Durham Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful Death Lawyers Fighting for You
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person, company or organization, a wrongful death lawyer at Riddle & Brantley may be able to help you seek justice.
We have been helping clients with wrongful death cases since 1985 and understand the devastation your family may be experiencing.
Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys know the law in North Carolina and are committed to helping you win the justice and compensation you deserve.
You can also complete the fast and easy online form if you prefer.
The case review is absolutely free and 100% confidential. There are no upfront costs or attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation for your loss.
Call (919) 728-1770 for a free case review today. We would love to help you seek justice if we can.
“No financial compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, but it is about justice. Those whose negligence results in death must be held accountable.” -Gene Riddle
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, it can be traumatic emotionally as well as financially.
At Riddle & Brantley, our wrongful death lawyers have the skill, experience, and resources you need during a very difficult time.
We are dedicated to helping people in the aftermath of their loss. There is no amount of money that can replace your loved one, but we are experienced in holding negligent parties accountable and can help fight for you and your family.
We can meet with you by appointment at our convenient Durham location, and can even come to you directly.
There are no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation for your loss.
Riddle & Brantley’s Commitment to Our Clients
The loss of a loved one can bring unimaginable suffering and grief.
We are here for you.
At Riddle & Brantley, our wrongful death lawyers, paralegals, case managers and investigators are compassionate and committed to justice for our clients.
We’ve represented hundreds of clients in wrongful death cases, including:
- $9,450,000 | Tractor-Trailer Accident & Wrongful Death — A family of four was traveling on a busy North Carolina highway when they were rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and instantly killed. Riddle & Brantley was contacted by the surviving family and immediately investigated the accident and filed suit. We even subpoenaed Google Maps for data to help prove liability. We ultimately obtained settlements totaling $9.45 million in compensation.
- $3,000,000 | Nursing Home Negligence & Wrongful Death — Riddle & Brantley fought for justice for surviving loved ones of an assisted living facility resident who died after contracting Hepatitis B as a result of mishandling of medical equipment. Attorney Donald Dunn litigated the case and ultimately obtained a judgment in Wayne County Superior Court for $3M in total damages.
- $2,250,000 | Auto Accident & Wrongful Death — Managing partner Gene Riddle took the case when a heavy truck crossed a center line and collided with our client head-on, instantly killing both parties. Working with attorney David Kirby of Kirby Edwards law firm in Raleigh, attorney Riddle oversaw a comprehensive investigation and advised defense counsel of his intent to file suit. Following extensive mediation proceedings, a total settlement of $2,250,000 was secured in favor of the Plaintiff’s surviving family.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.
“They turned a heartbreaking situation completely around.”
-Tonya Taylor, Riddle & Brantley client
What is the definition of wrongful death?
North Carolina Statute Section 28A-18-2 defines wrongful death as one caused “by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.”
When this type of death occurs, the person representing the deceased person’s estate may file a civil claim. This claim will seek damages for the wrongful death. Had the deceased victim survived the accident, he or she would have the right to file a personal injury claim. However, since the accident was fatal it is up to the decedent’s estate or representative (usually the next of kin which would be a surviving family member, including a wife, parent or child) to file a claim on behalf of the victim. The Clerk of Court in most cases wants the administrator of the estate to be a resident of North Carolina.
When filing a wrongful death claim in North Carolina, be aware of the following:
- Statute of limitations — Wrongful death claims have different deadlines for filing claims than personal injury lawsuits. Claimants have 2 years from the date of the victim’s death instead of 3 years to bring a claim. It is important not to miss the deadline.
- Damages recoverable — The claimant may seek recovery for the decedent’s damage, which may include pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the surviving family’s damages for loss of a loved member of the family.
- Eligibility — In the state of North Carolina, family members cannot file wrongful death claims on their own. They must leave legal action to the deceased person’s estate. A personal representative must file the claim on behalf of the estate and family. The decedent’s will may appoint this person, or we can help get a family member appointed with the clerk of court. Our wrongful death attorneys handle this in many cases.
When a wrongful death claim is successful, any compensation first goes to repaying the decedent’s estate for medical and funeral fees as well as court expenses. The remaining compensation then goes to beneficiaries.
Certain wrongful death cases result in additional punitive damages if the death was the result of gross negligence, malicious, or intent to harm. Punitive damages punish the defendant rather than reimburse an estate or family.
Do you have a wrongful death case in Durham or elsewhere in North Carolina?
Our wrongful death lawyers would love to help if we can.
Our attorneys have more than 220+ years of combined legal experience fighting for justice in North Carolina.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to another person, company or organization’s negligence, you may have a wrongful death case — and you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
Please call (919) 728-1770 to speak with a wrongful death attorney at Riddle & Brantley. We will review your case and advise you on your best available legal options.
There are no upfront costs or attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Since 1985, our North Carolina attorneys have handled all types of wrongful death cases throughout the state, including many in Durham and the surrounding Triangle.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck and tractor-trailer accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home accidents and neglect
- Defective medical device cases
- Dangerous drug cases
- Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases
- Animal attacks or dog bites
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Violent acts or criminal attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- And more…
What damages can I claim for wrongful death claims in North Carolina?
Wrongful death cases are emotional and trying for the family of the deceased. There is no way to put a monetary value on the loss of human life. North Carolina law allows for the estate and family members of the deceased to recover multiple types of damages, including:
One kind of recoverable damages includes those experienced by the deceased between the time of the accident and the time of death. These damages usually occur when there is not an immediate death following an accident. They can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages before the death and funeral and burial expenses.
Another recoverable damages category addresses losses experienced by the deceased. Financial damages, such as future lost wages, may represent what the deceased would have earned were it not for his or her untimely death.
Loss of Companion Damages
North Carolina law also allows immediate family members of the deceased to recover damages. The law usually refers to the deprivation of love and companionship the deceased would have otherwise provided to the surviving family members.
Punitive damages may be awarded by the court, as well. Punitive damages seek to discourage the reckless behavior that led to the accident in the first place.
However, courts rarely award punitive damages in civil lawsuits.
Why hire a wrongful death attorney?
Wrongful death cases can be complex, and each has its own unique circumstances, which may impact the level of compensation you receive from your claim.
Defendants will often do everything they can to avoid paying damages or acknowledging liability.
A wrongful death lawyer can help.
When someone is killed in North Carolina due to the negligence of another, a criminal act, or a defective product or medical device or dangerous drug, an experienced lawyer can guide you through the aftermath and seek justice and compensation for your loss.
Let Riddle & Brantley help.
Our wrongful death attorneys have been serving Durham and greater North Carolina for more than three decades. We believe Justice Counts for you and your loved ones.
For a FREE consultation please call (919) 728-1770 or complete the short form below.
There is no obligation and there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and recover compensation for your loss.
Call (919) 728-1770 today for a free case review.
You don’t have to go through this alone.