Losing someone you care about is never easy. When that death is the result of someone else’s negligence, it can be an even bigger tragedy. Although nothing can make up for the death of a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party can help relieve some of the financial burdens. Unfortunately, wrongful death cases are still widely misunderstood, which may prevent some people from seeking the compensation they deserve.
Here are the most common misconceptions about wrongful death cases.
You Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Whenever You Want
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the decedent’s death. If you fail to file your wrongful death lawsuit within that time frame, you may lose your right to compensation. Therefore, you should speak to a wrongful death lawyer about filing a lawsuit as soon as possible.
The Negligent Party’s Insurance Company Will Provide Fair Compensation
If there is sufficient evidence that someone’s negligence caused your family member’s death, you might assume that the insurance company would be sympathetic and offer you a fair settlement. However, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will be fair to you. It’s important to understand that insurance companies care about their bottom line first and don’t have your best interests at heart.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Only Apply to Medical Malpractice
It’s true that many wrongful death lawsuits result from medical malpractice. Patients can suffer fatal injuries if doctors or other medical professionals are negligent during treatment. However, several other accidents can cause a wrongful death, such as vehicle accidents, defective products and slip and fall accidents.
Medical and Funeral Expenses Are the Only Damages Available
Medical and funeral expenses are one of the common damages available in wrongful death cases. However, they might not be the only damages your family is entitled to. You may also receive compensation for lost income, mental anguish, loss of companionship and loss of benefits.
You Don’t Need a Lawyer
Although you’re not required to hire a lawyer to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s highly recommended. Wrongful death cases are very complex and you don’t want to make a mistake that could jeopardize your right to compensation. A wrongful death lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your case and handle negotiations with the insurance company. With a skilled lawyer on your side, you have a better chance of getting fair compensation.