Wrongful death laws give people the right to make legal and financial claims against a party that causes a loved one’s death. Wrongful death claims can be brought against individuals and businesses.
To have a claim under North Carolina law, you must be able to show that someone’s wrongful action, default or neglect was the cause of another person’s death. However, there are other limitations on such claims that you need to be aware of if you have recently lost a loved one.
The law limits who can file a claim in North Carolina
In many states, only specific family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim after a loss. Typically, spouses, children, parents and other dependent family members are the only ones who can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against someone they think is responsible for the death of a loved one.
North Carolina takes a different approach. Only a representative of the estate of the deceased can bring a wrongful death claim in court. However, they can distribute any compensation awarded in the lawsuit to the surviving family members of the deceased.
North Carolina limits how long you have to file a wrongful death claim
Like most other forms of personal injury or civil claims, there is a limit to how long you have to initiate wrongful death proceedings. Typically, a representative of the estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the death.
A wrongful death claim can be a source of closure, support and justice for your family after a tragic loss, but it’s essential to understand how the system works. An experienced attorney can help you.