Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

1Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The death of a loved one can be a stressful and difficult time in your life. It can be even more traumatic when the death is unexpected. As we go through our day, we do not expect our life to be cut short before we return home. Wrongful death is a term that applies when a death is caused by a negligent or wrongful act. If your loved one died due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. An experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney will help you seek justice for your loved one.


What Causes Wrongful Death?

There are many situations and circumstances that could result in a wrongful death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Medical Mistakes
  • Construction Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Boating Accidents
  • Premises Liability

Death can occur in almost any situation where a negligent act occurs. Negligence is a failure to take proper care, which results in harm or death of another. A person may be negligent when they do something that they know or should have known could be dangerous or harmful to someone else.


Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?”


Damages Due to Wrongful Deathcemetary-love-collection-1222182

When a loved one dies as a result of misconduct or negligence, you may be left with a number of expenses. The negligent party may owe you money for damages such as medical bills, expenses, and pain and suffering, among others. When the person who died was the family provider, you will also lose the income that you need for food, shelter, and other costs. Additional damages you may seek include loss of companionship or consortium. The victim can’t file a claim, so a loved one may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages in the case. You don’t need to suffer financially because of the death of your loved one.


Can a Loved One File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

North Carolina has laws in place that allow someone to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Only the executor or personal representative of the estate of the deceased is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. The executor or personal representative is a person assigned to handle the deceased person’s estate following their death. They are allowed to take action on behalf of the estate, which includes the ability to file a lawsuit. The personal representative is usually named in the will, however, the court may assign someone to fulfill the job. The statute of limitations allows you to file a claim up to two years after a wrongful death.

There are several exceptions to the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. One exception is when the surviving child was a minor when the parent died, they may be able to file a claim once they reach age 18. Another exception exists for a surviving member who is mentally impaired and unable to take care of their own matters. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will review your case and help you file a wrongful death lawsuit.


It is never easy for survivors when a loved one dies because of negligence or willful malice. If your family member passed away due to someone’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to request a consultation.



The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.






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