If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s recklessness, you and your family deserve justice. A wrongful death claim is one way to recover the costs of their medical care and funeral, as well as lost income, pain and suffering, companionship and relationship, and more. The financial compensation can never replace the relationship you had with your loved one, but having financial security means you and your family will have the resources you need after they’re gone.
If you believe your family member passed due to someone else’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced Charlotte wrongful death lawyer who can help you understand your options. Immediate family members can usually file a wrongful death claim, but the statute of limitations in North Carolina for doing so is two years from the date of their passing.
The Evidence You Need to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated, and insurance companies use the complications in these cases to pay victims’ families as little as possible. There are four main things families need to prove in a wrongful death case.
1. Proving Duty of Care
First, you must establish that the person who took your loved one’s life owed them a “duty of care.” This means they were in a situation where they needed to be accountable for others’ wellbeing.
For example, whenever you get behind the wheel, you owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty of care and are agreeing to keep others safe on the road. So, if a drunk driver was responsible for your loved one’s death, they had a duty of care to other drivers when they chose to get behind the wheel — which is provable by simply documenting that they were driving during the accident.
2. Proving the Breach of Duty of Care
The next piece of evidence you will need is to prove that the other driver “breached the duty of care” by acting in a way that knowingly put others’ lives at risk. If they were speeding, driving under the influence, driving distracted, or simply not paying attention, these could all be considered breaching the duty of care.
In our example, deciding to drive drunk breaches the duty of care. Cellphone records, DUI reports, and eyewitness accounts are all helpful evidence to support your case. An experienced Charlotte wrongful death lawyer can help collect and present this evidence as they build your case.
3. Proving Causation
In a successful wrongful death case, you must prove that the other driver’s thoughtless actions directly caused the wrongful death. This may seem like a straightforward step in the process, but the negligent driver’s insurance company might try to claim that faulty airbags, not wearing a seatbelt, or some other mechanical issue was “really” responsible for your loved one’s death in an attempt to evade justice and protect themselves.
Every wrongful death case is different, so no matter how clear your situation seems, you should speak with a lawyer who can prove that the defendant’s actions caused your loved one’s death.
4. Proving Damages
One of the most challenging aspects of a successful wrongful death case is proving how you and your family are suffering after the loss of your loved one. At Myers Law Firm, we understand that personal relationships are priceless and putting a dollar amount on a family member’s love might feel strange. However, we’re committed to helping victims understand what they need to get justice — including calculating financial and emotional losses, such as:
- The cost of all medical care
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages over a lifetime
- Pain and suffering your loved one experienced before they passed
- Lost protection, services, and care of the person who passed away
- Companionship and relationship with the deceased person
Rightful compensation is unique to each case. If you’re wondering about your options, please contact a skilled Charlotte wrongful death lawyer today.
Call Myers Law Firm to File a Wrongful Death Claim
At Myers Law Firm, we know that moving forward following a family tragedy is incredibly difficult. That’s why we’re dedicated to giving families the help and resources they need to get justice and closure after the unthinkable happens.
If someone else’s negligence resulted in your loved one’s death, please contact Myers Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. During our appointment, we’ll get to know you and review the details of what happened in order to offer sound legal advice regarding your claim.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.