Too many car accidents around the Wilmington region result in fatalities each year. If you’ve lost a loved one to a motorist’s negligence, the financial and emotional challenges that follow can be difficult. Wrongful death claims are designed to address the losses – or legal damages – you suffer. An experienced Wilmington car accident lawyer can help you move forward with a wrongful death claim.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics in NC
The statistics related to fatal car accidents in North Carolina, according to WCNC, are worrying. Consider the following:
- The state had more deadly traffic accidents in 2021 than it had since 2007.
- In 2021, more than 1,700 people in North Carolina were killed in traffic accidents.
- There was a five percent increase in deadly accidents in 2021 over 2020.
- By September 2022, the state saw an increase in distracted driving fatalities – as compared to the same date in the prior year.
Causes of Fatal Auto Accidents
Fatal car crashes are often caused by the negligence of the other driver involved. There are many forms of driver negligence, including:
- Excess speed
- Noncompliance with the rules of the road
When a motorist fails to take their responsibility for the safety of everyone on the road seriously, fatal car accidents are a tragic result.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim Against Another Driver?
In North Carolina, only the estate of the person who lost their life to an at-fault driver can file the wrongful death claim. This is brought through the estate’s executor. Typically, the executor is named in the will of the decedent – or the person who lost their life. If there is no will, the court will generally appoint an executor.
The executor files the claim on behalf of the decedent’s survivors, including:
- The surviving spouse and children
- If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children and grandchildren
- If there are no surviving children or grandchildren, the surviving parents, grandparents, siblings, and aunts or uncles
In your wrongful death claim, you can seek compensation in all the following categories:
- The pain and suffering your loved one endured prior to succumbing to their injuries
- Medical bills your loved one accrued prior to succumbing to their injuries
- Lost income your loved one would have provided to your household had they survived
- The reasonable cost of your loved one’s funeral and burial services
- Lost services and assistance your loved one would have continued to provide around your home and in your lives
- The protection and care your loved one would have continued to provide
- The overall pain and suffering you continue to endure as a result of your loss
Our Wilmington car accident lawyers will advocate for a resolution that addresses your complete losses and pave the way toward healing.
Potential Punitive Damages
If the at-fault driver’s actions were highly egregious, the court may also award punitive damages. This is rare. The amount is designed to punish the at-fault driver and help dissuade other motorists from engaging in similar forms of negligence.
How Our Team Will Handle Your Fatal Car Accident Case
At Horton & Mendez, we take our role seriously and will communicate regularly with you as we:
- Calculate your complete damages
- Build your strongest wrongful death claim, which includes gathering all the available evidence and structuring it
- Ensure that you know what to expect along the way and help you make the right decisions for you as the need arises
- Communicate with the insurance company to protect you from the insurance representative’s tactics
- Negotiate for your claim’s best possible outcome
- Prepare to take your case to court in the face of any resistance to fair negotiation
While no settlement amount can return your lost loved one to you, a fair settlement can support you and your family as you move forward toward recovery.
An Experienced Wilmington Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Is on Your Side
At Horton & Mendez, we are experienced car accident attorneys in Wilmington with the skills to handle your wrongful death claim from start to finish. We’re committed to upholding your rights and best interests in the face of the tragedy you’ve experienced. Begin your case today by contacting us online or calling us at 910-405-7751.