When a loved one’s death resulted from someone else’s careless or intentional acts, South Carolina law allows families to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, surviving family members incur hefty medical and funeral costs, not to mention having to endure the loss of financial and emotional support they received from the deceased. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party can alleviate these financial burdens.
Although no amount of compensation can restore someone’s life, a wrongful death claim helps family members recover damages so they can move forward and heal. Our personal injury lawyers understand how a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina works. Our team will help you understand who is eligible to file and the total amount of damages you can seek. You can reach out to us today for a free case review.
About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in South Carolina
When a person’s death occurs because of a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, South Carolina law S.C. Code § 15-51-10 allows a wrongful death claim to proceed. Another requirement is that the victim would have been eligible for compensation from the wrongdoer if they had survived.
Some of the fatal accidents that a wrongful death lawyer from our firm can handle are:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Nursing home neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Plane crashes
- Construction accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, only certain surviving family members can recover damages in a wrongful death case. They include:
- The deceased person’s spouse and children
- The deceased person’s parent if there’s no spouse or children
- The heirs of the deceased person if there’s no spouse, children, or a parent
In the absence of a spouse, child, or parent, the administrator of the victim’s estate must file the claim on behalf of other surviving family members who can recover damages. If the estate doesn’t have an executor or administrator named in the will, the court will appoint one.
The Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina
You don’t file a wrongful death case in the same way the deceased would have filed their claim had they survived. Instead, the estate representative will have to file the case in the appropriate court and give proper notice of the lawsuit to the at-fault party. From there, the defendant will have a chance to respond, and the court will set the dates for hearing and discovery deadlines.
Note that, in a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s up to the jury to determine the total amount of damages surviving family members should recover. That award is then divided among the eligible surviving family members by the share each would take as an heir regardless of the proportion of damages suffered by each.
We understand you want to get your compensation as soon as possible. Don’t worry about the process—our wrongful death attorneys will take care of the details.
Proving Negligence in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case
There are four elements of a wrongful death case you must prove for your case to be successful in South Carolina. They include:
- Duty: You must establish that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the deceased.
- Breach: You need to establish that the defendant, in one way or another, breached their duty of care to the victim.
- Causation: Once you establish a breach of duty, it should be evident that the victim suffered fatal injuries as a result of this breach.
- Damages: You must provide proof of the damages you and your family suffered due to the unexpected loss.
Our lawyers will help you understand these elements and collect and present the necessary evidence to support your claim and speed up the recovery process.
Wrongful Death Damages You Could Recover in South Carolina
A wrongful death claim helps surviving family members recover compensation for various expenses and losses. For example, some of the damages you could recover include:
- Medical expenses incurred before death
- Pain and suffering caused to the surviving relatives
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the deceased person’s expected lifetime wages and income
- Loss of care and guidance that the deceased would have provided
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium
Our attorneys can identify the unique damages in your case and fight for a fair award.
Let Our Wrongful Death Attorney Help You
If you lost a loved one as a result of negligence, a wrongful death lawyer from our firm can help. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we have helped families in all types of wrongful death cases get justice in South Carolina. Our team knows this is a trying time for you and your loved ones. We want to advocate on your behalf so you can move forward and focus on healing.
Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.