Dealing with the shocking loss of a loved one is never easy. Even if you have overcome the initial grief, you still have to face the legal situation of pursuing damages for the wrongful death of your family member. Ensure you are adequately informed about navigating this complex process to get the proper compensation from the responsible party.
Who is Entitled to a Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases?
Under North Carolina law, the Wrongful Death Act aims to compensate the legal beneficiaries of the d
eceased to ensure they maintain the same financial situation if their loved one had not died. The law also permits the victim’s family to collect compensation for the lost financial opportunities because of the victim’s death.
The North Carolina law on wrongful death also permits a legal representative from the victim’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. They can represent the legal beneficiaries and the estate in court. Other than the legal representative, the law recognizes the surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings to obtain compensation from the lawsuit.
Types of Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
A personal injury attorney in Greensboro can help you obtain damages from a personal injury case in NC. Therefore, you must contact an attorney with expertise in wrongful death cases to ensure you recover the damages from the lawsuit.
But what type of compensation and damages can you expect? Here is an overview of the potential compensation that would apply to your case, per the Wrongful Death Act in North Carolina.
- Reimbursement of medical expenses incurred from the time of injury until the victim’s death.
- Compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from the injury to the loss of the victim’s life.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Punitive damages (if the defendant’s actions were determined as egregious or malicious).
- Compensation for the deceased’s ‘present monetary value’.
The court determines the ‘present monetary value’ of the deceased in a wrongful death case to calculate the compensation given to the deceased’s surviving family members. It refers to the economic damage resulting from a person’s wrongful death.
For example, the court determines the lost income of the deceased, which is calculated from their current earnings and estimated lifespan. The court awards the total amount from the perceived lost income to the surviving family members, especially if the deceased person is the breadwinner.
How Are Damages and Settlements Paid?
The compensation in wrongful death cases in Greensboro, NC, can be paid out in lump sum or as a structured settlement. In a lump sum payment, the amount that the court has determined the defendant must pay should be awarded at once. But a structured settlement will be paid at a certain amount for a specified time frame. Both parties will agree on the payment structure for the damages.
Wrongful death cases deal with highly complex cases and aspects of law, making it one of the most challenging types of cases for any legal professional. It’s crucial to have an experienced wrongful death attorney to inform you of the best legal actions.