Fort Mill Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you recently lost a loved one unexpectedly, you unfortunately know better than anyone that no amount of money can replace a life taken by someone else’s reckless or intentional actions. With that in mind, the purpose of civil litigation following a wrongful death is not to completely make up for the losses you and your family have suffered, but rather ensure those losses do not continue to impact you financially in the future.
Talking to a Fort Mill wrongful death lawyer could help clarify the legal options available to you in the wake of such a horrific tragedy. With assistance from a dedicated and compassionate personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover compensation that preserves your financial health and grants you at least some measure of justice for the harm another person’s behavior caused.
Filing a Wrongful Death Case in Fort Mill
Within Title 15 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which contains all statutes codified under state law that are related to civil lawsuits, Chapter 51 specifically addresses causes of action and associated regulations for lawsuits based on wrongful death. According to South Carolina Code of Laws §15-51-10, any party responsible for causing someone else’s death through either neglect, wrongful act, or default may still be held liable for civil damages, so long as the deceased victim would have had grounds to file civil suit had they survived their injuries.
Any such lawsuit in South Carolina must be filed and pursued by the legally named or assigned executor of the deceased party’s estate. In addition to recovering for certain damages on behalf of the decedent’s estate, this administrator can also seek compensation on behalf of the decedent’s surviving spouse and children.
If a deceased person has no surviving spouse or children, an executor may seek damages on behalf of their parents, or on behalf of their legal heirs if their parents are not alive or abandoned the decedent before they turned 18. Anyone with questions about whether they could be eligible to pursue damages in the event of a wrongful death in Fort Mill should speak with an attorney about their legal options.
Effectively Recovering Damages after a Wrongful Death
Damages may be recoverable through civil litigation even if a wrongful death does not result in criminal charges or prosecution. If a matter has both civil and criminal implications, the two cases would proceed separately in different courts, and the outcome of one case typically has little to no bearing on the outcome of the other.
If their case is successful, a qualified wrongful death lawyer in Fort Mill may be able to help surviving family members recover for damages like:
- Medical expenses for treatment given prior to the decedent’s death
- Lost financial support the decedent would have provided through their occupation
- Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
- Loss of companionship with the decedent
- Loss of guidance from the decedent
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, if the decedent’s death resulted from intentional or extremely reckless conduct by the defendant
Importantly, though, all wrongful death cases in South Carolina must adhere to a statutory filing deadline that, if not obeyed, may result in a case being time-barred and surviving family members being ineligible to recover compensation. For most wrongful death cases in Fort Mill, the applicable statutory period extends three years from the date of the decedent’s death.
Talk to a Fort Mill Wrongful Death Attorney to Learn More
Undertaking civil litigation after a family member’s wrongful death is never a simple endeavor. On top of dealing with emotional pain and grief, filing a lawsuit can also lead to a great deal of logistical and financial stress at a time when you may be least prepared to handle it alone.
Fortunately, help is available from a seasoned Fort Mill wrongful death lawyer. To learn how an attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could help you with your case, call today to schedule a consultation.