Wrongful Death Lawyers
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most challenging times of your life. It can be even more difficult to cope when the death was the result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence.
Wrongful death is governed by a statute in South Carolina that provides for compensation to be paid for the personal and economic losses to the loved ones left behind, such as a spouse, children, or other close relative to whom the deceased provided love and support. If you’ve recently lost a loved one in an accident that wasn’t their fault, you have every right to pursue a case.
The South Carolina injury attorneys at Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, can pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf. We understand that no amount of money can replace your loved one, but a successful claim can help ease your ongoing financial burden. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is Wrongful Death?
Unintentional deaths happen far more often than many of us think. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), unintentional injury deaths are the fourth leading cause of death, claiming nearly 225,000 people each year.
If you are injured due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to pursue damages from the responsible parties. Under South Carolina law, family members of deceased individuals can pursue a wrongful death claim if a person dies as a result of personal injury.
A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of negligence, a wrongful act, breach of contract, or default. Many accidents can result in wrongful death, such as vehicle crashes and defective product injuries. Wrongful death can also result from intentional acts like crimes.
How a Wrongful Death Case Can Help You
Obviously, nothing can fix the shock of losing a loved one. What becomes quickly disturbing for many is the loss of companionship and financial support provided by the deceased.
A wrongful death claim is a legal remedy available to loved ones in this situation. Even though the aftermath of the loss is overwhelming, it’s important to seek guidance from an experienced South Carolina wrongful death attorney. The actions you take today can impact your quality of life for many years to come.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
Who is permitted to file a wrongful death claim varies from state to state. In South Carolina, only the administrator or executor of the estate is eligible to file such a lawsuit. But that doesn’t mean family members won’t receive compensation for their losses.
Depending on the situation, the administrator or executor of the estate will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving spouse and children of the deceased. If the deceased was unmarried and without children, the lawsuit may be filed on behalf of their parents or other heirs.
Damages Available in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case
The goal of a wrongful death claim in South Carolina is to compensate the estate for the financial and other losses resulting from the untimely death of a loved one. Some of the damages you may be able to collect through this type of case include:
- Medical expenses incurred before death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income due to your loved one’s death
- Loss of lifetime financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages if the death was due to recklessness or malicious actions
South Carolina Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death Cases
The executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may also be able to file a survival action in South Carolina, which is different from a wrongful death claim. This type of case allows the estate to pursue damages connected to an existing legal claim.
If the deceased filed a personal injury lawsuit and later died from their injuries, the estate can file a survival action to collect damages that would have been awarded if the claim had been concluded. The survival action can claim damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering their loved one experienced. This is separate from a wrongful death case.
Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina
In South Carolina, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within three years from the individual’s date of death. Missing this deadline means you severely limit your ability to secure compensation because the court no longer has jurisdiction over your case.
Once the three-year statute of limitation has run out, there are few exceptions. We encourage all clients to file a claim as soon as possible. We understand the importance of the grieving process. At the same time, a timely claim can ensure you have access to evidence and witnesses that could support your case.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Case
When a loved one has been taken from you, you already have enough to deal with. A skilled and compassionate wrongful death attorney will fight for justice and the maximum compensation you deserve by building the strongest case possible.
The last thing you want to do is trust that the insurance company will do the right thing. Those companies are not on your side and only want to deny or settle your case for as little as possible. Instead, trust a reputable wrongful death lawyer to provide you with the trusted legal counsel and representation you need during this difficult time.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence or intentional acts of another person, find out how we can help. At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys will work closely with you and your family to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve.
When we handle your wrongful death case, you won’t pay us any fees upfront. We only get paid when we win compensation on your behalf. Please call us at (844) 843-1589 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We have offices in Fort Mill, Baxter Village, Lake Wylie, and Rock Hill.