The sudden death of your loved one is never easy. However, the impact a death has on you could be far more devastating when brought about by the negligence of another person. If the untimely loss of your family member was the result of negligence, you might have a viable wrongful death claim against the responsible party. A personal injury attorney may provide guidance on how to hold the responsible party accountable.
You do not have to take on the burden of a wrongful death lawsuit on your own. If you are in search of answers regarding a wrongful death action, contact a Moncks Corner wrongful death lawyer right away.
South Carolina Wrongful Death Law
South Carolina Statute 15-51-10 defines wrongful death as one caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or default”. When another person’s wrongful conduct leads to the death of another person, certain forms of compensation may be available through a wrongful death lawsuit.
A person may bring a wrongful death case for any damages the deceased person would have had the right to pursue if they had lived. In other words, a wrongful death lawsuit allows a third party to stand in for the deceased on what are effectively personal injury claims. Because of their unique nature, it could be beneficial to enlist the help of a Moncks Corner wrongful death attorney that has experience in personal injury law as well.
The Right to File a Moncks Corner Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are strict limits regarding who may bring a wrongful death case in South Carolina. Many states standardize a complex hierarchy of family members used by the court to determine the person with standing to file suit. In South Carolina, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit rests with the executor or administrator of the estate.
In many cases, the decedent’s last will and testament appoints a specific person as an executor. If the will does not identify an executor, the court would appoint one. The court would also select a replacement if the executor or administrator is no longer alive or is not willing to serve.
An executor or administrator is required to file the suit, but the claim exists to benefit the surviving relatives of the decedent. The damages recovered from a wrongful death suit are distributed evenly among the surviving spouse and any surviving children. If the deceased person did not have a spouse or children, their parents are entitled to the compensation. If there are surviving children, spouses, or parents, then the heirs to the estate share in the monetary recovery.
There are some exceptions regarding who may recover in a wrongful death action. While parents often recover upon the deaths of their children, there are exceptions related to abandonment. If a parent abandoned a child before their 18th birthday, that parent could not recover damages in a wrongful death suit. This exception is regardless of whether the child was an adult or under the age of 18 when they died.
The rules regarding the rights to file a wrongful death or recover damages from one are complicated. A Moncks Corner wrongful death attorney may be able to shed some light on the process.
Contact a Moncks Corner Wrongful Death Attorney
If you believe you are entitled to benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit, contact a Moncks Corner wrongful death lawyer right away. A discussion with experienced legal counsel may give you the insight you need on filing a wrongful death action.