Like every state, South Carolina allows a legal remedy known as a wrongful death suit to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. These lawsuits provide an opportunity for the heirs of a deceased person to recover monetary compensation. These claims are not an option in every case, however. A wrongful death lawsuit is only allowed when a person’s negligent acts led to the death of a loved one. A South Carolina wrongful death lawyer could advise you on your rights in this situation.
If you have lost a close family member due to the negligence of another person, you have valuable legal rights. If you fail to protect those rights, you could face the unfair financial burden of your loved one’s passing. To ensure you are treated fairly by the courts, it could be in your best interest to consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to state law, a wrongful death lawsuit is only available when the death results from a wrongful or neglectful act or default. A claim pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-51-10 requires a wrongful death claim to stem from an act that could have led to a personal injury lawsuit, had the victim survived.
Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Case?
Under statute section 15-51-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, not everyone has the right to bring a wrongful death suit. Other states provide certain family members with standing to sue, but South Carolina approaches things differently. Only the executor or administrator of an estate is empowered to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, the deceased person’s will or estate plan nominates an administrator. In cases where the person selected is unable or unwilling to fill the role, the court has the right to appoint one. The same is true if the decedent failed to name an administrator or executor at all.
If the court is to appoint an executor, an interested family could be a likely candidate. A member of the family that wishes to serve as administrator should discuss the possibility with a South Carolina wrongful death attorney.
The Result of a Successful Wrongful Claim
It is helpful to realize wrongful death claims are not criminal cases. If they are successful, the responsible party does not face the risk of jail time, fines, or other penalties. Instead, the remedy provided by a wrongful death claim is monetary compensation.
What Types of Compensation Could People Recover?
The damages available in these cases are similar to a personal injury case in many ways. If successful, they could result in compensation for any property damage, lost wages, or medical bills the deceased person incurred before their death.
There are other types of compensation that a South Carolina wrongful death attorney should be aware of, too. These damages are not available in traditional personal injury claims. They include expenses for the funeral and burial. There is also compensation available for the losses of the deceased person’s loved ones. This includes the loss of their companionship, care, and financial support.
Contact a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney As Soon As Possible
At first, seeking monetary compensation due to the loss of your loved one might seem like an afterthought. While money could never bring back your family member, it could help you recoup the expenses resulting from your family member’s untimely death.
A wrongful death suit could also help you obtain a measure of justice against the responsible party. Contact a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer right away to learn more.