Wrongful Death

When you don’t know what to do, turn to someone who does.

Brian Elston Law is a personal injury attorney in Asheville, NC and is dedicated to fighting for the people who need it most. Our team is ready to take on your case in a variety of matters from personal injury, to workers comp, wrongful death, employment law, civil litigation, and more.

Loss of Life

Losing a loved one is always devastating. A wrongful death law firm seeking justice for your loved one can help ease your grief during such a difficult time. The unexpected loss of a father, a mother, a son, or daughter, is heart-braking.  Families are left with many questions, but few answers.  Why now? How did it happen?  How are we going to move forward?

Brian Elston Law counsels and represents surviving family members whose loved one incurred a work place accident, motor vehicle accident, and even intentional assault that resulted in loss of life.

We strive to provide you with answers during this difficult time.  You do have legal rights and need an experienced wrongful death attorney to advise you of your options.  Please contact Brian Elston Law to schedule an in-person, including an at-home, consultation.

Wrongful Death- the What, Who, and How?

When the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or fault of another, North Carolina law allows for family members to recover for damages.  A copy of the law can be found here.  In general, damages that may be recoverable in a wrongful death action include:

  • Prior medical expenses;
  • Compensation for pain and suffering;
  • Reasonable funeral expenses;
  • Loss of income;
  • Loss of companionship.

In general, the statute of limitations on wrongful death cases in North Carolina is two years.  This means that a surviving family member has two years from the date of death in order to bring an action.  There are exceptions to the general rule.  For instance, if the wrongful death was the result of a faulty product or on the job, the action may need to be filed sooner.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

A “personal representative”, or individual that represents the estate can file a claim.  (Our firm assists family in setting up the estate).  However, the wrongful death benefit collection is limited to immediate family members through the Intestate Succession Act.  In other words, and generally speaking, the net assets after fees from a wrongful claim suit go to the “next of kin,” which can also include spouse.

Loss of Life on the Job

A loved that is injured on the job that results in death may also be entitled to benefits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.  For more information about the Act, you can check out the Workers’ Compensation Page here.


There are a couple of differences in death benefits under the Act and a wrongful death action:

  • Burial expenses are available up to $10,000;
  • Weekly death benefits are available for up to 500 weeks (there are exceptions).  The benefits may be distributed in a lump sum in certain situations.
  • Weekly death benefits are calculated based on approximately 2/3 of the workers’ average weekly wage.

In addition, North Carolina law provides that if the injury or death is caused by the willful failure of the employer to comply with any statutory requirement, the above referenced compensation may be increased by 10%.

You and your family are going through a lot if you’ve lost a loved one.  When the time is right, please call Brian Elston Law to schedule an appointment to discuss your families options.

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Asheville, NC 28801


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The Law Offices of Elston, Donnahoo, & Williams

The Law Offices of Elston, Donnahoo, & Williams, P.C., is a personal injury law office in Asheville, NC, dedicated to fighting for people who need it most. Our practice areas include personal injury, workers compensation, wrongful death, employment law, civil litigation, and more.

At The Law Offices of Elston, Donnahoo, & Williams, P.C. our success comes from our willingness to serve individuals and families all across North Carolina with our high-quality personal injury and workers' compensation advocacy. We know how difficult it is to suffer a personal injury and / or workplace injury and how hard this must be for you and your family. Our team of attorney’s are here to help you make the process as easy and stress free as possible. To learn more about what our firm can do for you, just give us a call or a text. If you would like to learn more about how our firm can assist with your case, we encourage you to contact us immediately. We are proud to offer 100% free, confidential consultations.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

The verdicts and settlements listed on this site are intended to be representative of cases handled by Brian Elston Law. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.