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Wrongful Death Attorney in Dunn

Offering Compassionate Support and Experienced Legal Representation

The sudden death of a loved one is painful and difficult to deal with, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with all the decisions you need to make and legal options to consider. In Dunn and the rest of North Carolina, wrongful death claims require a sensitive yet assertive approach, and having a compassionate, understanding and knowledgeable attorney during this time can make all the difference. The attorneys at our firm can provide the information you need to pursue the compensation you’re entitled to and hold the responsible parties accountable.

If your loved one was killed suddenly, contact the attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates to find out whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Are There Specific Situations That Qualify for Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions, and they can be filed by the executor of the deceased’s estate up to two years after the date of death. A wrongful death claim can come about either after a fatal accident or when someone is killed through a criminal act. To qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, the situation must meet the following requirements:

  • There must have been a duty of care between the defendant and the victim.
  • That duty of care must have been breached by the defendant’s actions.
  • The victim must have died.
  • It is more likely than not that the victim would still be alive if not for the defendant’s actions.

If you believe that your situation meets these requirements or you have questions about whether a wrongful death claim is the right approach, our attorneys can help.

How Do I Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?

The first step in pursuing a wrongful death case is talking to an experienced attorney. Keep in mind that the executor of the estate is the only person who can file the wrongful death claim. While you can still meet with an attorney to get information and find out your options, it may be better to wait until the will goes through probate and the family finds out who was named as executor.

Once an executor has been named, an attorney can evaluate the case and determine if it meets the requirements for a wrongful death claim. If so, they can start working with you to gather evidence and make the filing.

Once the other party has been served, you have the option to attempt to settle out of court or go to trial. Which option is best depends on a variety of factors, such as how long you’re able to wait for compensation and what the other party’s settlement offer is. An attorney should always review any offers and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you’re getting a fair settlement.

Is There a Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action?

Wrongful death claims and survival actions are commonly used interchangeably, but these are actually different legal actions. Wrongful death claims cover damages that happen after the victim’s death. Examples include the cost of funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship and guidance, and the pain and suffering the family has endured as a result of the death.

A survival action, on the other hand, focuses on the damages incurred from the time of the incident to the time of death. For example, if the victim was injured and received medical treatment before they passed away, a survival action could provide compensation for medical bills or for the victim’s pain and suffering.

It’s possible to file both a survival action and a wrongful death claim, and it’s common practice for these to be done at the same time. If you have questions about this process, our attorneys can help.

Is It Possible to Negotiate a Settlement Out of Court?

Many families desire to pursue legal action against the other party to get closure or hold them accountable. But the truth is that many families are in need of financial support when there is a sudden death of an income earner, and negotiating a settlement instead of going through a lengthy trial process can help you access those funds more quickly. However, it’s important to ensure that you have an attorney on your side as you go through this process.

It can be tempting to take the first offer you get, but it may not be reflective of the fair value for your losses. Your attorney will talk with you about how much you may be able to get if you went to court and won and what is a reasonable amount to settle for to avoid the time and expense of a trial. Remember that you are never forced to accept a settlement offer, and you are always free to pursue the case so that it goes in front of and is decided by a jury.

What Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Do?

Very few people are prepared to go through a wrongful death lawsuit when their loved one dies. It’s new territory to navigate, and you need the experience and support of someone who understands the legal system and has a track record of successfully resolving these cases. This is where a wrongful death attorney comes in. They have extensive knowledge of the civil legal system in North Carolina and are able to tell you what your options are. They can also help you understand how likely it is that you would win your case if it went to trial and provide counsel on how much compensation you could receive.

If you have questions about the benefits of hiring a wrongful death attorney, call Brent Adams & Associates at 910-892-8177 to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.