Some wrongful death cases produce an obvious liability, but others may require more effort to show that someone was liable for your loved one’s death.
In such situations, the wrongful death law in North Carolina spells out what you need to show in court to prove the other person is at fault and that his or her actions led to the death of your loved one.
The act itself
The North Carolina Legislature states that if the action of a person was neglectful, wrongful or otherwise damaging enough that even without the death, the victim could have taken that person to court for liability if he or she only suffered an injury, then it is likely to be a wrongful death situation. In addition, if the action was a felony, then it will fall under this statute.
You will have to show in court what the action was and how it led to the death. In most cases, this is easy to do because there will be records from law enforcement to back up your claims.
You will also need to prove your damages. This may be largely dependent on your relationship with the person. Depending on what damages you seek, you may have to provide the court with medical bills, funeral service and expense reports and other documents pertaining to tangible damages. When it comes to pain and suffering or loss of companionship, that is largely up to the judge or jury to determine. You may have to testify as to your relationship and what this loss has done to your life.
Lastly, the court may award punitive damages, which are a form of punishment. The court would consider what your loved one might have received if he or she had not died and had sued for liability in the situation.