Wrongful Death FAQ

When a family loses someone to what's known as a "wrongful death," it can be emotionally devastating and incredibly challenging to overcome. Even though many people will say one death is just as hard to deal with as another, the truth is when the loss of a loved one is not only unexpected but caused by another's negligence, there are a lot of other emotions besides grief that one has to deal with.

There are also usually a lot of questions that need to be answered too during this troublesome time. So, here, our wrongful death attorney in Wilmington NC answers some of our most frequently asked questions about wrongful death.

#1: Do all States Adhere to the Same Wrongful Death Laws?

No. Every state has its own unique laws governing wrongful death situations. For instance, some have different statutes of limitations and some only allow certain types of damages to awarded. As a result, it is important to determine the laws of the state in which you bring a wrongful death suit.

#2: Can a Wrongful Death Suit Be Filed in a Case Where an Unborn Fetus Dies?

In order for a wrongful death action to be considered, most states require that the child first be born alive. As a result, the death of an unborn fetus may not qualify for a wrongful death suit, but it is always recommended to speak with a wrongful death attorney in case the state has any special exemptions that your case might fall under.

#3: What Happens if a Plaintiff Dies Before Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If an individual was injured and dies before they were able to file a personal injury lawsuit, the family may be able to file a wrongful death action. But, this can be done only when the victim dies as a result of their injuries. If their death was caused by natural causes or by an act not related to their injury, then odds are the wrongful death case would be dismissed.

#4: Are Punitive Damages Allowed in Wrongful Death Cases?

Most states do not allow punitive damages to be awarded in wrongful death cases. To be sure, however, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney as some states have specific statutes that allow for the recovery of punitive damages.

#5: Can a Wrongful Death Case Be Brought if the Decedent Never Held a Job?

Yes. Just because the decedent didn't have a job doesn't mean that he or she didn't contribute to the family. For instance, if the decedent was a stay at home caretaker or homemaker, their contributions are considered "pecuniary losses" and therefore, they're quantifiable in a wrongful death action.

#6: Can a Family Sue for a Decedent's Pain and Suffering?

Yes. If the decedent endured pain and suffering prior to their death, then the family will be able to file for pain and suffering damages in their wrongful death case.

#7: What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Wrongful Death Cases?

A criminal wrongful death case is one in which the death was caused by someone who was engaging in a criminal activity at the time. An example of this would be when a bystander gets hit by a stray bullet during a bank robbery. A civil case, on the other hand, involves a wrongful death that was caused by simple negligence. In a criminal case, the defendant will usually receive jail time if convicted, while in a civil case, the court usually rules for the defendant to pay a monetary judgment.

#8: Can a Wrongful Death Action Be Filed for the Death of an Elderly Person or Child?

Yes, as long as the death was caused by intentionally or unintentionally negligent actions. Keep in mind, the damages awarded for such cases tend to be significantly smaller than wrongful death cases involving adults.

Need Advice for a Wrongful Death Action? Call Bain & Rodzik Today

If you recently lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of an individual, group, or company, contact Bain & Rodzik today and we can help. Our experienced attorney in Wilmington NC will look over your case and help you prepare and file your claim.

We understand how hard it is to keep moving on after the sudden loss of a loved one. Let us handle your wrongful death action so you can concentrate on helping your family make it through this terrible time.

To get your wrongful death action started, contact Bain & Rodzik today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation. We're here to help, so call now!