North Dakota Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping Families Who Lost a Loved One due to a Wrongful Death in North Dakota
Like every state, North Dakota has its own rules when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits filed in the state’s civil court system. In this article, we’ll look at North Dakota’s definition of wrongful death, who may file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Dakota, what types of damages are available, and the time limits for filing this kind of civil case. We will also examine how an experienced North Dakota wrongful death attorney can help ensure your family’s situation is not made worse by creating unnecessary financial strain on top of the grief of losing a loved one.
Wrongful Death Defined in North Dakota
North Dakota’s wrongful death statute, Section 32-21-01, defines wrongful death as a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” that leads to the death of a person. The cause of death may be negligence, recklessness, or intentional. But to qualify as a wrongful death in North Dakota, the deceased person must have had a viable personal injury claim had they survived. Meaning, if medical malpractice caused the wrongful death, then the victim would have had a valid personal injury med mal claim had they not died.
Basically, a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that arises because the injured person can no longer protect their legal interests in death. Instead, another party pursues the claim on behalf of the deceased to protect the deceased’s estate and legal rights of the surviving family members.
Who Can File a North Dakota Wrongful Death Claim?
Individuals who can file a wrongful death claim in North Dakota are listed below in the order of first priority.
- surviving spouse of the deceased
- surviving children of the deceased
- surviving parent or parents of the deceased
- surviving grandparent of the deceased
- personal representative of the deceased’s estate
- person who had primary custody of the deceased before the death
For example, if the deceased person did not have a living spouse at the time of their death, then their child or children are next in line to file a wrongful death claim.
North Dakota law also states that any person in the above order has 30 days to bring forth the wrongful death action or the next person in order may bring the action.
North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
North Dakota requires that a wrongful death claim be filed within 2 years from the date of the deceased victim’s death. This time limit is set by North Dakota Century Code section 28-01-18.
In order to ensure that you are following proper procedure with your loved one’s wrongful death claim, it is best to speak to a North Dakota attorney with experience in wrongful death cases to ensure time limits are met and the statute of limitations has not expired. North Dakota wrongful death lawyers can also help to ensure your claim get the most compensation available to rebuild your life.
Common Damages in a North Dakota Wrongful Death Case
Common damages that are pursued in a North Dakota wrongful death case are often divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Pre-death Rehab and care
- Burial or cremation costs
- Lost income due to a family member’s death
- Future losses because of loss of family, like aid checks
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of spouse
- Loss of child
- Loss of companionship
These losses must be provable, either during negotiations or in court as with any North Dakota personal injury lawsuit. The judge or jury will also need to be clear on which damages are for past, present, and future expenses. A wrongful death attorney can help ensure that this is done correctly.
Any monetary damages that are awarded to the beneficiaries may not be taxed as part of the estate.
Contacting an Experienced North Dakota Wrongful Death Attorney
Sand Law protects families across North Dakota after they suffer the wrongful death of a family member or loved one. Our team of experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys understand the need for compassion in this delicate time. We promise to be aggressive in defending your rights and gentle in dealing with your family.
Sand Law PLLC has offices in Watford City, Minot, Williston, and Bismarck to represent North Dakotans across the state. Contact Sand Law right away to schedule your free wrongful death consultation by calling 701-609-1510 or by filling our our contact form. We look forward to helping you and your family.