According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), auto accidents kill over 100 people every day across the country. Sadly, another life was lost in early March when a motorcyclist fatally crashed near South Reilly Road and Great Rock Road around 7:15 p.m. on a Monday. The 34-year-old died at the scene after crashing with a passenger vehicle. The other driver suffered only minor injuries.
Read on for a brief introduction to the legal options available to surviving family members in the event of a wrongful death. Do not hesitate to reach out to the legal team at Kreger Brodish, LLP, if you have any further questions or concerns. We offer free, no-obligation initial case reviews.
What Can You Do After Losing a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, a lawsuit is probably the last thing you and your grieving family members want to deal with. That said, it is best that you consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after suffering this kind of loss. Subject to very few exceptions, North Carolina law gives you only two years after an underlying accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
Though many states allow surviving family members to file this kind of lawsuit directly, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the legal authority to do so in North Carolina. If they are appointed in a will, this person is sometimes known as the executor. Otherwise, if they are appointed by a court because the decedent did not leave behind a will, they are sometimes known as an administrator.
What Compensation Can I Secure Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to the governing statute, damages recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit include compensation for things like:
- Expenses for care, treatment, and hospitalization incident to the injury resulting in death
- Services, protection, care, and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered
- Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered
- Net income of the decedent
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?
In North Carolina, a wrongful death includes any death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect or default of another.” In short, anyone who contributed to the underlying cause of the fatal accident can potentially be held liable for wrongful death. However, the legal theory of liability underpinning your case may vary depending on the circumstances of the accident.
For example, the vast majority of personal injury cases rely on a negligence theory of liability, which requires proving that the at-fault party caused the fatal accident by failing to use reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. However, a wrongful death lawsuit could also be based on alternative theories, such as product liability and medical malpractice. Our attorneys are ready to evaluate your case and determine the right legal strategy for you.
Consult With the North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers at Kreger Brodish, LLP
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident they did not cause, our Durham motorcycle accident lawyer extends its most sincere condolences to you and your grieving family. We understand how devastating it can be to lose someone near and dear to our hearts. As you process your loss, we want you to know that you do not need to handle the legal aftermath alone.
The experienced legal team at Kreger Brodish, LLP, is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims and their families throughout North Carolina. We proudly serve our community by making sure that individuals responsible for hurting others through their irresponsible behavior are held legally accountable. Contact us by calling (888) 802-2605 or reaching out to us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.