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Wilmington, NC Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death claims are the most difficult cases we handle at the Goolsby Law Firm because you are forced to go through a challenging legal process while grieving for a loved one. We know it is hard, but you cannot put your sorrow, despair, and anger on hold. You should hold those responsible accountable and recover financially for your loss. For such matters, you need a wrongful death attorney to guide you.

Attorney Thom Goolsby is a highly experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyer. He has dedicated his professional career to serving people in North Carolina with nearly three decades of experience handling fatal accident claims. He is here to handle the insurance and litigation processes so that you can be with your family. He fights hard, is relentless, and always purses the maximum compensation possible to ensure you have financial help moving forward. To learn more about North Carolina’s wrongful death law and typical settlement amounts, call  (910) 763–3339, send a text, or contact us online.

We offer 100% free initial consultations. There are no legal fees unless you recover compensation.

Wrongful Death and Life’s Value

Wrongful Death Claims We Handle

We are here to help if your loved one was the victim of a fatal:

  • Car Wreck
  • Truck Accident
  • Motorcycle Accident
  • Pedestrian Accident
  • Bicycle Accident
  • Dangerous Property Accident
  • Slip and Fall

Whatever the circumstance, do not hesitate to call us. We will thoroughly investigate the fatal accident to determine if another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct is to blame. If we can pinpoint another person’s negligence, you may have a strong claim for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

North Carolina Wrongful Death Law

North Carolina’s wrongful death law is outlined by N.C. Gen. Stat. §28A-18-2.

The law says that if an individual’s death results from another person’s wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act, and if that individual would have had the right to pursue a personal injury claim had they lived, their estate’s personal representative can file an action for compensation.

To move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit, you must show another party was the direct and proximate cause of your loved one’s death. Proving this fact can be challenging because it requires evidence and a solid legal argument. This is why it is important to work with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

When you call Goolsby Law Firm, we will take a close look at the facts and meticulously prepare your case. Attorney Thom Goolsby will always fully explain the law and your rights, as well as your practical options.

Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In North Carolina, only one person can file a wrongful death suit. This individual is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative is usually named as the executor in your loved one’s will. However, if your relative died without a will, the court may appoint you. Your wrongful death attorney can assist with this process.

If you are not the personal representative of your loved one’s estate, you cannot file the wrongful death claim. We understand how difficult this fact might be for some family members. We know you will have questions. Do not hesitate to call to speak with a wrongful death attorney about your options if the personal representative chooses not to file.

What Wrongful Death Damages Are Available?

“Damages” is a legal term that encompasses the monetary compensation of physical, psychological, and economic injuries. This type of compensation is also referred to as “compensatory damages.”

In North Carolina, a personal representative can pursue wrongful death compensation for:

  • Medical Bills: We will fight for you to be compensated for any medical bills your loved one incurred from the date of the accident until their passing.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: We will pursue full compensation for the cost of any transportation, funeral, mortuary, burial or cremation services, casket or urn, flowers, burial plot, headstone or grave marker, and any other expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering: If your loved one survived the initial accident and passed away days, weeks, or months later, we will pursue the maximum compensation possible for the pain and suffering they experienced.
  • Lost Income: When your loved one was working and had years of life left, you or their immediate family would have expected to benefit from their income. These lost wages can be devastating. We will fight hard for you to receive the income you would have benefited from in the coming years.
  • Loss of Decedent’s Services, Care, Companionship, and Guidance: When you lose a parent or spouse, you do not merely lose their paycheck. You lose everything: conversations with your spouse over morning coffee, all of the household chores your spouse performed, the advice your parent would have given you throughout college, your career, and dating. These life moments are invaluable, but during a wrongful death claim, your wrongful death attorney will do their best to account for them in a settlement.

Who May Receive Compensation?

Once damages are recovered through a wrongful death claim, the first step is for the estate to be paid back any expenses it incurred, including attorneys’ fees. The remainder is paid to your loved one’s beneficiaries as determined by the Intestate Succession Act, which are the same rules that apply if your loved one died without a will.

In most circumstances, a person’s closest relatives receive percentages of the wrongful death settlement or court award. These relatives include a surviving spouse, children, and parents.

We Pursue Maximum Compensation in Wrongful Death Claims

At Goolsby Law Firm, we use wrongful death claims to secure as much money as possible to fill in the blanks of what is left behind when you lose a loved one. A wrongful death claim cannot bring them back and it may not provide justice or closure. However, under the law, we will do everything possible through a wrongful death claim to help you receive as much compensation as possible.

A wrongful death attorney will:

  • Calculate all expenses related to the decedent’s death: When you lose a relative, there are always costs. If your loved one did not pass away at the scene, they would have incurred medical bills. We will calculate all of the expenses that arose from the date of the accident to the date of death. We also will calculate all of the funeral and burial costs you and your family had to pay because of the fatal accident.
  • Hire an expert economist: During a wrongful death claim, we will pursue compensation for the value of your loved one’s life and what they provided to you and other family members. This effort requires working with a highly educated and experienced economist. Wrongful death attorney Thom Goolsby routinely works with Ph.D.-level economists, many of whom are from North Carolina’s respected universities.
  • Determine the value of decedent’s life: We work with our economists and other financial professionals to answer several questions, such as: what was your loved one’s earning potential, how long were they expected to live, and what were their financial prospects in the future? Or, if you lost your spouse who managed your household and focused on raising your children, we will calculate the value of the many services they provided. We work hard to build up the economic formula to capture all of the money available for the family.

How Much is my Case Worth?

We regularly receive calls from grieving family members who wish to know more about typical wrongful death settlement amounts and how much their case may be worth. There is no quick answer, but we will always help you establish a baseline.

The amount of a wrongful death settlement or court ruling depends on the facts, including the family’s specific losses, the decedent’s pain and suffering, and the economic value of the decedent’s life. No two wrongful death claims are the same.

You cannot assume your case is worth very little or a great deal. The only way to gauge how much a case may be worth is to work closely with a wrongful death attorney and an economic expert.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

The personal representative of the decedent’s estate typically has two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are some rare circumstances in which you have more time to file. However, you should assume you have two years and speak to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

Thom Goolsby is Not Afraid to Take Your Case to Court

When you lose a loved one in a serious accident that was someone else’s fault, you owe it to yourself to pursue wrongful death compensation. This is even more important if your loved one left behind dependent children.

Wrongful death claims can usually be settled through other individual’s or a business’s insurance providers. However, not all claims can or will be settled. The insurer may deny your claim or may refuse to settle for an appropriate amount. In these times, you need someone who is not afraid to take your case to trial and fight for your maximum compensation before a jury.

Attorney Thom Goolsby has decades of litigation experience. He is not afraid to go to court for you and fight hard for you to receive every dollar you deserve.

Call a Wilmington, NC Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Following a loved one’s death, you may not be sure of your rights or legal options. That is why it is important to call an experienced lawyer to advise you. Contact Goolsby Law Firm for an entirely free consultation. All you have to do is dial (910) 763–3339, send a quick text, contact us online. Attorney Thom Goolsby will personally get in touch as soon as possible.

Initial consultations are always free, and we work on a contingency basis, meaning nothing upfront and nothing until we get you compensation.


“Thank you Thom Goolsby for helping me with my case. I heard that you were a super attorney, and I heard right! Thank you for your attention to detail and for helping me with this important matter. Your office was always available to assist me, and your care and concern meant a great deal to me. If I ever need an attorney again, you will be the first person that I call.”

- Personal Injury Client

Thom Goolsby and his team were amazing! My spouse was killed in a tragic auto collision leaving me and our child alone. To make matters worse, my deceased spouse was the main supporter of our family. They took over the estate, handled the personal injury and wrongful death claims, and forced the insurance companies to pay the maximum money available for the claim. He also collected all the workers’ compensation funds available. Thom took the time to meet with me, showed real compassion and concern, and gave me sound, well-reasoned advice. He made the best of our sad and tragic loss. Thank you, Thom Goolsby!

- Personal Injury Client

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    “This is what I do. This is what I love. I care about my clients. I will help you.”

    212 Walnut St. Suite 100
    Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

    Like any quality criminal defense attorney, Thom Goolsby may be in court when you first call, but leave a voice mail or send a text. We’ll get with you as soon as possible, so we can go over what happened, evaluate the case, and explain what comes next.