After a member dies unexpectedly, families may be unaware that they can receive legal compensation for final expenses and other losses. North Carolina hears wrongful death cases when evidence may show that negligence caused the fatality.
These are the most common type of wrongful death incidents that result from lack of care by the responsible person.
Motor vehicle accidents
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, North Carolina averages nearly 1,400 auto accident fatalities every year. Some of these incidents may constitute wrongful death if the collision resulted from a defective automobile, driving under the influence, road damage, distracted driving, reckless driving or speeding.
Within this category, truck and motorcycle accidents are especially hazardous. The relative size and weight of trucks compared to passenger cars can result in catastrophic injuries. Motorcycle operators have limited protection from impact when involved in collisions with a large vehicle, also associated with a disproportionate number of fatalities.
As noted above, defective autos can result in fatal accidents. Other products with design or manufacturing defects can also result in wrongful death. Examples include toys, child care products, packaged foods, furniture and electronics.
Some wrongful death actions result from negligence by a doctor or health care provider. Medical malpractice may include birth injuries, failure to diagnose a health condition, incorrect diagnosis, prescription drug errors and surgical errors.
Families have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a member dies in a negligent incident. The deceased person’s executor must file the lawsuit if he or she has a will.