If you have had a family member die while in the custody of a jail or prison, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. When an inmate dies due to abuse or neglect, the family may be due compensation, but what type? The answer to that question depends on the manner of death, the type of institution, and certain other considerations.
When a family member dies while in custody, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney. Before you call for your consultation, there are some facts that may help you understand your legal options.
Before you file a wrongful death suit, consider these variables:
- Institution: The first thing you need to determine is the type of institution your loved one was incarcerated at. Jails house misdemeanor offenders or persons awaiting trial. Prisons hold people who have been convicted of felonies or other serious crimes.
- State or Federal: Find out if the jail or prison is a state or federal one.
- Public or Private: Determining whether the institution is public or private will help you and your attorney decide who you will attempt to hold liable for your loved one’s death. If medical care is contracted, you may also be naming a second entity.
- Neglect or Abuse: People die in custody of natural causes. In some cases, people die because of neglect or abuse. Your attorney will review the details of the case to determine if either one of these was the cause.
Damages You Can Recover
Typically, you will be able to recover compensatory damages in a wrongful death suit. Punitive damages are permitted, but they are difficult to prove. Ask your attorney about limitations in North Carolina.
Wrongful death in North Carolina is not something that we take lightly. If a loved one has died in the custody of a jail or prison, please call our offices for a free case evaluation. An experienced member of our team will review the details of your case and provide you with options. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.