North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers
Compassionate, Dedicated Representation for Your Family
If someone you love has died as a result of negligence, no lawsuit can bring him or her back. While filing a wrongful death claim may seem like the least of your concerns at the moment, it can provide you with the compensation you may need to pick up the pieces after your tragedy.
At Lanier Law Group, P.A., we have a reputation for being compassionate with our clients and unforgiving with the opposition. We realize the pain you are experiencing can feel unbearable. If someone else is to blame for the passing of your family member, we want to help you fight for the justice and recovery you and your family deserve.
Visit one of our offices or call (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina wrongful death attorney at our firm. Se habla español.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When the negligence of another person or entity results in a fatal accident or incident in North Carolina, the personal representative of the deceased is entitled to file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate of the deceased and his or her legal heirs. A personal representative is appointed by the court to act as a fiduciary representative of a deceased person and manage his or her affairs. This person is usually designated in the deceased’s will, but may also be drawn from his or her relatives in accordance with state law.
The remainder is distributed to survivors in accord with North Carolina’s intestacy rules. This means that a surviving spouse receives the entire amount unless there are also surviving children or parents of the deceased. If there are surviving parents or children, they may also be entitled to a share depending on the amount recovered and other circumstances. Without professional guidance, it can be difficult for families to handle these complex matters — especially when emotions are running high after a death.
Benefits to Heirs
If you have recently lost a loved one due to wrongful death, an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney at our office can meet with you to discuss filing a claim. Under North Carolina law, the surviving family members of a wrongful death victim may have the right to be compensated for their loss.
Types of recoverable damages include:
- Expenses for care, treatment, and hospitalization relevant to the injury that resulted in death
- Compensation for pain and suffering of the decedent
- The reasonable funeral expenses of the decedent
The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive
the damages, including compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected:
- Net income of the decedent
- Services, protection, care, and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered
- Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered
- Such punitive damages as the decedent could have recovered pursuant to Chapter 1D of the General Statutes had he or she survived, and punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death of the decedent through malice or willful or wanton conduct, as defined in G.S. 1D 5
In some cases, a person suffers a catastrophic injury and passes away after undergoing medical treatment. If this was the situation with your loved one, you may obtain compensation for those medical bills. Our legal team has helped countless clients who lose family members to injuries caused by negligence.
Documents to Gather for a Wrongful Death Claim
Before we get started on your case, it will be helpful (and, for some things, necessary) to provide us with the following information and items:
- Decedent's federal and state income tax returns for the five years preceding his/her death
- Federal estate tax return filed in decedent's estate
- Decedent's birth certificate (if available)
- Decedent's death certificate
- Autopsy report of decedent (if available)
- Decedent's military discharge papers (if available and applicable)
Any obtainable photographs of decedent (not limited to those directly related
to the wrongful death incident in question):
- Recent family portrait
- Pictures with family and friends
- Photographs pertaining to the accident in which decedent received fatal injuries
- Photographs documenting decedent's personal history and accomplishments
- Pictures of decedent's funeral, headstone, etc.
- Any other photographs that would help convey a feeling of what kind of a person your loved one was, as well as show his or her interactions with family, friends, relatives, and coworkers
- Testamentary letters or letters of administration of the person appointed as the personal representative of decedent's estate
- Letters of guardianship of any person appointed as guardian of any orphaned children
- Decedent's marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Decedent's last will and testament (if any)
- Bills and statements pertaining to the decedent's funeral or burial expenses
- Company documents or other outlines of fringe benefits, pensions, or retirement plans of decedent's employer
- Decedent's employment contract or union contract (if applicable)
- Any awards, plaques, citations, honors or other recognition received by the decedent
- Sympathy cards and letters of sympathy received as a result of decedent's death
- Special correspondence or writings by the decedent
- Obituary notices you may have received or that were published in newspapers
- Documentary evidence that verifies the decedent shared a portion of income with a spouse or partner
- A sampling or list of any items that decedent may have made (e.g., hobbies, crafts, woodworking, needlepoint, canning, paintings, etc.)
Examples of Negligence That Can Qualify for a Wrongful Lawsuit
A death is considered “wrongful” if it resulted from the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another person or party. Such deaths can happen virtually anywhere and due to any degree of negligence.
- Workplace accidents: OSHA violations, lack of safety training, and defective construction equipment.
- Motor vehicle accidents: distracted drivers, defective auto part, and truckers who violate federal safety regulations.
- Defective products: drugs with dangerous side-effects, faulty medical devices, and poorly manufactured consumer products.
- Medical malpractice: mistakes during surgery, misdiagnosis of an illness, and failure to perform a C-section during labor/delivery.
- Drunk drivers: you may file a lawsuit against the driver, as well as, potentially, the bar, tavern, or restaurant that served the defendant alcohol.
Why Work with a North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney at Our Firm?
At Lanier Law Group, we are dedicated to providing families throughout North Carolina with the compassionate, professional, and respectful representation they need following a wrongful death incident. We handle wrongful death cases with sensitivity and compassion, but we also pursue damages for our clients with tenacity and skill.
We can meet with you in person to discuss your legal options, advise you of your rights, and help you get the claims process underway. You can depend on us to provide you with support, guidance, and advice throughout this process; we can help make sure your family's rights and best interests are protected at all times. We know that no amount of compensation or any legal action will be enough to make up for your loss. However, by making the decision to file a claim, you may recover the compensation you deserve, as well as a much-needed sense of justice.