Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Charlotte, NC Wrongful Death Attorney

Helping You Seek Justice For Your Loss

Have you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of a hospital, doctor, or other health care provider? Nothing can ever fix what the doctor’s negligence has done to your family, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you file a wrongful death suit to protect the future of your family.

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our Charlotte wrongful death lawyers have over 90 years of collective experience protecting families of deceased medical malpractice victims throughout North Carolina.

Best Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death And Medical Malpractice

Wrongful death can result from almost any medical malpractice issue. A medical malpractice wrongful death claim is made on behalf of the estate of the deceased, and the recovery is for your loved one’s pain and suffering, your family’s loss of income and future earning capacity, and the loss of companionship. Handling these cases since 1978, we know how to demonstrate the loss to your family in court, regardless of whether or not your loved one had a will.

The size of your family’s recovery depends on a variety of factors, including whether your loved one was married or had children, their employment status and the loss to the family members left behind.

Common Disputes in a Wrongful Death Case

Because investigations into wrongful death cases can be complex, there are a number of key issues that can complicate the legal process and cause many disputes. Some of the most common in Charlotte include the following.

Establishing Causation

Establishing causation in a wrongful death case is one of the largest points of contention. This is because it requires the plaintiff to prove that either the defendant’s deliberate actions or negligence is directly linked to the wrongful death. A defendant will be prepared to challenge this and argue that other pre-existing conditions or the actions of another person were a stronger contributing factor to the death.


Another contentious dispute in wrongful death cases concerns liability. This is the process of determining who is legally responsible for the death. If there are multiple defendants, they may attempt to shift the blame to another during the legal proceedings, which can complicate the case. A common example of this occurs in car accident cases when a driver tries to claim that another driver was more at fault than themselves.

Value of Damages

Calculating the total amount of damages in a wrongful death case is important. One of the calculations concerns how much financial support has been lost for certain family members now that the deceased individual is gone. Part of the settlement for this case would be issuing a financial award to compensate for this specific loss. Because this will require a liable party to pay, they will likely try to lessen the total amount of damages calculated.

Survivorship Claims

A survivorship claim deals with pain and suffering endured by the deceased from the first point of injury up until their death. Because the deceased is unable to testify, there will be disputes over the interpretation of evidence to make this determination. Common areas up for debate include the intensity and duration of the individual’s pain, medical costs incurred, and the emotional impact on the individual’s quality of life.

Eligibility of Claimants

There can be additional disputes over who is eligible to file the wrongful death claim and benefit from its awards. This is especially true in cases that have non-traditional family structures or when there is no will to rely on clear instructions from the deceased. Disputing the eligibility of distant relatives or ex-spouses is one of the most common issues contested in these discussions.

Statute of Limitations

North Carolina has a strict two-year requirement that must be met for an individual to pursue a wrongful death claim. Missing this deadline will eliminate the possibility of securing a financial award, no matter how clear the fault is. Statute of limitation disputes typically involve someone questioning if the deadline requirement has been met or challenging when the official two-year period should begin.

Contributory Negligence

If the wrongful death was partly the fault of the deceased, it could render the plaintiff unable to collect any damages whatsoever. If the defendant can successfully make this case, it would mean they don’t have to pay any compensation to the survivors. A defense attorney will take time to investigate the deceased’s actions and find any evidence that could point to their fault, while the plaintiff’s lawyers may attempt to argue that the fault was entirely the defendant’s.

Insurance Coverage

It’s not uncommon for details of insurance coverage to be disputed in the process of a wrongful death claim. These disputes are typically based on the extent and limits of the coverage. Sometimes, an insurance company might deny a claim by stating that a specific detail of the incident is not covered under the policy. This can be disputed in court and will call for a detailed analysis of the contract to be interpreted and negotiated between the plaintiff and the insurance company.

Effectively navigating these common disputes requires a strong grasp of wrongful death law and direct experience in negotiating in similar cases. Hiring a Charlotte wrongful death lawyer can fill in all of these gaps and help secure the most favorable compensation package possible in your case.

Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer FAQs

Q: Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Claim in North Carolina?

A: In most cases, the deceased’s immediate surviving family members will get the money in a wrongful death claim in North Carolina. If the deceased did not leave a will, North Carolina intestacy laws would dictate how the proceeds from the wrongful death settlement would be distributed. When there are no immediate family members, distant relatives are typically next in line. These funds will be distributed by an executor or administrator of the estate.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in North Carolina?

A: All wrongful death claims in North Carolina must be filed within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. This deadline is strict. If you fail to meet this deadline, the right to sue will be lost for good. This two-year grace period was designed to give people time to be comfortable with pursuing a claim. However, it’s also crucial not to let too much time go by before evidence becomes stale and memories fade.

Q: What Constitutes a Wrongful Death in North Carolina?

A: An official act of wrongful death in North Carolina occurs when someone dies at the hands of another individual’s wrongful act or negligent behavior. This can include accidents caused by another driver, medical malpractice, or even some passing away from the effects of a defective product. For a scenario to qualify as a wrongful death claim, there must be clear evidence that if the deceased survived, there would have been clear grounds for them to pursue a personal injury claim.

Q: How Do You Split a Wrongful Death Settlement in North Carolina?

A: Splitting up a wrongful death settlement in North Carolina is guided by the state’s intestacy laws. When there is no will in place, these laws will help allocate funds based on the closeness of different family relationships. For example, if the deceased had any surviving children, these individuals would likely receive the largest portion of the award compared to more distant relatives. The court will supervise this distribution process to ensure it remains fair and legally compliant.

Why File A Wrongful Death Suit in Charlotte, NC?

Families of the deceased victims of medical malpractice and doctor negligence file wrongful death claims for a variety of reasons. If your family has serious financial concerns after your loss, a wrongful death suit can help you make this important adjustment. It also provides closure and accountability for the untimely death of your loved one.

When you work with us, we will take the time to listen to all your concerns, and we will fight for the following:

  • Accountability for the person whose mistake caused the death
  • Compensation for damages
  • Justice to help prevent others from experiencing a similar fate

Tell Our Team What Happened

If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, start by reaching out to the legal team at Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC. We can offer you a free consultation with a skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney in Charlotte. Most importantly, we do not charge any fees for our services unless we win your case.

Call 704-343-0000 or complete an online form now to share the details of what happened with us.


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