What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

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A wrongful death claim is a legal action you can file to hold the party who caused your loved one’s death accountable. Wrongful death claims could result in financial compensation for certain family members.  

If your family has recently lost someone in an accident, you could be eligible to pursue legal action. Talking with a law firm that manages wrongful death cases can help you better understand your legal options. A wrongful death attorney from our firm can initiate the proceedings necessary to recover your family’s financial damages.

The death of your loved one may have harmed your finances or family budget. Another person’s negligent actions caused both your devastating loss and left you with a financial burden. Legal action may help remedy your financial loss, allowing your family to begin to heal.

What does Wrongful Death Mean?

Wrongful death means that if it were not for the circumstance, negligence, or careless acts of another, then your loved one would still be here. Any number of circumstances may have caused your loved one’s loss, and you can hold the liable party accountable.

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths

Wrongful death is caused by a person or entity’s negligent or intentional act. Legal cases are filed when a family member is killed due to carelessness or deliberate harm by another. Here are some common causes of wrongful deaths: 

  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace injury causing death
  • Elder abuse
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Defective products

Regardless of intent, the party who caused your loved one’s death should be responsible for compensating your family. A legal case can help your family hold this person accountable for their decisions. Compensation from a wrongful death case could ease some of your family’s financial hardships.

Families Can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

South Carolina allows your family to collect financial and emotional losses after the passing of your loved one. Your family can submit a claim for economic and non-economic compensatory damages.

Some damages you can recover with a wrongful death action include:  

  • Medical or hospital bills related to your loved one’s fatal injuries 
  • Pain and suffering your surviving family is experiencing 
  • Funeral and burial final expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of services provided to the family by your loved one

Dependents may have expected their loved one to provide for them, their future, or their educational goals. Filing a wrongful death claim can help ensure that the plans your family had for your future can still be attained. This kind of legal action also allows you to bring the liable party to justice. 

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

S.C. Ann. § 15-51-20 defines who can benefit from a wrongful death claim. It ensures that those who are related to and reliant on the decedent are the ones who will benefit from any legal action. Only the decedent’s executor can file the claim, however, the court determines the disbursement of compensation. 

Your loved one may have assigned an executor of their estate in their final will. This executor brings civil action to court in South Carolina. The court generally follows your family member’s final will, but if no executor was named before your loved one’s passing, the court could name one. 

Those who can recover damages from a wrongful death claim include: 

  • Your loved one’s surviving spouse and children
  • Their surviving parents, if they do not have a surviving spouse or children 

Other parties could also be eligible to recover wrongful death damages depending on your case’s details. We can explain more when you reach out to our firm. 

South Carolina Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Case

S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530 clarifies the amount of time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Your family has three years to take action. If your case is not filed on time, you could be barred from recovering compensation.  

Connect With a Wrongful Death Law Firm for More Details About Your Claim

If you need more information on the steps in pursuing a wrongful death claim, contact Schiller & Hamilton. Our compassionate legal team is available when you need us. We can do the work to ensure that you can spend time with your family. 

Our team will fight to help you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Filing this type of claim allows you to seek justice from the person who caused your loved one’s death. Allow our firm to guide your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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