Damages in Beaufort Wrongful Death Actions
If your loved one lost their life due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another person, you and your family may have a legal claim for damages. The executor of the deceased person’s estate is responsible for bringing wrongful death actions on behalf of surviving family members.
Various types of damages may be available to immediate family members. An experienced wrongful death attorney could review your case and work to get justice for your loved one and hold the responsible parties financially accountable for your losses. Get in touch with a lawyer today to discuss damages in Beaufort wrongful death actions.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under South Carolina Code § 15-51-10, the state authorizes civil wrongful death actions in situations in which an act of negligence causes a fatal accident. These claims may be filed if, had the negligent act not occurred, then the victim would still be alive. If the deceased person would have had a valid personal injury suit against the responsible parties, then the surviving family members of the deceased persons could be eligible to bring a wrongful death action.
Who can Bring Forth a Wrongful Death Suit?
Only the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring the wrongful death suit on behalf of the surviving family members. If the deceased persons had a will or estate plan, the persons whom they nominated in those documents would serve in this role.
If the deceased did not name an executor, the court must designate one or more persons to fill this role. A lawyer in the area could assist families in naming an executor in order to file for wrongful death damages.
Potential Damages in a Beaufort Wrongful Death Suit
Compensation in wrongful death claims can take various forms. Recoverable damages may cover economic or non-economic losses. The amount and type of compensation received can vary considerably depending on the circumstances.
Families might receive economic damages to cover funeral, burial, and final medical expenses. Surviving family members who were dependent on the wages earned by the decedent may be awarded damages to cover all current and future income, as well as the loss of earning capacity of the deceased.
Non-economic damages cover subjective losses. These damages can be somewhat challenging to value. Surviving family members may recover damages for their mental distress, emotional suffering, loss of companionship, or loss of parental love and guidance.
Who may Receive Damages?
Only certain surviving family members can receive damages in a wrongful death claim. Under S.C. Code § 15-51-20, the surviving spouse and children are typically the beneficiaries of any damages awarded. However, if the deceased persons leave no spouse or children, then their parents are the beneficiaries.
If the deceased has no surviving family members, their heirs would be eligible for compensation. A local attorney who focuses on wrongful death actions could help individuals determine if they may be eligible for damages.
Learn More About Damages in Beaufort Wrongful Death Actions
Though contacting an attorney may not be at the forefront of your mind after the death of a loved one, it may be in your best interest to consider your legal options. The damages in Beaufort wrongful death actions could help your family gain some financial stability as you navigate this difficult time. Contact Schiller & Hamilton today to learn more about your legal rights following the death of a loved one.