South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorneys
A loved one’s death changes a family’s future forever. An unnecessary death can be devastating for family members, particularly if the victim was the family breadwinner.
Under South Carolina law, family members of a person who has died due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness may seek compensation for their financial losses and for their grief.
For more than two decades, the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys of Schiller & Hamilton have helped family members who have lost loved ones in fatal car accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and other preventable tragedies. Although we know we can never truly make things right again, our goal is to help by making sure an unjust death does not create a lasting financial burden on the family.
Contact our compassionate personal injury lawyers today to set up a free consultation about your case. Our law firm does not charge any fees upfront to begin work on a wrongful death claim, and we only collect payment if we recover compensation for your family.
How Do Wrongful Death Claims Work in South Carolina?
South Carolina civil law treats a wrongful death claim much like a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation (“damages”) for harm done to the deceased and to immediate family members. A wrongful death claim may follow an accidental death, such as a fatal car accident, or a criminal death (homicide).
There are two separate legal actions in a wrongful death claim under South Carolina law:
A survival action seeks compensation for expenses encountered by the decedent’s estate. It may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses (i.e., the deceased was injured and treated, but died later)
- The decedent’s claim for pain and suffering
- Property damage, such as in a car accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
In a survival action, all compensation after the estate’s debts are paid passes to whoever was designated in the will, and it is subject to estate taxes.
A wrongful death action seeks compensation that goes directly to survivors. It may include payment for:
- Pain and suffering (i.e., grief)
- Mental anguish (e.g., shock over an unanticipated death)
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium (for the spouse)
In a wrongful death action, each immediate family member who is part of the claim gets an equal portion of compensation recovered, and there is no estate tax.
While a survival action is filed in the name of the decedent’s estate, a wrongful death action may be pursued by a deceased person’s:
- Spouse and child(ren)
- Parent(s) if there is no spouse or child(ren)
- Other heirs if there are no other eligible family members (Heirs in a South Carolina wrongful death claim are individuals to whom the court would distribute assets of a person who died intestate, or without a will.)
Our knowledgeable South Carolina wrongful death attorneys can meet with your family to discuss your rights after the unjust loss of a loved one. We will sit down with you and answer all your questions about how the process works and prepare you for what to expect. Schedule a free consultation now to learn how we can help you.
How Our Attorneys Can Help in a Wrongful Death Case
It is not unusual if you have lost a loved one in an accident to be overcome with grief and just want to be left alone as you struggle to move on. However, it is also not unusual to feel angry and want to see justice done. If there is a dispute about responsibility for your loved one’s death, you deserve answers. If you have a legal right to compensation for your loss, you should have that money.
At Schiller & Hamilton, our wrongful death attorneys will treat you with compassion as we investigate your claim. Our legal team can prepare all necessary documents to file both a survival action and a wrongful death claim. Our seasoned lawyers frequently help clients in these types of emotional cases by:
- Speaking for you to protect your rights when law enforcement or insurance investigators seek information about your loved one’s death
- Gathering evidence to support your claims, including witness statements and medical records, and by inspecting the accident scene, damaged vehicles, etc.
- Providing probate services to make sure that all initial accounting is correct
- Assisting you if you have problems collecting on life insurance policies
- Referring you to services in the community, such as professionals to help you learn to cope with grief
You can’t count on an insurance company to look out for survivors’ interests after an accidental death. Particularly if the responsible party denies fault, their insurance carrier will side with them. An insurance adjuster’s goal is to settle your claim for the smallest payment possible, close your case as quickly as possible, and move on.
Our skilled legal team will have your back. We will not charge a fee for our services unless we recover compensation for you. Call or contact us online today to talk about your claim.
Common Wrongful Death Cases in South Carolina
Our law firm is committed to pursuing cases where our attorneys can make a difference for those who have been seriously harmed through no fault of their own. We pride ourselves on providing a full range of assistance to clients so they can focus on healing as we protect and exercise their legal rights. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and respected litigators, and we are here to make the system work for you.
We assist families across South Carolina who have lost loved ones in:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents
- Premises Liability Cases
- Product Liability Cases
- Medical Malpractice Cases
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases
If charges were filed in your loved one’s death, your civil claim will likely proceed after the criminal case has been resolved. This will allow us to use evidence uncovered by prosecutors, as well as any court ruling, to strengthen your civil claim.
Our Attorneys Are Here to Help After an Unexpected, Wrongful Death
We know that you have a lot on your mind after losing a loved one in an accident. But don’t put off talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney about financial compensation you may be entitled to receive. You deserve answers, as well as compensation for what has wrongly been taken from you.
Our team can launch an investigation into your case immediately to determine exactly what happened and who should be held accountable. Contact our compassionate South Carolina personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free legal consultation.
For more than 20 years, our law firm has been helping families like yours throughout Rock Hill, Lancaster, Beaufort, Bluffton, and surrounding communities. Now, we are here to help you.