When you lose a loved one, you need time to grieve with your family. One of the last things you want to deal with during this hard time is calculating your damages. Although no amount of compensation can truly address the pain that comes with losing a loved one, a fair settlement could ease the financial strain after your loved one’s untimely death.
Maybe you’ve been relying on the decedent’s income. You may have also incurred medical debt and funeral expenses you were not prepared for. You can seek recovery for these losses through a wrongful death claim. Our personal injury lawyers will help you get justice and the compensation you and your family are eligible for.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
South Carolina Law defines wrongful death as one that’s caused by neglect or the default of another. Therefore, we can define a wrongful death claim as a personal injury case in which the injured person is not able to bring their own case. A family member must step in and file the lawsuit on behalf of the victim.
Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina
If a wrongful death claim is successful, the court will order the defendant to pay damages to the deceased person’s survivors. In South Carolina, the types of damages that you may recover in a wrongful death claim include:
These are damages that cover your measurable losses. They help to return the surviving family members to the financial position they were in before they lost their loved ones. Some of the most common economic damages are:
- Medical expenses
- Burial and funeral costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future benefits
These are the types of damages that are impossible to measure objectively. They aren’t meant to replace the previous financial losses related to wrongful death, but they help cover the emotional hardships caused by the death. These damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members
- Loss of the deceased person’s care and compassion
While this type of damages is rare, there are situations where a court might find them necessary. If the cause of death was deliberate and reckless, the court may award punitive damages. The aim of these damages isn’t to compensate the family or estate, but to discourage wrongdoers or others who might engage in similar behavior in the future.
We understand how losing a loved one can be an extremely trying time for a family. Our team will ensure that we handle your case thoroughly, respectfully, and compassionately. We will focus on results while you focus on healing.
How Damages Are Calculated in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Economic damages such as medical and funeral costs are easy to calculate by totaling those costs incurred, without including any payment made by the insurance company. Lost future earnings and benefits are hard to calculate, and they require a determination of the life expectancy and earnings of the deceased. Non-economic damages are the most difficult to calculate since they’re unique based on each person’s sense of loss.
South Carolina Code of Laws dictates how money is divided among beneficiaries. The surviving spouse would receive half of the money, and the other half would go to the victim’s children equally. If the victim died without children, the spouse would receive the entire award. If the victim had no spouse, the settlement would be divided among the children.
If the victim had no spouse or children, the parents would receive the judgment award only if it’s proven that they did provide support for their child when they were a minor. If there’s no surviving spouse, children, or parent, another family member can recover damages through an estate representative. Our wrongful death lawyers will help you determine who may be eligible to recover damages from a wrongful death case.
Parties That Can Sue for Wrongful Death in South Carolina
South Carolina’s Code of Laws allows only certain individuals to benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- The surviving spouse or children
- The parents, in case there’s no spouse or children left behind
- The heirs of the deceased if they have no spouse, children, or parents
Types of Accidents That Can Be the Reason for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina
In South Carolina, some of the fatal accidents that can lead to a wrongful death claim include:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Assault or homicide
- Defective products
Work With Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you lost a loved one, our legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you recover the damages that you deserve. You should not have to handle your case on your own while you are grieving. We can calculate your damages and fight for what you deserve while you honor the memory of your loved one.