Accidents of all kinds happen every day, and many of them only result in minor injuries or property damage. Unfortunately, accidents on the road, in the home or at work sometimes cost people their lives. For the loved ones of the deceased, it can be hard to accept such an abrupt loss and deal with the consequences that follow.

Financial hardship often occurs for surviving dependents after an unexpected death. That is why North Carolina allows surviving dependents and family members to bring wrongful death lawsuits against individuals who caused the death of someone else through either neglect, default or a wrongful act.

After a fatal accident, it may be possible to take legal action against the person who caused the accident. Understanding what kinds of compensation you can seek in such a lawsuit can help you determine if your family would benefit from a wrongful death claim.

What costs can you include in a wrongful death suit?

North Carolina law allows you to seek the cost of the funeral and burial expenses that you incurred, provided they are reasonable. You can also seek medical expenses incurred by the deceased prior to their death, compensation your loved one could have sought for their pain and suffering as the result of their injuries, and the financial contributions of that individual to your life.

Those costs could include the income of the deceased, as well as their likely future income, the services, support and care the deceased provided for their family and even loss of companionship and support that you’ve suffered. In some cases, it may also be possible to seek punitive damages if the deceased would have had the option to do so under North Carolina law had they survived.