North Carolina Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations & Laws 2024

When someone dies because of another party’s actions, it can form the basis for a wrongful death suit. This type of personal injury claim is unique, and special rules apply. For example, the North Carolina wrongful death statute of limitations is two years, while the usual statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. This is just one example of the procedural issues you will need to address if you intend to file this type of case.

An experienced wrongful death attorney can be an invaluable asset for any type of wrongful death claim in the state. Christina Rivenbark & Associates has years of professional experience handling these cases, and we know the various challenges you might encounter in your efforts to hold an at-fault party accountable for your loved one’s untimely death. Whatever your situation entails, our firm can represent you through every step of the case.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in North Carolina

The North Carolina wrongful death statute of limitations may seem relatively generous, and two years should be enough time for you to file your claim. However, it is important that you seek out trustworthy legal counsel right away after the fatal incident. You need to start gathering evidence to support your case as quickly as you can after your loved one’s death. Evidence and witness testimony are most reliable when they are secured swiftly.

Filing a Case Must Happen Before the State’s Time Limit Is Up

The statute of limitations begins on the date of the death. However, the exact cause of death may not be immediately clear. If this applies to your case, the statute of limitations may not technically begin until the date you discover that another party was directly responsible for the death. Your wrongful death attorney can address any such variables that apply to your case.

A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim in that it seeks to hold a defendant accountable for the harm they have caused through negligence or illegal misconduct. However, a wrongful death claim is an inherently emotional issue, and the average person will need a reliable attorney to provide support and guidance as they attempt to navigate the case. An attorney can also help their client maximize the total compensation they win from the defendant.

Our Firm Has the Skills and Experience You Need on Your Side

Christina Rivenbark & Associates has the skills, resources, and experience you want on your side for this type of civil suit. We know the emotional strain that the unexpected death of a loved one can cause and that you are likely to have many questions about what to expect in your impending wrongful death suit. Meeting the state wrongful death statute of limitation is just one of the challenges you face, and our team is ready to help you approach your case with confidence.


Q: How Do You Prove Liability for a Wrongful Death?

A: You prove liability for a wrongful death the same way you would prove liability for a personal injury. You must identify the party who caused the death, prove exactly how they caused it, and then prove the full extent of the damages you intend to claim from the defendant. Having an experienced attorney on your side makes this process much easier, and you are more likely to succeed with your claim with their help.

Q: What Compensation Can Be Claimed in a Wrongful Death Suit?

A: The compensation that can be claimed in a wrongful death suit includes economic and non-economic damages, and it is also possible for a plaintiff to recover punitive damages if the defendant caused the death through an act of illegal misconduct. An experienced attorney can help their client assess the full potential value of their claim and may uncover avenues of recovery the plaintiff did not realize were available to them.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A: The time you have to file your wrongful death claim in the state is known as the statute of limitations. The wrongful death statute of limitations is two years, and this time limit starts on the day a wrongful death occurs. While this might sound like plenty of time, the reality is that you need to start gathering evidence to support your claim right after the death occurs to have the greatest chance of success with your claim.

Q: Will the Defendant Go to Jail for Causing a Wrongful Death?

A: It is possible for a defendant to go to jail for causing a wrongful death if they broke the law in causing the death. For example, if your loved one died because a drunk driver hit them, the defendant is not only liable for wrongful death, but they are also likely to face criminal prosecution for felony DWI from the state. Your attorney can explain how any such variables may impact the outcome of your case and what type of compensation you might recover.

Q: What Does It Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?

A: The cost to hire a wrongful death attorney depends on the attorney’s billing policy. Christina Rivenbark & Associates can take wrongful death claims on contingency, meaning we only collect a percentage of our client’s case award as our fee if and when we win their case. There is no fee if we cannot recover compensation for our client, so this billing policy ensures you can secure compensation without paying excessive attorney fees.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates has the professional experience and resources you need to approach a difficult wrongful death case with confidence and peace of mind. The state’s wrongful death statute of limitations is just one of many procedural rules you will need to understand, and our firm is ready to answer your most pressing legal questions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you with your case.

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