Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits After a North Carolina Truck Accident
As you know, truck accidents in North Carolina have a significant risk of causing serious injury. Trucks—especially large, commercial “big rigs”—have an enormous advantage in size and weight over passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. And that means a huge transfer of momentum and kinetic energy when the truck collides with another object.
Sometimes the damage goes beyond ruptured spleens, shattered ribs, or even traumatic amputation of a limb. Sometimes the truck accident leads to death for one or more passengers.
We have emphasized that one of the best recourses for negligent traffic injuries is to demand compensation from the person at fault. A fatal accident presents a few legal puzzles. It’s clear that the deceased person cannot file a lawsuit in his own name, but justice demands that the negligent driver be called to account for his behavior. The solution to this puzzle is what attorneys call a wrongful death lawsuit.
The legal process explained
The only person who has the legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina is the personal representative of the deceased person. This would be the executor or administrator of the estate, if one is named in the deceased person’s will, or a person appointed by a judge if the accident victim did not leave a will.
The personal representative may hire a Wilmington truck accident lawyer to represent the family’s interests in a lawsuit against the truck driver or the trucker’s insurance company. The attorney will attempt to negotiate with the other side to settle the case out of court, but will take the case to the jury if there is no reasonable settlement offer.
Financial recovery is potentially available for:
- Medical expenses of the deceased person
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost future income
- Lost services in the home
- Lost government and employment benefits (medical or dental care, pension rights, retirement accounts, and the like)
- Loss of companionship
- Mental and emotional suffering
Seeking justice after a North Carolina wrongful death truck accident
After a fatal New Hanover County truck accident, there is a two-year period to file a wrongful death lawsuit. So, while the North Carolina statute of limitations provides some time for grieving after your family member’s death, the clock is already ticking. The truck driver and his insurance company are hoping that you will forget this time limit.
You can call Speaks Law Firm in Wilmington today at 877-593-4233 to schedule a consultation about your case. You will find us very sensitive to your recent loss. There is no charge for your first consultation; in fact, we will not ask you for any money unless and until you win a verdict or obtain a settlement.
Reach out to our team today. Let us explain how we can get your family the largest recovery available for your loss.