A car accident or a negligent act on the part of a medical practitioner can change your life forever. You could lose the sole breadwinner for your family or a cherished spouse or parent.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another, you do not have to bear the burden of this tragedy alone. At the Miller Law Group, PLLC, in Raleigh, we have been defending people who have suffered significant loss at the hands of others. We work hard to seek justice and compensation so that negligent parties are held accountable for their careless actions.
We know that many families simply don’t know where to start when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim. Our competent legal team will gather the evidence and develop a sound strategy to build your claim, taking care of the details on your behalf so you can focus on healing. We will seek compensation for:
Our lawyers represent families of those involved in fatal car and truck accidents (by far the most common type of claim we see), construction-related accidents, workplace accidents, and accidents caused by defective machinery or consumer products. Whatever the nature of your case, we offer experienced, one-on-one representation to help you make things right.
According to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, surviving spouses and children may only claim certain compensatory damages for lost wages and future wages, if the accident was work-related. This could mean we need to file two lawsuits, one against your loved one’s employer and another, third-party civil claim against the negligent person or entity to seek damages for loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. We will help you determine whether this is a viable option and what your rights are when it comes to filing a work-related wrongful death claim.
With one of our attorneys on your side, you’re never alone. We believe that your primary focus should be healing the wounds, emotional and physical, caused by wrongful acts. Let us take on the burden of pursuing rightful compensation for you. Call us today at 919-348-4361 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does “wrongful death” mean?
A: Wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by negligence, accident or the intentional act of another person or entity. Surviving family members can file a civil lawsuit against the negligent party for funeral costs, lost wages, and other damages.
Q: Who is allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: In most cases, those who are directly dependent on the deceased such as the minor children, spouse or parents are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The person or people bringing the lawsuit must have been reliant on the deceased financially, emotionally or both.
Q: What compensation am I entitled to?
A: As the surviving family member, you could recover compensation for:
-Lifesaving medical procedures related to the accident and prior to the death
-Anticipated loss in income or wages that the deceased would have provided (usually a lump-sum payment)
-Loss of society, companionship, fellowship, services, protection, care, assistance and other benefits of relationship
-Emotional pain and suffering
Q: How long does a wrongful death claim take?
In North Carolina, as in most states, the statute of limitations (or the time limit) for filing a wrongful death suit is two years from the time of death. A claim for wrongful death may commence almost immediately. Unlike some personal injury claims, maximum medical improvement (time for recovery from injury caused by the wrongful acts or negligence of a defendant) is not a necessary element because death has already occurred.
The amount of time from the date your case has been filed until it is resolved varies depending on the facts associated with your suit. Many claims are settled through pretrial mediation and do not require courtroom intervention. That said, more difficult or complex cases may require litigation to resolve.
Q: Is there a difference between murder and wrongful death?
A: Yes. A murder case is a criminal proceeding brought by the state. It is punishable by incarceration and other penalties. A civil case like a wrongful death claim is filed by the person affected by the death of another. In most cases, if the defendant is found guilty, they are liable to pay damages to the estate of the deceased, as opposed to going to jail.
Furthermore, in a murder trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to commit a crime (the notion of having “criminal intent”). In a civil case, the lawyer’s burden of proof is to demonstrate that the defendant’s negligent acts caused the death, whether or not the defendant intended to harm the deceased.