WBTV.com reports that the family of a 5-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a loose pit bull finally received their wrongful death settlement, more than one year after the girl’s horrific death. The attorneys for the family said that Makayala Woodard’s family received a $20,000 wrongful death settlement.
On January 12, 2011, Makayla and her great-grandmother were viciously attacked by their neighbor’s pit bulls. The great-grandmother’s name is Nancy Presson. She suffered serious injuries as she was attempting to pull the dogs off of Makayla. Both victims were taken to the Carolinas Medical Center. Soon after arriving at the hospital, Makayla succumbed to her injuries. Presson was treated for her non-life threatening injuries and then discharged from the hospital.
The owners of the dogs were brought up on criminal charges, but the homeowner’s insurance policy will only pay the $20,000 for the wrongful death settlement. A wrongful death claim exists when a person’s death has been caused by the negligence, wrongful act, or fault of another person. The key to the claim is that if the deceased person had lived, he or she would have been able to sue for his or her injuries. The purpose of the Wrongful Death Act in North Carolina is to give the legal beneficiaries the same financial benefit if the deceased person had not died.
To make a prima facie case for a wrongful death claim one must prove the elements of negligence and prove that there are beneficiaries that are entitled to recovery. If the plaintiff can establish the prima facie case for wrongful death, then the plaintiff is entitled to recovery unless the defendant can establish a defense that will demonstrate that the defendant is not liable.
Skilled Charlotte personal injury attorneys are more than capable of handling such complicated wrongful death claims. If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Charlotte personal injury attorney, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We will do our best to put together a case that will get you the civil justice you deserve.
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