When someone dies due to the negligent or wrongful act of another person, this constitutes wrongful death in North Carolina. After this type of death occurs, someone files suit on behalf of the person’s estate and seeks damages in a civil claim. When it comes to claims, the wrongful death claim has similarities with personal injury claims. The difference is that the person, who suffered the injury or in this case, died due to negligence, cannot file a claim him or herself.
A personal representative is a person who files the claim against the defendant. The representative may seek damages on behalf of the deceased’s estate and on behalf of any surviving family. Now, in some cases, the deceased will have the name of a personal representative in his or her estate plan. If there is no representative in place, then naturally surviving spouses, adult children and the parents of the deceased may step in to take over the case.
According to the North Carolina statute, representatives can collect a number of different damages. These awards include:
- Costs for hospitalization and treatment for the injuries that led to death
- Funeral expense costs
- Monetary value of the decedent to the people involved in the suit
- Punitive damages based on malice
All costs and damages have to be reasonable under the law. While some of these awards are difficult to quantify, a judge or jury will determine the amount deserved.
All of the information provided here is for educational purposes only. Do not interpret any of the information as legal advice.