Wrongful deaths occur in a variety of ways, including motor vehicle accidents, injuries from malfunctioning or dangerous consumer products, errors in a medical setting, and workplace accidents. If you are dealing with the death of a loved due to the negligence of another person or entity, you do not need to go through this time of loss on your own.
A Sumter wrongful death lawyer could help facilitate a lawsuit against the party responsible for your loss. A compassionate personal injury attorney could assist with the process of filing documents and negotiating with insurance companies and defense counsel to get you the settlement you deserve.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death action is a survivor’s claim to compensation on behalf of a family member who would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived the injury in question. In South Carolina, only a formal executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on their surviving family’s behalf. This executor or administrator may be named by the decedent in their will or selected by the court if the deceased did not name one themselves.
Regardless of how they were selected, the executor of a decedent’s estate must act in the best interests of the decedent’s surviving family. To that end, family members who could recover damages through a Sumter wrongful death lawsuit include:
- The spouse and/or child or children of the decedent
- The decedent’s father and/or mother, if they left no spouse or children)
- The decedent’s legal heirs, if there are no surviving immediate family members
Filing a Claim in Sumter
The claimants in a wrongful death case must prove their loved one’s death was due to negligence. In a typical personal injury claim, the victim is able to speak about the events and their injuries. Since this is not possible in this instance, having substantive evidence is important.
Substantive evidence to support a wrongful death claim can be in the form of:
- Photographs or videos of the accident scene
- Accident reports
- Expert data from similar types of wrongful death-related accidents
Ideally, the evidence should support the argument that the defendant’s behavior was a breach of their duty of care and that a higher level of care is expected in similar circumstances. Additionally, it must be proven that this breach directly caused the wrongful death in question. This evidence should support the theory of negligence and the damages the decedent’s surviving family are seeking to recover.
A Sumter wrongful death lawyer could analyze available evidence and work to build a case to prove that a loved one’s death was due to the negligent conduct of another. In South Carolina, a plaintiff generally has three years in which to file a wrongful death suit, so contacting an experienced lawyer quickly is often a key step in the recovery process.
Retain a Compassionate Sumter Wrongful Death Attorney
Retaining a Sumter wrongful death lawyer could put you at ease during the negligence claim process. A skilled attorney could help prevent the insurance companies or defense counsel from taking advantage of you and your family during this challenging time.
Your personal injury lawyer could also work to negotiate a favorable settlement for you and your loved ones, which could help with outstanding medical and personal expenses caused by your loss. Do not attempt to take this on alone—local representatives are here to help. Call today to get started on your case.