What Medical Bills Must Be Paid From a Wrongful Death Settlement
North Carolina wrongful death cases are extremely traumatic for the family members of the victims. While family members are still grieving for their loved one, medical bills from doctors and hospitals start arriving. When we receive a calls about these cases, we frequently hear the same questions such as:
- What should be done about these medical bills?
- What if there is a wrongful death recovery? Do we need to pay the medical bills from the wrongful death recovery?
- What about funeral bills?
North Carolina has a wrongful death statute which can be found at N.C.G.S. 28A-18-2. This statute has a number of provisions which are important when considering medical bills and a wrongful death settlement. First, the money obtained in a wrongful death is not considered an asset of the estate. Therefore, the wrongful death proceeds are not subject to the claims of creditors including medical care providers such as doctors and hospitals.
However, the wrongful death statute does entitle doctors and hospitals to a total of $4500 if the medical bills were related to the injury resulting in death.
The statute also allows for the payment of reasonable funeral expenses from the wrongful death recovery.
If you have questions regarding the distribution of wrongful death proceeds, please feel free to contact Hendren, Redwine & Malone for a free consultation. Our lawyers have experience with wrongful death claims. We work closely with estate administration attorneys and can put your mind at ease during this very difficult time.