Goldsboro Wrongful Death Lawyer

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy

If you lost your loved one unnecessarily as the result of the negligence of another, then the grieving process may be even more complicated.

In legal terms, “wrongful death” means that the death was preventable and happened at the hands of another due to carelessness or negligence. Simply stated, your loved one should be alive right now. However, the personal injury lawyers can help get the justice your lost loved one deserves.

Wrongful death lawyers and staff understand the very sensitive nature of these cases. We treat every fatal accident claim respectfully and always honor our client's wishes regarding the case.

With more than 160 years combined legal experience, our Goldsboro wrongful death attorneys can help you determine the best course of action in your individual situation beginning with a free consultation.

We can answer your questions about wrongful death claims and explain your legal options. Our personal injury lawyers know what a wrongful act from someone else's negligence is, and our law firm fights for financial support and punitive damages to pay for the medical attention provided and all other costs.

Injured in Goldsboro? Contact Us Today!

Important Wrongful Death Resources

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  • Clients’ Testimonials - Read more from our client testimonials. Read More

What are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

Wrongful deaths can occur from virtually any kind of accident. However, some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:

Filing a successful wrongful death claim is complex.

Surviving family members must have an experienced North Carolina wrongful death lawyer guide them through the process.

At Riddle & Brantley, we will explain the specifics of filing a claim and answer all your questions so you can make informed decisions.

What is the North Carolina Wrongful Death Statute?

North Carolina Wrongful Death Statute

North Carolina law includes a specific statute addressing wrongful deaths. The statute is N.C.G.S. § 28A-18.2. Under these provisions, you typically set up an estate with the clerk’s office after a loved one’s wrongful death.

This estate should be created in the county of your loved one’s residency. If your loved one has a will, then the will may determine who will serve as administrator of the estate.

Generally, the spouse or an adult child serves as the administrator. In that process of setting up an estate, the next of kin will be named as possible beneficiaries of any proceeds from a wrongful death action.

The estate is the entity that has the right and ability to pursue the legal action. The administrator of the estate is the one who has the right to retain a wrongful death lawyer for the estate and all possible beneficiaries.

The estate may recover money damages on behalf of the loved one and his or her surviving next of kin or beneficiaries.

It is important to note that any recovery from a wrongful death claim is not considered an asset of the estate. Therefore, it is not subject to payment of other debts of the estate.

It is also important to understand that one of the major differences between wrongful death cases and personal injury claims is that the statute of limitations is different.

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years. By contrast, you have three years to file a personal injury case.

What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The damages recoverable in a wrongful death case are as follows, according to North Carolina statutes:

  • Expenses for medical care, treatment and hospitalization.
  • Pain and suffering. This concerns the nature, extent and degree of injury, and the length of time your loved one endured this pain.
  • Reasonable funeral expenses. At Riddle & Brantley, we have never encountered an issue with determining if an amount is “reasonable”.
  • Present monetary value of your deceased loved one to the next of kin. This is the most difficult damage to determine because no life can easily be measured by money. The law contains no fixed formula and jury instructions state that the application of logic and common sense should determine fair compensation. However, the North Carolina wrongful death statute provides some guidance, and the court typically considers:
  • The net income that the loved one would have earned during his or her lifetime.
  • The services, care, protection and assistance he or she may have given to the next of kin.
  • Society and companionship, as well as comfort and guidance for his or her next of kin. In determining these values, the courts must consider your loved one’s life expectancy. We can estimate life expectancy using predetermined tables set forth in our rules of evidence. Clearly, these calculations can be difficult. Thus, on occasion we must hire an economic expert to help calculate and potentially testify regarding these calculations.

Our most challenging and difficult wrongful death cases involve the deaths of children and young parents because of the severity of the permanent emotional impact on the parents, children, and other loving family members. No amount of money can replace a life. However, we work hard to find all possible avenues of compensation to help you hold the negligent party accountable.

At Riddle & Brantley, our lawyers understand the difficulty of losing a loved one. We can help you hold the negligent or careless person or entity that caused the fatal accident accountable for your loved one’s death. We can work on your behalf to achieve the maximum compensation available to your family, because Justice Counts©.

Located in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Kinston, and Jacksonville, North Carolina, our wrongful death attorneys are able to help families that have lost a loved one throughout the entire state, and elsewhere as needed. If you wish to learn more about your legal options, then please call us at (919) 778-9700 or complete a free case evaluation. Get the help you need, TODAY!