If you suffered the death of a loved one due to someone’s negligence or carelessness, contact DeMayo Law Offices to discuss your options. We understand the devastation of losing someone, especially when it was avoidable. It’s our job to make sure liable parties are held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
A wrongful death case can result from any number of situations, such as a:
- Car accident
- Bicycle accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Truck accident
- Workplace injury or disease
- Defective product or dangerous drug
- Premises liability injury
- Pedestrian accident
- Defective medical device
Our Hickory, NC wrongful death attorneys will provide you with the emotional and legal support you need to seek justice for your loved one and move forward with your life. You deserve compensation for your loss and the suffering you had to endure.
Our award-winning attorneys are highly experienced in these cases and we can help. Call us at (828) 345-1111 and schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll review your case and let you know how we can help you recover a monetary award from the at-fault party.
What Is the Definition of Wrongful Death?
North Carolina Code 28A-18-2 defines wrongful death as a wrongful act, neglect, or default of a party that leads to someone’s death, and if the person survived, they would be entitled to compensation for damages.
DeMayo Law Offices understands no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one. However, you shouldn’t have to suffer the burden of financial strain while you’re grieving for a loved one who was taken from you too soon. Compensation from a wrongful death claim can help remove the burden of losing an income or struggling with funeral and medical expenses. In addition, a wrongful death claim will help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Typically, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in civil court. If they’re unable to serve as the personal representative, or if there’s no estate plan, then the surviving spouse, adult child, or parent could step in as the personal representative.
Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Case
When your loved one dies due to negligence, there are various damages you can claim for compensation. The damages available would include your loved one’s losses from the date of the injury until they died. You also might be able to seek compensation for your damages, such as emotional grief related to your loss.
Types of damages you could pursue includes:
- Expenses for medical treatment, hospitalization, etc. for the fatal injury
- Deceased’s pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the deceased’s income, care, companionship, assistance, or services
- Punitive damages
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
There are elements in a case based on negligence that you must prove to win compensation. If you can’t prove these elements existed and that they led to your loved one’s death, you likely won’t have a strong case to move forward with. These elements include:
- Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care;
- Breach of duty: The defendant breached that duty;
- Causation: The defendant’s action or inaction caused the fatal injury or death; and
- Damages: The plaintiff incurred damages.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney On Your Side
Wrongful death cases are complicated. There are various aspects you need to prove and relevant evidence you need to obtain. Seeking legal representation could ensure a higher financial award than if you chose to pursue a claim alone.
At DeMayo Law Offices, our Hickory, NC wrongful death attorneys have the experience and knowledge to locate key pieces of evidence and perform an in-depth investigation into the events that lead to your loved one’s wrongful death. When you lose someone, it’s overwhelming. The last thing you should worry about is working on a legal case. When you hire us, we will take care of everything for you, including:
- Filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the liable party
- Getting statements from those who witnessed the fatal injury or death
- Requesting copies of the deceased’s medical records
- Taking pictures of the accident scene
- Obtaining video surveillance
- Collecting physician notes
- Finding expert witnesses to testify in court
- Negotiating a settlement or arguing for a favorable jury verdict
What’s the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Suit?
If you want to sue the negligent party for their reckless actions, you must adhere to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit victims are given to file a lawsuit with the courts.
When it comes to a wrongful death case, you have to follow a two-year statute of limitations. To move forward with a case, you need to file suit within two years from your loved one’s death. The deadline is strict, and if you miss it, you won’t be able to seek compensation now or in the future.
Preparing for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You might think a wrongful death case is straightforward. Someone died because of another’s negligence, so they should be held responsible for their actions. Unfortunately, seeking justice for your loved one isn’t going to be easy. You need sufficient evidence to prove the elements of negligence and the resources to fight against the responsible party’s defense attorneys.
DeMayo Law Offices has resources that most clients don’t. We’re able to take proactive legal steps to preserve and secure evidence that might otherwise be hard to retrieve. We’re also able to perform a thorough investigation into what happened and how your loved one died. With decades of experience, we know the steps we need to take to build a solid case. In most cases, we will be able to reach a settlement, without going through a lengthy lawsuit. However, sometimes insurance companies are unwilling to offer a fair settlement. When that happens, we are not afraid to file suit.
In a lawsuit, the first step is to prepare the complaint, a legal document that outlines information relating to the lawsuit. Along with the complaint, we’ll also file a summons, which notifies the negligent party that someone is suing them. After that, the lawsuit will proceed between both sides during the discovery process.
During discovery, the attorneys on both sides will investigate the wrongful death details and collect evidence to prove their arguments. Discovery is also the time to take depositions, which are interviews of the plaintiff and defendant that get recorded. Mediations might occur to try to come to a settlement agreement.
If it’s impossible to reach a settlement, both parties will go to trial, and their attorneys will argue their cases in front of a judge and jury. It will be our job to prove that the defendant caused your loved one’s death with the evidence we present.
What Makes DeMayo Law Offices, Different from Other Law Firms
Not only do our Hickory, NC wrongful death attorneys have a combined experience of 150 years, we also work hard to give back to the community. We participate in different community service projects and support various organizations, such as:
- Angel Tree Toy Drive
- Annual Food Drive
- Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program
- Speakers Bureau
- Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
We believe it’s our duty to serve our community as best we can, not just with legal services, but with fundraising efforts as well. We want to create a place where we can live better and help those in need.
We built an excellent reputation in Hickory and throughout the state of North Carolina. A peer-review system, Martindale-Hubbell, gave Michael A. DeMayo, our lead attorney, the highest preeminent AV rating, a prestigious honor. We also received awards and accolades from various legal organizations for our success within the legal field and the results we reached for our clients.
What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Hiring a Hickory, NC wrongful death attorney is the best thing you can do while pursuing compensation from the at-fault party. If you don’t hire a lawyer, the opposing attorneys will likely try to intimidate you into accepting a low settlement amount or scare you into dropping the case entirely.
When you hire an experienced attorney from DeMayo Law Offices, we’ll make sure everyone treats you fairly and you win the monetary award you deserve for your loved one. You won’t be alone during this tough time in your life. We’ll be by your side to help you get through it.
We take wrongful death cases on a contingency-fee-basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront fees or costs. We won’t take any legal fees unless we’re able to secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict for you. If we lose your case, you won’t owe us anything.
We also provide prospective clients with an initial consultation at no risk or obligation. We’ll review the details of your loved one’s death and let you know if it’s something we can work on for you. Our team is available 24/7.
Hire a Hickory, NC Wrongful Death Attorney You Can Trust
At DeMayo Law Offices, we know the pain you’re feeling. You lost someone you love under unfair circumstances. No one should go through what you’re going through right now. We know you want to seek justice and make sure the negligent party doesn’t do this to another family.
You can depend on our Hickory personal injury attorneys to fight hard for you and ensure you receive the financial award you need to pay for your loved one’s losses and your pain and suffering. You deserve closure for this traumatic situation, and we will work efficiently to get that for you.
To find out more about how we can help you with your wrongful death case, call us today at (828) 345-1111.