What are the damages in a wrongful death case?
In North Carolina, damages recoverable for wrongful death include:
- Expenses for treatment incident to the injury resulting in death up to $4,500.00 or 50% of the net recovery, whichever is less;
- Compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent;
- The reasonable funeral expenses of the decedent;
- The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered, including but not limited to compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected;
- Net income of the decedent,
- Service, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damage recovered;
- Such punitive damages as the decedent could have recovered had the decedent survived, and punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death of the decedent through malice or willful or wanton conduct.
- Nominal damages when the jury so finds.
In some cases it may be necessary to hire an economic expert to determine the present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered. This can be particularly important when the decedent was gainfully employed prior to death. An attorney can help you determine the value of these damages and whether any expert testimony would be beneficial or necessary.