Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

When you lose a loved one as the result of another party’s carelessness or recklessness, you can bring a wrongful death claim against the person or company that caused the death to recover compensation. This is often one of the most traumatic experiences that a family or individual will experience in his or her lifetime. Although no amount of money can ever return the loss of your loved one, it can make a difference when it comes to recovering from the severe financial impact that results from suddenly and tragically losing a loved one. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte wrongful death lawyers are available to assist you with exploring your potential right to recovery.

In a recent appellate opinion, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered whether a wrongful death claim brought against the City of Raleigh was valid. In the complaint, the administrator of the decedent’s estate brought a claim against the city alleging that one of its officer’s patrol cars collided head-on with the motorized scooter on which the decedent was riding. According to the record, the officer was speeding on a two-lane road while engaged in a silent vehicle pursuit. The decedent, traveling in the opposite direction, made an abrupt turn across the officer’s lane of travel without using a turn signal. The vehicles collided head-on and the decedent and his passenger died immediately.

The trial court granted a motion to dismiss from the city and the plaintiff appealed. The plaintiff argued that the evidence presented a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the officer was operating his patrol car with gross negligence. It also argued that governmental immunity did not apply to this case because the officer was acting in a particularly reckless manner and on the basis that the city waived its right to sovereign immunity. The plaintiff also alleged that its negligent supervision claim was improperly dismissed.

Continue reading

There are few things more devastating in life than suddenly and unexpectedly losing a loved one as the result of another person’s carelessness or recklessness. At Maurer Law, we provide compassionate and diligent legal representation to families who have lost a loved one in this manner. Although few things can truly help you cope with the loss, receiving the compensation that you deserve can help you address the financial impact of the situation. Contact us today to learn more about bringing a Charlotte wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether summary judgment was appropriately granted in a wrongful death claim. The decedent lost his life when the tractor that he was operating at a construction site began to roll, ejecting him from the machine. The tractor rolled on top of him and he died as a result of his injuries.

His mother filed a wrongful death complaint as the administrator of his estate and alleged that the defendants, the decedent’s employers, were grossly negligent by replacing the seat of the tractor with one that did not have a seatbelt and allowing the tractor to be operated without a seatbelt. The complaint also alleged negligence for failing to adopt safety procedures that would have prevented the operation of the tractor on a slope where it could roll over and by directing the decedent to run the tractor on the slope. The plaintiff alleged that each of these actions were willful and not merely careless accidents.

Continue reading

In a few short months, freshmen will be heading to college to begin a new chapter of their lives. For some, this may involve joining a fraternity or sorority. Although many of these organizations provide members with a sense of community, support, and other benefits during their college careers, some resort to dangerous and unnecessary hazing as part of the initiation process. Recent news reports have highlighted incidences of hazing being taken too far and even leading to student deaths. If you or your child were harmed as a result of hazing, contact the dedicated Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Maurer Law to learn more about your potential right to recovery.

Recently, a North Carolina Court of Appeal discussed whether a fraternity can be held liable for injuries that a student sustains as a result of hazing activities. The decedent in the case was a student who was pledged to a local chapter of a national fraternity. He died while staying as an overnight guest at the apartment of another fraternity member. The fraternity member testified that the pair had stayed up until 4 a.m. ingesting drugs and alcohol and that he went to class at 9 a.m. when he observed the decedent still sleeping in his apartment. He further testified that when he returned from class the decedent was pale, non-responsive, and appeared to have vomited.

Evidence in the record detailed some of the hazing activities that pledge class members allegedly underwent including being forced to drink alcohol to excess and physical violence. Text messages that the decedent had sent his friends suggested that he was undergoing serious mental stress as a result of the alleged hazing activities and pressures of the pledge process.

Continue reading

A personal injury lawsuit can involve more than just an accident where someone acted negligently. If you were the victim of an intentional act of violence like battery or sexual abuse, then you can bring a civil claim against the perpetrator to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. This claim is separate from any criminal charges that are pressed against the person who hurt you. The medical expenses and emotional distress that results from an intentional tort can be devastating. Call a North Carolina personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your potential legal rights.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion discussing a case where a man died from injuries he sustained after being punched in the head at a bar. The defendant and decedent arranged to meet at the club to discuss an alleged altercation between the defendant’s sister and the decedent. The decedent arrived with two friends and his sister. The defendant punched the decedent soon after and he fell striking his head on the floor. He was taken to a hospital where he was eventually declared brain dead and removed from life support.

The decedent’s brother filed a wrongful death action against the defendant alleging a number of claims. Evidence in the record suggested that the decedent and his mother had a special bond. He lived with his mother and provided her with assistance around the house. Witnesses testified that the mother’s behavior changed after the death and she stopped taking care of her health issues. She suffered a major stroke roughly one year after the death.

Continue reading

There are few things more stressful and life-altering than losing a loved one in a sudden and unexpected personal injury accident. This type of loss is referred to as a wrongful death claim under North Carolina law and there are many rules that apply to how a wrongful death claim must proceed. While you are coping with the sudden loss and grief, the competent Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Maurer Law are prepared to help you explore your legal rights and recover the compensation that you deserve. Although no amount of money will truly make you whole again, it can go a long way towards covering the financial impact of a sudden loss.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal heard an appeal in a case where the defendant appealed from an award of compensatory and punitive damages in an action where the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was responsible for his wife’s death. Punitive damages are a special category of damages that a jury can award if it finds that the defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious and reckless.

Before trial, the parties stipulated to a set of facts establishing that the defendant was negligent in causing the death of the plaintiff’s wife while driving. The defendant agreed that she lost control of her vehicle and swerved into the opposing lane of traffic and running directly into the decedent as she was walking along the shoulder of the road. The trial was split into two phases, which is called bifurcation. The first phase was to determine the amount of compensatory damages that the plaintiff should receive for his suffering and loss. The jury awarded $4.25 million.

Continue reading

Few things are more devastating than losing a loved one in an accident that could have been avoided if someone exercised proper care. In North Carolina, the estate of someone who died in a personal injury accident can bring a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the costs associated with the accident as well as compensation for his or her surviving loved ones. The idea of dealing with a lawsuit during this already stressful and shocking time can be a lot to manage while other individuals are eager to seek justice for their loved ones. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte wrongful death attorneys are standing by and ready to help you determine the best route to asserting your legal rights after the loss of a loved one.

In a recent North Carolina Court of Appeal opinion, a man working as a pipe fitter died when he was attempting to reconnect water pipes to a portable chiller machine on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. The device had been turned off for winter break. When he loosened a 13.1-pound metal flange on the water pipe, accumulated pressurized gas that had built up within the machine projected the flange directly into his head. He died at the hospital five days later as a result of his injuries.

His widow brought a wrongful death action against several parties including employees in the maintenance department and HVAC department for the school requesting compensatory damages and punitive damages. The latter category of damages is a category of damages designed to punish defendants for particularly reckless conduct. She alleged in her complaint that the defendants were negligent in shutting the chiller unit down and that it led to the explosion that killed her husband. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on several grounds including lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lack of personal jurisdiction, and failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The defendants alleged that they were sued in their official capacities, which meant that their employer’s status as a public entity entitled them to sovereign immunity.

Continue reading

Wrongful death accidents are a devastating occurrence for any family, but they are particularly traumatic when the victim is a child. Although no amount of money can truly compensate you for the loss of a child, it can help you cope with the expenses that result from medical treatment, burial, and more. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of Charlotte wrongful death attorneys is ready to assist you with holding someone responsible for the unnecessary loss of your child.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered a claim in which a five-year-old child died when an overloaded dump truck engaged in an uncontrolled roll and struck him while he was playing near his home. Evidence provided in the case showed that the dump truck was left unattended with the engine running and without the wheel chocks engaged. The dump truck was at the location as part of a home construction site near the home of the decedent’s family.

The estate of the decedent brought a lawsuit against a number of parties including the real estate developer who designed the neighborhood on the basis that the developer maintained a duty to develop a safety plan, to reduce harm to residents from construction accidents, and to conduct inspections even though it sold lots to independent builders. The real estate developer responded by filing a motion for summary judgment on the basis that it did not owe a legal duty to the decedent. The lower court granted the motion and the plaintiffs appealed.

Continue reading

The holidays are a season for spending time with friends, family, and loved ones often in the form of parties and gatherings that involve food and drink. Alcohol is a common offering at many holiday parties and people usually spend more time going out to restaurants or bars during the season to take advantage of their vacation or time while visiting family. Although this is usually a harmless activity, there are unfortunate situations where someone is overserved and then gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. Drunk drivers cause some of the most devastating and even fatal accidents. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte injury lawyers are prepared to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve after being involved in an accident with a drunk driver.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Supreme Court considered a case involving the state’s dram shop liability act. These laws are a set of rules that hold bars, restaurants, and other retailers who serve alcohol to the public liable for overserving a patron who later causes a North Carolina accident. In the case, the court was specifically asked to address a situation where the plaintiff was contributorily negligent. This is a term used to describe a situation where the plaintiff was also negligent at the time of the accident, contributing to the harm that he or she suffered.

The facts of the case are as follows. The defendants were hotel operators who operated a bar in one of their resorts. A husband and wife checked into the hotel and began drinking at the restaurant. Over the course of the evening, they ordered 24 alcoholic beverages. The wife consumed at least ten drinks and was so intoxicated that the hotel workers had to transport her to her hotel room in a wheelchair according to evidence provided during trial. The next morning, the husband found his wife dead on the floor. The cause of death was later determined to be alcohol poisoning.

Continue reading

Losing a child is perhaps the most horrific thing that a parent can experience, particularly if it happens as the result of another person’s carelessness. Although no amount of money can truly repair the damage and pain that your family has experienced as a result of the sudden loss, it can help you cope with the financial burden associated with the loss. As seasoned Charlotte personal injury lawyers handling wrongful death cases, we are prepared to help you determine whether your family is entitled to compensation from the person who caused your child’s death.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a case in which the plaintiffs left the minor child in the care of the defendants, who ran an unlicensed childcare facility in their home. They regularly cared for the plaintiffs’ child. On one occasion, the defendants reportedly had a loaded 12-gauge shotgun on the kitchen table that the children were able to access. One of the defendants had not completed a firearms safety course. One of the defendants’ children discharged the shotgun in the direction of the plaintiffs’ child, resulting in her death.

The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death claim and included claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff’s father heard about the shooting over a CB radio and saw the ambulance pass him, knowing that his daughter was inside. He followed the ambulance to the hospital and saw his daughter being unloaded. He was told at that time that his child died in the ambulance. The mother of the child taught at a school nearby and immediately came to the hospital where she held her daughter’s lifeless body until she was required to leave.

Continue reading

Work-related injuries are always damaging and disruptive for the employee. In the most unfortunate cases, however, they result in the loss of the worker’s life. North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act allows a surviving relative to seek death benefits to help cope with the financial stress of the sudden and unexpected loss. There are countless considerations and laws that must be taken into account when developing a strategy for recovering damages, and no two cases are alike. As seasoned North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers, we have the skills and experience it takes to ensure that your family receives the fair outcome that it deserves.

Recently, the North Carolina appellate court considered a case in which an employee lost his life in a motor vehicle accident while driving a truck for his employer. He was operating the employer’s vehicle at the time of the crash, which was insured under an auto policy. The order also required the insurer to pay the widow five hundred weekly payments of roughly $650 each and over $8,000 for funeral expenses. The total amount of benefits amounted to approximately $333,000 dollars.

The widow was then appointed as the personal representative for the decedent’s estate. She filed a wrongful death action against the driver who caused the crash and his father. The plaintiff reached a settlement of roughly $950,000 for these claims including the policy limits for the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.

Contact Information