North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorneys
If a family member has died due to another person's reckless or negligent actions, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer in Winston-Salem NC to discuss your case. Wrongful death lawyers aggressively pursue payment of all legal claims that arise from a motor vehicle collision that results in the loss of a spouse, child, sibling, grandparent or other close family member or loved one.
The wrongful death attorneys at Nagle & Associates have successfully collected generous compensation for clients who have lost loved ones in automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. These are the only type of cases we handle, and we are here to help you tell your story and win your case against all drivers and insurance carriers who share responsibility for the fatal accident. Our reduced legal fee of 25% is also of great benefit, as it leaves a larger share of any settlement payment or trial verdict with the family when the wrongful death case is over.
Who Is Permitted to File Wrongful Death Claims?
A wrongful death claim is properly brought by the executor or administrator of the estate of the fatal accident victim. The administrator/executor is the “personal representative” of the estate, and is the party who hires an attorney and prosecutes the wrongful death claim. Those who collect wrongful death proceeds are surviving family members, specifically those who would collect under the NC Intestacy laws. Typically this is the surviving spouse and/or surviving children. With the assistance of a Winston-Salem wrongful death lawyer, these "heirs" must prove that the defendant exhibited unlawful behavior at the time of the incident. Careless truckers, drunk drivers, or drivers who fail to notice and avoid motorcycles are just a few examples of why people file wrongful death claims.
What Damages are Compensable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Medical bills incurred during life-saving efforts, lost wages and financial support that would have been provided by the deceased, funeral expenses and other expenditures that could have been reasonably anticipated by dependents of the deceased are all compensable. If the victim suffered before they passed due to their injuries, “conscious pain and suffering of the decedent” is also collectable. Since every case is different, you should always consult with one of our Winston-Salem wrongful death lawyers at Nagle & Associates to find out if you have a case and how much compensation you may be entitled to according to North Carolina law.
When your wrongful death lawyer estimates the amount of compensation you could possibly be awarded, they take several factors into consideration that they know the judge and jury would consider. These factors include age of your loved one at the time of death, income/earning capacity of your loved one, medical expenses, funeral expenses and the present circumstances of the loved one's dependents (if applicable). Judges or juries handing down wrongful death awards do not base the amount on subjective reasoning. Instead, compensation is based on documented evidence provided by your attorney to the court. Wrongful death settlements can range from tens of thousands up to millions of dollars, depending on these factors.
Damages to be considered and paid for include the loss of companionship and emotional support, especially if a spouse or parent is the victim of a fatal accident. Your wrongful death lawyer can tell you more about compensation for emotional support during your initial consultation. Call Nagle & Associates today at (336) 723-4500 for immediate legal support.
Payout of Wrongful Death Settlements
Defendants losing wrongful death lawsuits typically pay settlements through a liability insurance company if they were covered at the time of the accident. If defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit do not have insurance, we are often able to secure payment through uninsured motorist coverage on multiple policies for the vehicle involved in the collision and also for all family-owned policies in the decedent’s household. When we prove that the at-fault driver was employed, the employer’s commercial insurance policy can also be compelled to pay wrongful death damages. Also, where more than one party caused the fatality, all responsible people and companies should be joined and forced to make payment to surviving family members.
Are Wrongful Death Awards Taxable?
As a rule, a wrongful death settlement is not taxable as long as payments are legally considered compensatory. However, punitive damages awarded by the judge to plaintiffs in a wrongful death case could be subject to tax regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service.
Compensation for loss of consortium and pain and suffering is the standard judgment in most wrongful death lawsuits. Punitive damages are at the discretion of the jury or judge and depend on the egregiousness of the defendant's behavior. For example, compensatory and punitive damages are often awarded in cases where a loved one died due to a drunk driver operating their vehicle at high speeds without regard for the welfare of others.
Contact Nagle & Associates Today to Discuss Your Case with a Wrongful Death Attorney
We have helped maximize compensation awards for many Winston-Salem residents who have lost a loved one due to the negligent, reckless and dangerous behavior of another. Call our firm today at (336) 723-4500 for an immediate free legal consultation. We are available now to provide you with experienced, professional representation throughout the process of identifying all responsible parties and collecting the compensation you rightly deserve for the loss of a loved one.