Lost a Loved One to Somebody’s Negligence? How to File a Wrongful Death Claim

September 20, 2019
wrongful death

A wrongful death case is a civil action for money damages. Section 28A -18-2 of the North Carolina statutes defines a wrongful death as a fatality caused “by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another.” According to the personal injury lawyers in Raleigh at the Law Office of Karl E. Knudsen, only the decedent’s personal representative is allowed to bring the action. That is ordinarily the person named as executor in the decedent’s will. If no will is in existence, the court will appoint a personal representative. That individual is almost always a family member.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Nearly all wrongful death claims are based on the law of negligence. Here are a few of the types of accidents that wrongful death cases are based on:

  • Auto, truck and motorcycle crashes
  • Accidents that occur on property owned or occupied by somebody else
  • Construction and industrial accidents
  • Dangerously defective products
  • Nursing home negligence and abuse
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal behavior

There are times when wrongful death cases are brought as a result of a homicide or murder. North Carolina law allows the civil wrongful death case for damages proceed at the same time as the murder prosecution. Different burdens of proof are in place though. In the criminal prosecution, the prosecution must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the civil wrongful death case for damages, Raleigh NC wrongful death lawyers have the burden of proving their case by a preponderance of the evidence. That means that the special administrator’s version of events is more likely true than not true.

With the damages that North Carolina allows, any wrongful death case is a high stakes case. Filing your claim without a qualified attorney will likely be disastrous. You’ll need dedicated, experienced and successful Raleigh NC wrongful death lawyers representing you. After losing a loved on as a result of the act or failure to act of somebody else, contact the personal injury lawyers in Raleigh at the Law Office of Karl E. Knudsen.