Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Wrongful death accidents are some of the most tragic and stressful accidents that we handle as seasoned North Carolina personal injury attorneys. One of the most common defenses that the other party will assert is that your loved one was acting negligently at the time of the incident and that this contributed to his or her death, rendering the defendant not liable.

In a recent case, the plaintiffs filed a wrongful death claim against an energy company and its associated companies after the loss of their son who worked at a summer camp. The decedent was assisting another camp counselor with bringing a sailboat out of the water when the mast made contact with an uninsulated high voltage power line overhead, thereby electrocuting the decedent who had his hand on the metal portion of the boat at the time the mast made contact.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs admitted that the decedent was reasonably unaware that the high voltage power line was above the boat and that insufficient vertical clearance for the mast of the sailboat to pass under the power lines existed. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants acted negligently in several regards, including an allegation that the defendant knew or should have known that the uninsulated high-voltage power lines created a risk for the camp employees and guests. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants breached their duty to the plaintiff to maintain a safe electrical wire.

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Motorcycle accidents can lead to some of the most debilitating injuries. In the worst cases, the victim loses his or her life as a result of a driver’s negligence. As competent North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers, we have assisted countless individuals with understanding their right to compensation after losing a loved one in an unnecessary and tragic crash. One of the most challenging aspects of resolving the situation is negotiating with insurance companies, who don’t always have your best interests in mind. While you and your family are coping with the sudden tragedy, we will work with insurance companies to fight for your rights and to protect your interests.

A recent North Carolina appellate opinion discussed the applicability of insurance in a crash that involved a motorcyclist and his passenger. The driver of a passenger vehicle containing three passengers lost control of her vehicle, which then collided with the victim’s motorcycle. The motorcycle rider and his passenger died as a result of the crash.

The defendant’s policy provided liability insurance with limits of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. The insurer distributed the coverage to the passengers in the passenger vehicle and to the estates of the motorcyclist and his passenger. The victims’ estates received $17,928 each. The victim also had an insurance policy that provided underinsured motorist coverage with a limit of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. The policy was distributed to the victims’ estates in the amount of $82,072 each. Ultimately, each estate received a total of $100,000 for both policies, which comprised the per-person limits of the underinsured motorist policy for the victim’s insurance.

In a recent North Carolina car accident decision, a plaintiff filed a claim for damages against the North Carolina Department of Transportation under the Tort Claims Act. He asked for damages of more than $1 million. He claimed that the DOT’s employees were negligent in maintaining, designing, and installing the right safety mechanisms or warnings and speed limits in a curve on a road next to a pond.

The Deputy Commission entered a denial of the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed, and the Commission amended its decision. However, a majority of the commission affirmed the denial.

The case arose when the plaintiff was bringing firewood to a home at the end of a two-lane residential road in a rural area. There was a short straight section at the start of the road with a double curve around the pond. At the time, there weren’t warning signs for the double curve or the 90-degree turn.

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