Filing a Wrongful Death Action in Charleston

Wrongful death cases are some of the more complex types of personal injury claims a person could file. These cases typically involve the opinion and testimony of expert witnesses who offer significant analysis from both a medical and legal prospective. As a result, the family of the deceased should be ready to hire an attorney when filing a wrongful death action in Charleston.

Although no amount of compensation could make up for the loss of a loved one, a successful civil claim could ease the financial burden of having to pay for funeral costs and other expenses that were left behind following their death. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.

Appointing a Representative of the Estate on Behalf of the Deceased

One of the first things the family of the deceased person must do is appoint a legal representative. This legal representative is important because they have the authority and power to act on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. The estate will be the party that brings the wrongful death action forward, so it is imperative that a representative be appointed.

Allocating a Damage Award to the Estate

While the estate monitors what happens in a wrongful death case, the money that comes from the wrongful death case will not go to the probate court; they would go to the dependents. The dependents can be either wholly dependent or partially dependent or a combination of multiple wholly dependents like children under the age of 18, spouse, etc. They would be the ones that receive the benefits out of a wrongful death suit.

Where Does Someone File a Wrongful Death Complaint in Charleston?

The family of the deceased can file a wrongful death complaint in South Carolina either at the federal district court or with the South Carolina Circuit Court. Although there are different rules that would applying in both courts, both can bring a civil action from wrongful death, including a survival action.

Defining a Survival Action

A survival action can be viewed as the sister claim to the wrongful death suit. By filing a survival action, the family is stating that had the deceased person lived for any period of time after being injured or harmed, then whatever pain and suffering they had should be compensated for, no matter if it is one minute or one year. This type of claim is filed separately from a wrongful death suit.

Notifying the At-Fault Party

In order to notify the at-fault party of the civil action filed against them, the plaintiff would file a summons and complaint. Once an attorney has successfully filed a summons and complaint with the court, the defendant has a time period of 30 days to respond. Once the defendant responds, the lawsuit would begin and the plaintiff should usher into the discovery phase of the case. At this point, the plaintiff and their attorney should focus on gathering any evidence they can to support their case.

Importance of Working with a Legal Professional

Filing a wrongful death action in Charleston involves many steps with intricate processes that must be fully evaluated and analyzed. Any mistake during the filing process could have a negative impact on your claim, such as delaying the process of a claim or potentially having a case thrown out altogether. The defense will not hesitate in taking the measures necessary for obtaining the deserved compensation following the death of a loved one, so you should not delay in taking the appropriate steps for successfully holding the at-fault party accountable. To get started on a case, reach out to an experienced and compassionate injury attorney today.


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