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Wrongful Death FAQs

Wrongful Death FAQs

Bradley Law Group represents families that have lost a loved one due to negligence.  We know that this is a terribly difficult time for families, so we try to make things as easy as possible.  Our goal is to take some of the weight off your shoulders so that you can focus on healing.  We will gladly speak with you at no charge to discuss your case and answer your questions.  In the meantime, here are some common questions and answers about wrongful death cases:

 

Who can file a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one?

North Carolina law explains that the wrongful death claim belongs to the deceased person’s estate.  This means that an estate will need to be opened with the appropriate county Clerk Of Court before a wrongful death claim can be pursued.  Just because you are related to the deceased person, that does not give you the right to pursue a recovery.  Once the deceased person’s estate has been opened, the Clerk of Court will appoint an Administrator for the estate.  The Administrator (usually a family member) is then authorized to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate.

 

Who gets the money from a wrongful death settlement?

North Carolina law sets forth that settlement funds are paid to the estate’s heirs pursuant to “intestate succession”.  Intestate succession is a statutory method of dividing a person’s estate among various family members.  The distribution of funds in your case will depend on what heirs have been left by the decedent when he or she passed.  Intestate succession is complex and is case specific.  Please speak with one of our lawyers so that we can explain how it will apply in your case.

 

Should I speak to any insurance companies before I speak with a lawyer?

No!

 

Should I sign a medical authorization allowing an insurance company to search the decedent’s medical records?

No!

 

Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement about the Decedent or the facts surrounding Decedent’s death?

No!

 

Does Bradley Law Group have much experience handling wrongful death cases?

Yes!  Bradley Law Group has represented families in wrongful death claims for twenty (20) years.  We have successfully settled and litigated many wrongful death cases across North Carolina.

 

Do I have to go to one of Bradley Law Group’s office locations to start my case?

No!  We can get started by speaking over the phone.  Representation documents can be sent and signed electronically through your email or text message.  If you do not use email, we can have one of our team members meet with you at your home or other location of your choice.  Whenever an in-person meeting is necessary, we have locations throughout North Carolina for your convenience.

 

If Bradley Law Group represents my family in a wrongful death case, does that mean that we have to go to Court?

No.  We are successful in settling many of our cases through private negotiations.  (Outside of Court)  However, we are ready to litigate your case should that become necessary.

 

How do legal fees work in a wrongful death case?

At Bradley Law Group, you will not pay anything up front.  We operate on a “contingent fee” basis.  This means that Bradley Law Group is paid a percentage of the overall recovery at the end of your case.  We make things easy for our clients by making sure that we only get paid when YOU get paid.  No recovery = no legal fee.

 

How much is my Wrongful Death case worth?

North Carolina General Statute 28A-18-2 sets forth the damages that can be recovered in a Wrongful Death case.  These damages include:

  1. Expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization, incident to the injury resulting in death;
  2. Compensation for pain and suffering for the decedent;
  3. The reasonable funeral expenses of the decedent;
  4. The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered, including, but not limited to compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected:
  5. Net income of the decedent;
  6. Services, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered;
  7. Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered;
  8. Such punitive damages as the decedent could have recovered pursuant to Chapter 1D of the General Statutes had the decedent survived, and punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death of the decedent through malice or willful or wanton conduct as defined in G.S. 1D-5.
  9. Nominal damages when the jury so finds.

 

To get an idea of your case value, please call and speak with one of our lawyers.  We can discuss your case and strategies to maximize value.

 

How long will my case take?

Bradley Law Group was built from ground up to handle injury and wrongful death cases.  As a consequence, we can reduce the amount of time that it takes to complete most cases.  While we focus on moving cases along as quickly as possible, we will never sacrifice quality for speed.  We will gladly speak with you about your case to give you an idea of how long your case might take.

 

Remember, each and every case is unique.  While FAQ’s are helpful, there is no substitute for speaking with our lawyers about your case.  We will gladly give you a free consultation.