Unfortunately, many North Carolina residents lose their lives as a result of negligence or intentional act on the part of another person. The at-fault person may be held financially responsible for the person’s death even though no criminal charges are filed or if they, a conviction is not obtained. The reason is that the proof required in a civil case is less stringent than that in a criminal trial.
Motor vehicle accidents caused by a negligent driver can form the basis of civil lawsuits. In addition, medical malpractice, criminal behavior or worker exposure to hazards in the workplace might be reasons for a civil suit.
Certain elements are required to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit. One is that the individual must be shown to be responsible by negligence or intent to harm and that it caused another individual’s death. Monetary injury caused by the death must be shown to have impacted family members and a personal representative must have been appointed for the deceased person’s estate.
Determination of loss may depend on various factors, including the age of the deceased, life expectancy and earning capacity. In some states, punitive damages may be awarded for malice or wanton or willful conduct. This may include damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the individual before death. These damages are determined on pain suffered, fear of death, duration and other factors.
The surviving family members who have lost a loved one through the negligent actions of another party may wish to consult an attorney. Although any compensation received through a wrongful death lawsuit will not ease their grief, it could help rectify some of the financial losses they have sustained.