Rockingham Fatal Car Accident Lawyers

Strong advocacy for the families of loved ones killed in a car crash

Vehicle accidents are common in and around the Rockingham, North Carolina area. Many accidents cause severe injuries. Sadly, there are times when accidents are so severe that a person loses his or her life. While no sum of money can ever replace the life of a loved one, the people who caused a wrongful death car accident should be held fully accountable for ending one life and causing grief to many others.

If you have lost somebody you love due to the careless or negligent actions of another driver, reach out to the team at Price, Petho & Associates for help today. Our Rockingham fatal car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling complex vehicle accidents and wrongful death cases. We have the experience and resources to investigate what happened and help you and your family recover the closure and compensation you deserve.

How can we help?

How often do fatal accidents occur?

According to Safer America, fatal car accidents happen all too often across the United States including in North Carolina. Most fatal car accidents are preventable. A few statistics show just how often deadly car crashes occur:

  • 38,000 people died in car accidents in America in 2019.
    • More than 25,000 of those who died were passengers.
    • More than 7,000 were pedestrians.
    • Most of the rest were motorcycle riders.
  • More than half of all reported fatal car accidents were single-car accidents.
  • Nearly half of all fatal accidents happened during the nighttime.
  • Half of those who died in car accidents were drivers.

Proportionally, teenagers were the age group most likely to die in a fatal car crash.

What are the leading causes of fatal car accidents?

Some crashes are more likely to be fatal than others. Some types of conduct are more deadly than others. At Price, Petho & Associates, we represent families when a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicycle rider dies due to:

  • A head-on collision
  • A broadside collision
  • A single-car accident
  • A multi-vehicle accident
  • An intersection accident
  • A collision with wildlife
  • An accident caused by a defective vehicle part

Drunk drivers, especially drivers with a high blood alcohol content, are especially likely to cause a deadly driving accident. Drivers who text while driving are a danger to themselves and every person on the road. Operators who speed or drive too fast for conditions often cause fatal car accidents. Drivers of cars and trucks who are tired need to rest instead of risking the lives of everyone on the highway.

How does a fatal car accident lawsuit work?

In North Carolina, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate files a wrongful death action on behalf of the family. The personal representative is either an executor appointed in the decedent’s will, or an administrator approved by the court.

If the deceased individual had a will, then most likely a personal representative was named. This is often a member of the deceased’s family, but that is not always the case. If an individual did not specify a personal representative in the estate plan, the court will appoint an individual to carry out these duties. Often, surviving spouses, parents, or adult children end up being the personal representative.

The damage award is made part of the estate. The award is then distributed in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will. If the person died in the car accident does not have a will, then the assets are distributed in accordance with the intestate laws of North Carolina.

Why fatal accidents are different from other Rockingham injury claims

Our Rockingham fatal accident lawyers understand the unique challenges involved in filing a wrongful death claim. For starters, the decedent is not alive to testify about how the accident happened. This means our lawyers need to work with witnesses, the police, investigators, and question the defendants to show how the accident happened, and why the defendants are responsible.

In some wrongful death cases, the government may file a criminal action. For example, if your loved one died due to the negligence of a drunk driver, the government may file a DUI or DUI by homicide charge against the driver. We work with the prosecution to help obtain a conviction. A criminal conviction helps to show the driver is also civilly responsible.

If minor children are involved, the settlement proceeds or verdict may need to be placed into a structured settlement, trust, or annuity until the child turns 18.

What damages can you seek in a Rockingham fatal accident case?

North Carolina provides that the personal representative can seek the following damages when a loved one dies due to a fatal car accident:

  • The expenses for care, treatment, and hospitalization related to the injury resulting in death.
  • The decedent’s pain and suffering before he/she died.
  • The reasonable funeral and burial costs.
  • Compensation for:
    • “The net income of the decedent
    • Services, protection, care, and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered,
    • Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered.”
  • Punitive damages may be awarded if the death was due to “malice or willful or wanton conduct.”
  • Nominal damages in some cases.

It is important to point out that the North Carolina wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This contrasts with the general personal injury limitation of three years.

The personal representative of the deceased’s estate should begin the claim as soon as possible. A skilled Rockingham car accident attorney will be able to help family members and the personal representative make the best decisions moving forward in these situations.

Do you have a fatal car accident lawyer near me?

We meet families at our Rockingham office located at 801 E Broad Ave, #17 in Rockingham, NC. We also have offices in Charlotte and Rutherfordton.

Reach out to Rockingham fatal injury lawyer immediately

If you have lost somebody that you love in a vehicle accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver in the Rockingham area, reach out to the team at Price, Petho & Associates as soon as possible. We will offer you compassionate assistance. Our team has extensive experience handling complex motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death claims throughout North Carolina. Our goal is to help you recover the closure and compensation you are entitled to for your loss, and for what happened to your loved one. Call 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.