How do you know if you have a wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2020 | Wrongful Death |

It is never easy to lose a loved one, no matter what the circumstances. But if you suspect your loved one’s death was the result of negligence, you may be wondering if you have a valid claim.

If so, here are a few key things to know as you consider contacting a lawyer familiar with wrongful death claims in the state of North Carolina.

Wrongful death claims explained

What may be considered a valid wrongful death claim in one state might not apply in another. Therefore, it’s important to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable on wrongful death laws in North Carolina. But how does the state define this type of claim?

In North Carolina, a wrongful death claim is based on statute. The statute number is 28A-18-2.

According to that section, wrongful death is caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or default of another” resulting in the death of a person. But who has a relationship close enough to the deceased person to file a claim?

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Only a “personal representative or executor” of the person who died can file a wrongful death suit in North Carolina. This is defined as either:

  • The administrator of the estate if the deceased did not have a will
  • The executor if the person died with a will naming someone in that role

Usually this person is a surviving parent, spouse or adult child.

Establishing a valid wrongful death claim

Pursuing  a wrongful death claim may not only result in compensation for pain and suffering for the surviving family. But equally important, it may allow for closure as you grieve while honoring the memory of your loved one.