Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

The lawyers of Erwin, Capitano & Moss, P.A. work closely with the families of wrongful death victims through every stage of the legal process. We represent dependents and beneficiaries in lawsuits against the negligent party responsible for the death of their loved one.

A wrongful death claim is part of the “personal injury” family of torts. Typically, wrongful death suits involve vehicular accidents (aviation, automobile, ATV, motorcycle, or railroad), defective products, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, and a number of other situations. When someone dies because of the negligence or misdeeds of another person, corporation or entity, that is considered “wrongful death.”

In the state of North Carolina, an important difference between wrongful death cases and other negligence cases is that the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is only two years. It is therefore critical that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you think you may have a wrongful death claim.

In a non-fatal personal injury case, the statute of limitations usually begins when the injury occurs. In a wrongful death case, the statute of limitations typically starts at the time of death. There are some situations where the statute of limitations may be extended based on circumstance. For example, in some cases, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case may begin at the time the negligence or wrongful action was discovered.

North Carolina’s wrongful death statutes allow the aggrieved dependants and beneficiaries to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the wrongful death. The plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages are related to the pain and suffering of survivors -- for example, loss of consortium, emotional suffering, and the like.

Erwin, Capitano & Moss, P.A. is prepared to litigate your wrongful death claim in local, state and/or federal courts. Our primary goal is to help you get financial relief, and deter the defendant from inflicting further harm to others. In wrongful death cases, negligence must be proven. In order to do that, four critical components of negligence must exist in your claim:

  1. The defendant had a duty to the deceased;
  2. The defendant failed in that duty (breach of duty);
  3. That the fatality was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty; and
  4. That the survivors are entitled to damages as a result of the loss of their loved one.

In addition to establishing negligence, the joint life expectancy of the deceased and the survivor or beneficiary must be presented (to establish the loss of future earnings) and the relationship of the survivor and deceased must also be shown. Finally, effective presentation of the non-economical or emotional loss suffered by the survivor is critical to a fair award of damages.

It is important to choose a law firm experienced in aggressively pursuing wrongful death claims to the maximum benefit of their clients. Erwin, Capitano & Moss, P.A. is committed to providing proactive legal advice and representation.

At Erwin, Capitano & Moss, P.A., we know the rights and protections that are built into personal injury law.


The material on this website is not provided as legal advice.  The cases mentioned on this website are illustrative of the matters handled by the firm and do not include all prior cases or results.  Results in any case depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in any future case.