer and the patient died as a result, the doctor may be held liable for wrongful death.
It is important to note that in North Carolina, plaintiffs must also prove that the death resulted in financial damages. This means that the plaintiff must show that they have suffered some type of monetary loss as a result of the death, such as loss of income or support.
A lawyer can help by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and negotiating with the insurance company. If a lawsuit is filed, a lawyer will also represent the family in court.
The lawyers at our firm have experience handling wrongful death cases in a wide variety of accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and construction site accidents. We also handle cases involving defective products, dangerous drugs, and recalled medical devices.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional harm, contact us today. We offer free consultations and will review your case to help you understand your legal options in moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover for a Wrongful Death Claim?
When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, the last thing on your mind is how much money you can recover in a wrongful death claim. However, if your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive significant compensation to help cover funeral costs, lost income, and other damages.
Attorneys in Raleigh, NC handle wrongful death claims involving all kinds of negligent or intentional actions that result in death. Some common examples include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and homicide.
In North Carolina, two main types of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are intended to reimburse the victim’s family for financial losses, such as lost income and funeral expenses. Non-economic damages are awarded for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
The amount of compensation that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim will depend on many factors, including the victim’s age, earning capacity, and the nature of the defendant’s actions. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact a wrongful death attorney at O’Malley Tunstall, PC to discuss your legal options.
How Can Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney Make a Difference in my Case?
In the blink of an eye, your life can be turned upside down by a preventable tragedy. If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be feeling angry, confused, and overwhelmed. You are probably wondering how you will pay for funeral expenses and other bills that have piled up, on top of dealing with the grief of your loss. The last thing you want to think about is dealing with insurance companies and attorneys.
However, hiring a wrongful death attorney is one of the best decisions you can make after losing a loved one in an accident. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. Here are some ways that hiring a wrongful death attorney can make a difference in your case:
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in North Carolina is two years from the date of death. This means that you have a limited time to take legal action. An experienced wrongful death attorney will make sure that your claim is filed within the statutory deadline.
An attorney will also handle all communication with the insurance company and other parties involved in the case. This includes dealing with adjusters, investigators, and defense attorneys. This will allow you to focus on grieving the loss of your loved one.
In addition, an attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. This may involve talking to witnesses, reviewing medical records, and gathering evidence. An attorney will also hire experts, such as accident deconstructionists to provide testimony and analysis.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be a complex legal matter. By hiring an experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of getting the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact O’Malley Tunstall, PC. Give us a call at (919) 277-0150 and describe your situation to our Raleigh injury attorneys. Be aware that there is a statute of limitations on filing these kinds of suits. Our Raleigh wrongful death attorneys are eager to meet with you and get to work for you.