In 2012, a staggering 161 motorcyclists were killed in North Carolina. Those fallen bikers are not just statistics; they were loved people that families and friends tragically and unexpectedly lost.
Horrifically, the biker who died is at fault less than 25 percent of the time, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); some reports indicate the car or truck driver to be at fault as often as 89 percent of the time in a motorcycle accident.
A fatal motorcycle accident is especially devastating to the surviving families. Often times, the grief-stricken family scrambles to get by financially during a time when its focus should be on healing themselves and honoring their loved one, not worrying about the payment of funeral expenses while simultaneously experiencing a loss of income.
Even when the deceased has a life insurance police, it can take a long time before the survivors receive the claim’s payout they are entitled to. To help these families, North Carolina enacted a wrongful death statute.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim exists when a person dies because of the wrongful act, fault or neglect of another person. It allows a legal claim to be brought for the damages that the deceased person would have had, had they not died from their injuries.
Although the wrongful death claim cannot replace the lost family member, its purpose is the put the surviving family in the financial position they would have been in if their family member had not died.
What Damages are Recoverable?
North Carolina’s wrongful death statute provides that the following damages may be recoverable:
- Money spent on the care, treatment and hospitalization of the deceased for injuries resulting from the wrongful act.
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased.
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
- The monetary value of the deceased to qualified survivors, including but not limited to; the decedent’s net income, the services, protection, care and assistance of deceased to the qualified survivors and society, companionship, guidance, comfort, kindly offices and advice of deceased to the qualified survivors.
- If the wrongdoer caused the deceased’s death through malice, willful or wanton conduct, additional punitive damages may be available.
- The jury may award other nominal damages as it sees fit.
Robert Karney concentrates his practice solely on helping injured bikers and their families get the compensation they need for medical care, lost earnings and other expenses related to their accidents. You can feel confident that his personal and proactive approach to your accident will give you a strong voice. When you hire Bob Karney NC motorycle accident attorney you get more than a lawyer, you get a biker friend. From accient through recovery, he's got your back.