When a family member passes away, you may be feeling distraught or confused as to what actions to take in the event their death was caused by the negligence of another person. Fortunately, the laws in South Carolina makes it possible for family members of the deceased to recover compensation on their behalf. So long as they prove the elements necessary for obtaining a successful outcome to a claim, the deceased estate’s could recover for costs and expenses that were sustained as a result of their accident.
Speak with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about the potential recoverable damages in a Charleston wrongful death case.
What are Considered Damages Under Charleston Law?
In a wrongful death suit, the plaintiff could recover both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages account for items that are easy to calculate, such as medical bills, loss of wages and any property damage. On the other hand, noneconomic damages accounts for items that are difficult to quantify and non-physical, such as loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and any psychological trauma sustained.
The deceased person’s estate could also receive separate damages from a survival action. A survival action is an attempt to recoup damages for the pain and suffering the deceased person suffered in the moments right before their death. No matter if they lived for a second or 10 years after suffering an accident to the point they passed on, their estate can file a survival action for the pain and suffering experienced during that time.
Importance of Proving Liability, Negligence, and Duty of Care
When a person files a civil suit of any kind, they are attempting to recover for damages suffered as a result of the accident. However, in order to recover damages, the plaintiff must prove several elements. One of these elements is proving liability. This means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant either did something they were not supposed to do or they failed to do something they should have done. Once they prove liability, they would then try to prove how the plaintiff’s negligence resulted in a person’s accident. In a wrongful death case, the estate of the deceased would try to prove that the at-fault party’s actions was the main cause of their premature death. Once these elements have been proved, the plaintiff must prove that the defendants owed a duty of care to the plaintiff and that duty was breached by the plaintiff.
Who can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death case, the estate of the deceased would be the party to recover damages on their behalf. However, the estate is required to appoint a representative who would be filing the case on the deceased person’s behalf. In some cases, the deceased may have left behind some sort of will stating who would act on behalf of the deceased. However, in the event that they did not leave behind a will, the state would decide would act as the beneficiary. Usually, the children of the deceased would take precedence, but if they did not have any children, then the state may look into whether a spouse or other relative were left behind.
Speak with an Attorney Today
A lawyer could help you organize the facts of your case and provide you with the guidance necessary for obtaining the recoverable damages in a Charleston wrongful death claim. While no amount of money could make up for the tragic loss of a beloved family member, it is still worthwhile to file an injury claim in order to pay costs associated or left behind after their passing. To learn more, schedule a consultation.