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Back April 14, 2020

Protecting Your Family after a Tragic Loss

If someone in your family gets seriously injured in an accident, they might be able to seek compensation for medical bills and other losses from negligent parties that caused their injuries. However, if someone you love dies as a result of their injuries, they can no longer bring a legal claim. In this situation, the right to seek compensation might then pass on to certain surviving parties.

North Carolina law allows a deceased person’s estate to file claims for wrongful death in specific types of situations. If you would like to discuss a possible case with a Matthews wrongful death attorney, you should not hesitate to contact Panchenko Law Firm, today to learn more.

The Right to File Wrongful Death Claims

In North Carolina, the law defines wrongful death as one that is caused by any of the following of another party:

  1. Neglect = This means a party was acted negligently by breaching their duty of care and leading to the fatal accident.
  2. Default = A party failed to act in a manner that was expected based on their duty of care, and the omission led to the fatal accident.
  3. Wrongful act = This type of claim can also arise from a criminal or another intentionally wrongful act, including homicide.

Even if someone is not convicted of a criminal act, recovering for wrongful death still might be possible. It is important for family members who have lost a loved one in an accident or due to criminal conduct to have an attorney assess their rights to file a claim. 

While family members bear the brunt of the losses from a wrongful death, the claim itself must be filed by the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person. This personal representative should be designated if the deceased person has a last will and testament. If they did not have a will, the court will need to appoint someone to be the personal representative before a claim can be filed. Once the claim results in a settlement or award, the proceeds will go to the estate and close family members who are beneficiaries of the estate. 

Calculating Damages from a Wrongful Death

Deciding whether you can hold someone else liable for a tragic loss is only the first step in a case. Next, our attorneys will determine how much compensation can be sought in your claim. There are different types of damages that are available in wrongful death cases, including the following:

  • Medical expenses to treat the final injury or illness before the person passed away, including emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, and more
  • Reasonable costs of a funeral and burial
  • Lost earnings if the person’s career was cut short
  • Pain and suffering the deceased person experienced prior to their death
  • Loss of financial support, household services, assistance, and care
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, advice, guidance, and society 

Calculating many of these damages can be complicated, and you want the right attorney handling your claim, so you do not miss out on compensation you deserve. Your attorney will need to prove that you deserve a certain amount as part of the case, and we can identify whether or not an insurance settlement offer is adequate to cover your losses. 

Speak with a Matthews Wrongful Death Lawyer about a Possible Case

Wrongful death cases can involve insurance claims and possibly, a lawsuit filed in civil court. The process can be challenging, and it is important for personal representatives and family members to have the right legal representation. If you would like to discuss a possible case after a loss in your family, please call a Matthews wrongful death attorney at Panchenko Law Firm, at (704) 900-7675 or contact us online.


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    The best law firm. They got me the maximum amount possible for my settlement and reduced my Bill’s
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    Ray Zhang

    Matthews, North Carolina