In North Carolina as in most states, drivers of automobiles are required to have liability insurance. If a person is injured by the driver of an automobile in North Carolina they may be entitled to compensation.
Even if the driver of the car who injured you had no insurance, you still may be able to recover under your own policy so long as you have uninsured coverage. In North Carolina, we are one of the few states which still applies the "contributory negligence" doctrine. Under this doctrine, if it is determined by a judge or jury that the plaintiff was even 1% at fault, they may be barred from recovering anything. The laws and regulations related to insurance are complex, and if you are injured in an accident involving an automobile you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney immediately to assist you with your matter.
In NC, as in most states, when a person is killed as an approximate result of a person or corporation's negligence, or other misconduct, the personal representative of the decedent's estate can bring an action for compensation. NC's wrongful death statute is enumerated in N.C.G.S. section 28A-18. The damages which can be recovered include compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent, expenses for medical care as a result of the injury, funeral expenses, and the net present value of the decedent to the persons entitled to recover for damages including but not limited to the net income of the decedent, services, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, in society, companionship, comfort, etc. Also, in certain cases, punitive damages can be recovered. For instance if a death is caused by malice or willful or wanton conduct on behalf of the defendant.
While it is difficult to imagine trying to place a dollar value on a person's life, after an individual has been killed, the only remedy under the law is recovery of monetary damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, it is ultimately up to a jury to have the responsibility to place a dollar value on the decedent's life.
There are specific procedural requirements which must be met before an action for a wrongful death can be brought. They can get complicated and anyone with a potential wrongful death claim should consult with an attorney immediately to discuss the potential of bringing an action.
The beneficiaries of a wrongful death action are the decedent's survivors. Beneficiaries are determined by the intestate succession act. A decedent's will is not controlling with respect to the proceedings of a wrongful death action.
In NC, as in most states, a person injured on the job is entitled to compensation under the NC's workers compensation act. However, many times the workers eligibility can be questioned and the amount of compensation can be questioned. If a worker is injured on the job, they should immediately notify their employer and seek appropriate medical attention. With some exceptions, no recovery may be made unless written notice is given to the employer within 30 days of the occurrence of the accident or death
While in some cases it may not be necessary to retain the services of an attorney, because of the complexity of the laws and potential pitfalls, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney practicing in the area of worker's compensation.
The Harrington Law Firm has successfully represented businesses and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants in civil law suits. If there is a claim against you or if you have a claim against someone else, The Harrington Law Firm can help you resolve your disputes. Fees and terms vary upon the circumstances of the litigation so contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your particular situation.