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What is a Wrongful Death Claim from a Car Accident?

In North Carolina, the Division of Motor Vehicles reported 1,277 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in 2014. When a car accident causes a fatality, this can give rise to a wrongful death claim brought to recover compensation for the lost victim.

A wrongful death claim is a civil claim aimed at obtaining monetary damages for a loss caused by negligence or wrongdoing. If the victim would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim had the victim lived, then a wrongful death claim is the appropriate course of action after the victim’s death.

North Carolina General Statute 28A-18-2 explains the damages available in a wrongful death claim. Compensation can be provided for medical expenditures incurred in treating the victim’s car accident injuries before death. Funeral costs should be paid for, as well as a loss of the lifetime earnings the deceased would have had if the car accident had not resulted in an untimely death. Compensation to loved ones for lost companionship is also appropriate, as are punitive damages if the victim would have been able to recover them.

To obtain compensation for wrongful death, a civil lawsuit must be filed against those responsible. A plaintiff may have success in suing for car accident wrongful death if the plaintiff can prove the crash happened due to negligence, a violation of road safety rules, or intentional wrongdoing. It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove the car accident caused the wrongful death.

A Charlotte injury lawyer can provide assistance in determining if a wrongful death can give rise to a civil lawsuit after a car accident. Contact an attorney for help in making a case against a driver who caused a fatal crash.

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