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When a Fatal Accident Becomes a Wrongful Death Claim

Out of the tens of thousands of fatalities caused by accidents, many occur due to another person’s negligent actions. Unfortunately, not all of them qualify for a wrongful death claim. 

Despite your loved one’s death being caused by someone else’s negligence, you might still be ineligible for compensation. Your claim depends on state laws and the details of the fatal accident. 

You don’t have to prove you have a wrongful death claim on your own. A wrongful death lawyer can evaluate your case to prove negligence and help you file a successful wrongful death claim. 

When Does a Fatal Accident Become a Wrongful Death Claim?

A fatal accident becomes a wrongful death claim when your attorney can prove the four elements of negligence in your case. Here’s a quick summary of those elements: 

  • Duty of Care – Proving that the party responsible for the accident had a legal obligation to take reasonable care and avoid harming the deceased. Every driver has a duty of care towards other road users. 
  • Breach of a Duty of Care – Presenting evidence to show that the defendant did not take the reasonable care required. Examples include drunk driving, speeding, invisible signage, and so on. 
  • Causation Factor – For a fatal death to become a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the accident in question, and not any other external factor, caused the fatality. 
  • Proof of Damages from the Accident – The plaintiff presents proof of damages from the accident and fatality, such as medical bills, burial expenses, and lost wages, among others. 

How to File a Wrongful Death Claim

When your attorney determines that the fatal accident qualifies for a wrongful death claim, they’ll start the compensation process as soon as possible. Remember, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is only three years for North Carolina residents.

Usually, you or your attorney will send a demand letter to the liable party’s insurance company stating the facts of the case and the amount you’re seeking in compensation. The insurer may respond with their suggested offer, after which the negotiations and presentation of evidence begin. 

Unfortunately, there’s also a chance of the insurance provider denying your claim but consulting with an attorney can turn this decision around. An attorney can represent you throughout any negotiations or litigation. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

State laws are particular on who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased’s open estate. This person is called a personal representative and is likely listed on the will.

In case of no will, the court will appoint a party. This is often a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the deceased.  

Get Legal Support from a Wrongful Death Lawyer

When a loved one dies in an accident, it can be more painful to learn that another person’s recklessness caused their death. If this is the case, you and other survivors may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim. 

Get legal support from an experienced wrongful death attorney from The Nye Law Group during this difficult time. Call us at 912-200-5230 or complete the contact form below to get started with a free case evaluation.

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CONVENIENT LOCATIONS Throughout the Southeast

402 West Trade Street,
Suite 112
Charlotte, NC

704-862-4177 get directions

119 Southern Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31405

912-732-0249 get directions

402 West Trade Street,
Suite 112
Charlotte, NC

704-862-4177 get directions

119 Southern Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31405

912-732-0249 get directions
View all locations
CONTACT US

NO PRESSURE. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY. NO HIDDEN FEES.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 855-856-4212