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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Common myths about wrongful death claims

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Wrongful Death

When a loved one passes away due to the actions or negligence of another, the ensuing grief and confusion can be overwhelming. Misconceptions about the legal options available often arise from hearsay or misinformation, adding to your stress.

Addressing any confusion is vital. Misinformation can greatly affect your decisions during such a sensitive time, potentially complicating your path to resolution.

Who can file a wrongful death suit?

A major misconception is that any close associate of the deceased can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. In reality, only specific relatives or an estate representative have the legal standing to file these claims. This typically includes immediate family members such as spouses and children, and in some cases, parents.

Time limits for filing

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. This timeframe is crucial as missing this deadline usually means forfeiting the right to file the claim.

Types of damages recoverable

Many assume that compensation in wrongful death cases is limited to direct expenses like medical bills and funeral costs. However, you can also seek compensation for: 

  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before they died
  • Loss of companionship and emotional support

Dispelling myths for better understanding

It’s essential to understand these aspects of wrongful death claims. With accurate information, you can approach the situation with a clearer perspective and make informed decisions about your legal rights and options.