FILING A PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Only the deceased person’s personal representative in North Carolina can file a wrongful death claim. Usually, this personal representative is the legal executor the decedent named in their will.
If the accident victim dies without leaving a will, the victim’s relatives can request the court to name a representative who will then be responsible for filing the claim.
Who Collects Compensation for Wrongful Death?
Although the personal representative files the wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim, any settlement will go not toward the estate but to the victim’s heirs in this order:
- Surviving spouse
When several eligible beneficiaries exist, it can be tricky to determine who collects compensation and what share of the settlement they may expect to receive. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you understand how wrongful death compensation works in your case.
What A Wrongful Death Settlement May Include
A wrongful death settlement may cover the following:
- Medical costs the victim incurred before their death (like emergency care and hospitalization)
- Loss of the decedent’s potential income (based on their age and earning capacity)
- Reasonable funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering the victim may have endured before death
- Loss of companionship, consortium, and practical help the victim may have provided to his spouse and family during their life
Additionally, if the fatal accident involved fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct, the court may also award punitive damages to punish the offender and discourage future similar behavior.