The unexpected loss of a loved one is a stressful and traumatic time for the surviving family members. The grieving process becomes even more difficult when your loved one’s death was caused due to the reckless actions of another person or party. The survivors are left with a series of financial problems with medical bills and funeral costs piling up. Our Anderson wrongful death lawyers understand the difficulties that families face after an untimely loss.
South Carolina law allows the surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party and ease their financial burden to some extent. Even though a lawsuit cannot restore the loss created by the untimely departure of your loved one, a wrongful death action helps the surviving family members to secure the money they need to get on with their lives.
Filing a wrongful death case against the at-fault party is a complex process. There are many factors involved in winning such a case and obtaining the necessary monetary benefits. That is where you need professional help. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced Anderson wrongful death lawyer is your best solution to claim maximum compensation for your loss.
Hernandez & Cabra has handled a wide variety of personal injury cases throughout the years. Our trial experience is unmatched in Anderson. We have taken hundreds of personal injury cases to court and won millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. All personal injury lawsuits are handled on a contingency basis where you don’t pay anything until we win your claim. Call today at 864-501-4384 to handle your wrongful death claim and obtain maximum compensation for your losses!
How is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of South Carolina?
South Carolina created a cause of action for wrongful death in S.C. Code 15-51-10. The statute defines wrongful death as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or party. The wrongful act should be the type of action for which the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury lawsuit if he/she had survived.
For example, a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim in which the injured person is no longer able to file a claim since he or she didn’t survive the injury. Instead, someone else needs to step in and file the claim on behalf of the deceased person.
Any type of fatal accident could be the source of an SC wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most common sources of wrongful death claims in SC include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Intentional acts including crimes
- Nursing home neglect
- Defective products
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Engineering malpractices including faulty constructions
- Pedestrian accident fatalities
- Contaminated food or other sanitation problems in commercial organizations
- Improper or illegal alcohol services – for example, a bartender continues to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual
Who is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
Although the deceased surviving family members should file a wrongful death claim in most states, the procedure in South Carolina is somewhat different. In South Carolina, the administrator or executor of the deceased individual’s estate should file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the family (S.C. Code 15-51-20). In case the deceased has made a will, the executor will be named there. If the deceased doesn’t have an estate plan or the executor doesn’t wish to file the claim, the court will name someone.
Even though the administrator or executor of the will is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim, any damages recovered from such a claim will go to the surviving family members of the deceased individual.
The family members who are eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death claim in South Carolina include:
- The surviving spouse and children of the deceased individual
- The surviving parents if there is no spouse or child
- The deceased’s heirs in case there are no surviving parents, spouse, and children
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
If a wrongful death case is successful, the court will order the defendant to pay damages to the plaintiff’s surviving family members. In fact, damages are awarded for a wide range of losses in SC including:
- Medical expenses relating to the final illness or injury of the deceased individual
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost financial support
- Pain and suffering experienced by the surviving family members due to the loss of their loved one
- Loss of the deceased individual’s knowledge and experience
- Loss of the deceased individual’s protection, care, and companionship
Can the Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Yes. If the conduct of the defendant was deliberate or reckless, the court may award exemplary damages or punitive damages to the plaintiff’s surviving family. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the surviving family or estate for losses resulting from the death of their loved one. Instead, punitive damages are purely meant to punish the wrongdoers for their reckless actions and serve as a deterrent for others so that they don’t engage in such activities or similar behavior in the future.
How is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
In order to prove a wrongful death claim in South Carolina, one needs to prove several important points. The Anderson wrongful death lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra can evaluate your case and determine if you have a valid claim worth pursuing.
The first point to prove is you have lost a loved one as a result of the accident or injury. Then you should prove that the death of your loved one was the result of someone else’s negligence. In fact, negligence is the key factor in a wrongful death claim in South Carolina. For example, if you lost a loved one due to a fatal truck accident, the truck driver should have behaved in a reckless manner to cause the accident and subsequent death of your loved one.
The next point to prove is that the deceased individual is survived by immediate family members including a spouse, children, siblings, or parents. A wrongful death claim in South Carolina should be filed on behalf of the surviving family members of the deceased. The final point to prove is that the surviving family members have suffered monetary and emotional losses due to the death of their loved one.
When your loved one is tragically killed by the negligence of someone else, a wrongful death lawyer in Anderson, SC can help obtain maximum compensation for your losses.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
A wrongful death claim should be filed by the administrator or executor of the estate of the deceased individual on behalf of his/her surviving family members. The spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased individual can claim monetary and emotional losses due to the death of their loved one.
You should remember that there is a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit to court so that you could obtain maximum compensation for your losses. Collect the compensation that you rightly deserve with the help of relentless personal injury lawyers that has your best interest in mind.
It is important that you work with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Anderson, SC when filing a wrongful death claim to obtain the maximum compensation for your losses. The knowledgeable and experienced lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra can evaluate your case and determine if you have a valid claim worth pursuing.
What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
A wrongful death claim benefits the surviving family members when they lose a loved one due to the negligence of someone else. On the other hand, when an individual dies, he or she will leave behind an estate. The estate has some authority to pursue legal claims on behalf of the decedent. With the death of the decedent, the estate may incur certain losses including burial and funeral expenses. The estate can claim these expenses from the party that is responsible for the untimely death of the decedent.
Call Our Anderson Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
When you have lost a loved one in Anderson SC due to the negligent actions of another party, SC law lets you claim financial and emotional losses from the at-fault party. You should work with an experienced Anderson wrongful death lawyer to claim maximum benefits for your losses.
South Carolina has its own share of personal injury law firms. But all of these law firms are not created alike. Your research is crucial to selecting the best Anderson wrongful death lawyer to handle your claim and obtain maximum compensation for your emotional and financial losses. Hernandez & Cabra is your trusted partner in Anderson, South Carolina to handle your wrongful death claim. We are your preferred personal injury law firm in SC to help you obtain maximum benefits for your losses.
Hernandez & Cabra is your trusted partner in Anderson, South Carolina to handle your wrongful death claim. Call Hernandez & Cabra in Anderson, South Carolina today at 864-501-4384 to handle your wrongful death claim and obtain maximum compensation for your losses!