While no amount of money will take away the pain of losing a loved one, we know that losing an immediate family member can put significant financial and other stress on your family. In addition to facing costs for their funeral and burial, you may have lost their income and are now having to pay for the services they previously provided to your family.
If your spouse or child died in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death lawyer in Charleston, SC may be able to file a wrongful death action on your behalf. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we offer free case reviews and can help you understand if you can recover compensation to ease your financial burden. Call our Charleston office today at 888-612-7001 to discuss your case with a member of our team.
Damages Available from a Charleston Wrongful Death Action
A South Carolina wrongful death action allows you to recover both the financial losses your family suffered because of your loved one’s death and your emotional losses.
Common financial losses recoverable in a wrongful death case include:
- Medical bills and related costs
- Lost wages
- Lost future income and benefits
- Accident-related property damages
- Out-of-pocket financial losses
South Carolina’s Wrongful Death Act also allows you to collect compensation to cover any expenses you had related to your loved one’s funeral and burial. These damages are also available through a survival action, although you can only collect compensation for them through one or the other.
You can also recover emotional damages suffered by qualifying family members. This could include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance and support
- Mental anguish
Occasionally, in the right case, we may demand punitive damages in a wrongful death action. This is usually only possible when we file a lawsuit based on your loved one’s death. The judge and/or jury will consider awarding punitive damages when there is evidence the negligent party acted in an intentional or particularly careless or way. Punitive damages differ from the compensatory damages above as the court awards these to punish the wrongdoer rather than make the plaintiff “whole.”
Only Specific Family Members Can Collect Compensation Through a Wrongful Death Action
The South Carolina Wrongful Death Act limits who can file a wrongful death action. The qualifying parties include:
- The executor of the will of the deceased; or
- The administrator of the estate of the deceased
This is true regardless of whether or not your loved one died without a will. If this happened in your case, you can still contact us. However, we will not be able to take any action until the courts name an administrator of your loved one’s estate. We are glad to help you with this.
There are also limits on who qualifies to receive compensation through a South Carolina wrongful death claim. Qualifying parties include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
You May Also Be Able to File a Survival Action
While a wrongful death action recovers the damages you suffered because of your loved one’s death, a survival claim allows the estate to obtain compensation for the deceased who’s endured conscious pain and suffering, emotional, and other losses your loved one suffered between their accident and their death. Like with a wrongful death claim, only the executor of their will or the administrator of their estate can file this type of action.
The damages available in a survival action may include:
- Any conscious physical pain and suffering
- Any conscious mental anguish or emotional distress
- Other emotional damages
Let One of Our Charleston, SC Wrongful Death Lawyers Handle Your Case
If you enlist the help of our team to handle your wrongful death action, we will work very hard to make sure everything goes smoothly. We will manage all communication with the at-fault party and their insurance company, investigate the incident and what caused it, solve all the probate court issues, and build a strong case to present to the insurance company or in court. If you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action, we will fight to help you recover the expenses and losses your loved one sustained while they fought for their life as well as your expenses related to their death.
Statute of Limitations on South Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
We can settle most wrongful death claims during settlement negotiations, but sometimes it is necessary to take your case to court to recover the full range of damages our client deserves. South Carolina state law usually gives us only three years from the date of the incident that caused your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you miss this deadline for some reason, it is unlikely the court will allow you to continue with your case. To protect your right to compensation, we recommend contacting us as soon as you are ready after your loved one’s passing.
Discuss Your Case with Our Wrongful Death Team Today
The wrongful death attorneys from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers offer free case reviews to ensure you understand the options you have after someone else’s negligence takes the life of your loved one. We may be able to help you recover money for both your loved one’s final expenses as well as a financial recovery that provides for your emotional damages.¹ We will be glad to explain the entire process during your complimentary consultation with a member of our team.