You can. In fact, if a police officer applied a level of force that was in excess of what would be considered reasonable which resulted in the death of your loved one, you are encouraged to contact a Durham, NC police brutality lawyer who can help you file your lawsuit.
According to North Carolina Statute §29A-18-2, “When the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another” and the victim would have been entitled to recover damages as a result of the neglectful act had they survived, their personal representative is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. When you choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit, not only might you be seeking justice for your family member’s death, but you may be looking to recover compensation for various damages.
According to the NC law, you are entitled to recover damages for the following:
- Expenses for any care, treatment and/or hospitalization that was provided to the decedent prior to his/her death.
- Compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
- Funeral expenses.
- The present monetary value of the decedent to those who are eligible to receive any damages recovered. This might include:
- The net income of the decedent given he/she was responsible for providing for the family.
- “Services, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered.”
- The loss of “companionship, comfort, or guidance” the entitled party incurred as a result of their loved one’s death.
- Punitive damages. When a judge or jury decides to award punitive damages, it is expected to serve as a punishment for the negligent individual who was responsible for causing the death. Not only will the party filing the lawsuit receive the compensation awarded for punitive damages, but the goal of awarding punitive damages is to help deter the individual and others away from engaging in the same or similar behavior.
- Nominal damages when the jury so finds.
How do I file a wrongful death lawsuit against a police officer in Durham, NC?
If you are interested in learning more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Durham County, NC or are ready to take the necessary steps to start the lawsuit process, contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a Durham, NC police brutality lawyer near you. In order to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome, you will need to be able to prove that the officer’s negligence contributed to your loved one’s death. For example, if an officer fired their weapon yet the situation didn’t require such a high level of force to be applied which caused your loved one to suffer fatal injuries, you will need to be able to prove the officer did not have reasonable grounds to apply deadly force.
Proving a police officer engaged in negligent behavior isn’t easy as officers are given the power to use their weapons and apply force. Therefore, to ensure your lawsuit is filed correctly and you have all the evidence you need to obtain a successful outcome, you are encouraged to retain a NC police brutality attorney who will stand right by your side assisting you through each step of the lawsuit process.