SOUTH CAROLINA WRONGFUL DEATH FAQ
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience. You and your family need time to grieve. However, in many cases, a wrongful death can leave you and your family in a precarious financial situation, and you may be thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Greenville, South Carolina law firm of David R. Price, Jr. will work hard for you and your family to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after the loss of a loved one.
Below are a number of important wrongful death claim questions and answers that will provide you with valuable information.
WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH?
A wrongful death occurs due to the fault, negligence, omission, willful or wrongful act of another that caused the death of your loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits are often referred to as accidental death lawsuits and are designed, by law, to compensate you and your family. In addition, you and your family may be harmed if you relied on your deceased loved one for financial and emotional support. A wrongful death may have occurred due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else, a murder, medical malpractice, careless driving, or other causes.
TYPES OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Wrongful death cases are among the most serious types of personal injury cases that the David R. Price, Jr. law firm handles. Some different types of wrongful death cases are:
- Drownings – These types of cases generally involve negligence or error.
- Car Accidents
- Animal Bites
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises Liability
- Fire Liability
HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
There are many different factors that determine if you and your family have a claim for wrongful death and it depends on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. The knowledgeable attorneys at the David R. Price, Jr. law firm will listen to the facts of your potential case and work with you to determine if you have a claim for wrongful death in South Carolina. Consultations are free and it could benefit you and your family to schedule an appointment as soon as possible after the untimely death of your loved one.
CAN I FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT IN SOUTH CAROLINA
In South Carolina, the law is that the deceased’s executor or administrator of the estate can file a claim for wrongful death. The executor/administrator can pursue compensation on behalf of you and your family. If the executor/administrator is not willing to serve for this function, or if your loved one didn’t have a will, the court will appoint an executor/administrator who will be able to file a claim for wrongful death for you and your family.
WHAT DAMAGES IN A SOUTH CAROLINA WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM AM I ENTITLED TO?
There are two limits on the number of damages you may receive in South Carolina. The first is a cap on damages for a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit. For non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering to $350,000 against a single healthcare provider. If you sue multiple health care providers, you may receive up to $1.05 million.
The second damage cap is on punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer. In South Carolina, punitive damages are limited to $500,000.
- Other damages for wrongful death that are available in South Carolina include:
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Loss of care and companionship
- Lost wages
- Punitive Damages – these types of damages may be available depending on whether the defendant’s conduct was intentional or reckless.
- Medical Bills-Related to the treatment of the injuries that caused the wrongful death
- Pain and suffering – related to the pain and suffering of you and your family
- Property damage-such as a wrecked car, etc.
I WAS A BYSTANDER TO THE WRONGFUL DEATH. CAN I RECOVER DAMAGES FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
In Kinard v. Augusta Sash & Door Co, 286 S.C.579, the South Carolina Supreme Court considered the limits of emotional distress by a bystander. The South Carolina Supreme Court held that as a bystander you may be able to recover for your emotional injuries under certain conditions:
- The negligence of the defendant must cause death or serious physical injury to another;
- The bystander must be in close proximity to the accident;
- The bystander and the victim must be closely related
- You must contemporaneously perceive the accident; and
- The emotional distress must both manifest itself by physical symptoms capable of objective diagnosis and be established by expert testimony.
WHAT DO I DO? I LOST MY SPOUSE’S INCOME
You may be able to be compensated for a loss of earning capacity as a direct result of a wrongful death The estate of your deceased loved one will have to deduct probable income taxes, necessary living expenses and be adjusted for inflation.
Once this is completed, that value will be reduced to its current value. This will provide a figure for the loss of you loved one’s earning capacity due to their wrongful death. The South Carolina law office of David R. Price, Jr. works with experts in economics to arrive at the current value of your deceased loved one’s earning capacity.
THEY DIED SO YOUNG. THAT HAS TO BE WORTH SOMETHING.
You may be awarded damages for your deceased loved one’s destruction of the ability to enjoy activities in life such as their family, job, sports, and other activities
ARE WE COMPENSATED FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH ITSELF?
You and your family may be able to receive compensation for the loss of life, but there isn’t a mathematical formula to calculate such damages in South Carolina. Your attorney will work with you and your family to demonstrate the value of your loved one’s life to maximize your compensation.
MY LOVED ONE WENT THROUGH EXTREME SUFFERING. DOES THAT FIGURE INTO A CLAIM FOR WRONGFUL DEATH IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
If your loved one didn’t die instantly, pain and suffering damages may be awarded.
I LOST MY SPOUSE, MY BEST FRIEND, MY PARTNER. CAN I SUE IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR THIS LOSS?
In South Carolina, the surviving spouse and the children of the deceased who have died due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act, can recover damages for the loss of the ability to enjoy the deceased through their lifetime. This type of claim is in favor of the surviving spouse and not the estate.
IS THERE A TIMELIMIT TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
In South Carolina, unless a special rule is put in place, you must file your claim for wrongful death within 3 years of the date of death. There are circumstances, however, that may affect the point in which the South Carolina statute of limitations begins to elapse.
Discovery Date Rule: If at the time of your loved one’s death it wasn’t possible to know that negligence caused the death, but new evidence or knowledge is found, the statute of limitations begins to run as of the date you should have known.
Tolling: As set by either statute or court decision, certain circumstances pause, or “toll” the statute of limitations under those circumstances no longer apply. For example, a child who is a minor may bring an action for negligence when the minor is within 3 years of turning 18, regardless of when the negligence took place.
HOW CAN I FIND THE RIGHT SOUTH CAROLINA WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY?
There are several things you can do to find the best fit for you and your family for your South Carolina claim for wrongful death.
- Google South Carolina attorneys and do some research on the results.
- Read attorney reviews left by their previous clients
- Read the biographies of the attorneys
- Look at ratings from independent rating sources
- Interview several different attorneys
At the law firm of David R. Price, Jr. we work hard to present the strongest possible case for your South Carolina wrongful death claim.
We will conduct a very detailed investigation into the circumstances of your loved one’s death and gather evidence from any different sources.
We work with experts that will assist you in receiving the proper amount of compensation for all of the injuries and losses you and your family have suffered, past and future, that were a direct result of someone else’s legally proven negligence.
The David R. Price, Jr. law firm wants you to be able to focus on your life and help your family recover from your loved one’s death. We realize that no amount of money will replace the loss of your loved one, but it may help your family to recover financially so you can focus on healing. As always, we don’t recover a fee unless you win. We will pay for everything associated with your individual case and will only be reimbursed for our expenses if we win or settle your case.
Greenville, South Carolina wrongful death attorney, David R. Price, Jr. and his staff will give you their dedication, compassion. We will use our experience, skill, and knowledge to help you receive some form of justice by being a strong advocate for you and your family so you receive all the compensation you deserve.