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Wrongful Death
HawkLaw Fights for Columbia
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Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer

When a loved one passes away, your family is left in a tragic and difficult position. If the death was someone else’s fault, talk to a Columbia wrongful death attorney about your opportunity to seek compensation for your family’s loss.

Seek Fair Compensation with a Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyer

Suffering the death of a loved one in a fatal accident is one of the most agonizing experiences you can go through. Especially if it comes to light that the accident was not only preventable, but occurred because of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person.

If you’ve suffered a loss due to the negligence or irresponsibility of another party, you probably have many questions. Call the compassionate wrongful death attorneys of HawkLaw Firm at 888-HAWKLAW in Columbia, South Carolina to help you find answers to your questions.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Under South Carolina law, if a death is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person(s), surviving family members of the victim may be eligible to bring a claim for damages against the parties responsible for their loved one’s death.

Type of Personal Injury Case

Examples of personal injury cases include accidents due to automobiles, motorcycles, slips and falls, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse, to name a few. A skilled attorney can look at the circumstances surrounding the death and determine if there is a case.

Victim Dies as a Result of Injuries

If a victim dies as a result of injuries suffered due to the actions of a wrongdoer, this can be considered a wrongful death under South Carolina law.

No Ill Intent Intended

Most wrongdoers and their insurance companies will claim no ill intent on behalf of the defendant; however, this may not be the case. Victims should consider pursuing legal action and let a court decide.

South Carolina has what’s called a modified comparative negligence rule. Under certain circumstances, victims may be ruled partially to blame for injury or death and this will impact the percentage of damages that can be awarded. A knowledgeable Columbia wrongful death lawyer can examine the case and determine your legal options.

What Are Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases?

Wrongful death cases occur under many different types of circumstances. The main factors associated with wrongful death are if the person(s) at fault acted negligently, recklessly, or with intention. Common causes of wrongful death cases include:

Car Accidents

Auto accidents and truck accidents caused by reckless driving often lead to tragedy. If your loved one’s death was caused by a car accident due to the irresponsible driving of a motorist, the driver can be held to blame for wrongful death.

Motorcycle Accidents

Statistics in South Carolina indicate almost 150 people die in motorcycle accidents each year (1). If reckless driving causes a person’s death, the families of victims are permitted to pursue damages.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of injury sending millions of people to the ER each year (2). In these accidents, circumstances that could have prevented the accident are often present.

Medical Malpractice

Sadly, medical malpractice is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. (3). South Carolina law does permit victims to pursue damages in medical malpractice cases. The amount is capped at $350,000 per defendant to compensate for pain and suffering and $1.05 million overall (including all defendants) (4).

Defective Products

Wrongful death can be caused by the use of a defective product when the product was used as designed. Families can pursue justice against the manufacturer, distributor, or other party involved with getting defective products to consumers that lead to death.

Nursing Home Abuse

People send their loved ones to nursing homes with the expectation they’ll receive good care. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors, nurses, or other caretakers are abusive and/or irresponsible with care. Families of nursing home abuse victims are permitted to pursue justice under South Carolina law.

If you’ve lost a cherished member of your family due to the actions of another person(s), it’s important to contact a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

What Types of Damages Occur in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

South Carolina law allows families who lose a family member in a wrongful death situation to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.

Loss of Companionship for Surviving Family Members

Families, including surviving spouses, beneficiaries, and surviving parents, who have lost a loved one are eligible to seek damages for loss of companionship under South Carolina law (5).

Loss of Financial Support and Wages

Losing a family member can also be financially devastating. As you struggle with the unexpected loss of your loved one, you’ll also probably worry about the financial future of your family. Courts will often award damages to help families recover from the loss of financial support and wages.

Funeral Expenses for the Deceased Person

Funeral expenses are costly. Families of wrongful death victims in South Carolina are allowed to pursue compensation to cover the expenses associated with the burial of their loved ones.

Medical Expenses Incurred Before the Decedent Died

Many victims are given medical treatment for their injuries before they pass away. This can leave families with large medical bills for this care. Families can pursue these expenses to be paid by the party who was at blame for their loved one’s death.

Punitive Damages to Hold the Negligent Party Accountable

Punitive damages are monetary awards given to victims that exceed their economic losses. Courts will often give families of wrongful death victims punitive damages to punish the defendant and set an example to others that the behaviors will not be tolerated. A knowledgeable Columbia personal injury attorney can examine your case to see if your situation is eligible for punitive damages.

What Should I Do After a Fatal Accident?

After a fatal accident occurs, it’s difficult to think of the future. This senseless event can be hard to digest. Not only are you dealing with the shock of losing your loved one, but also with the longer-term effects, including the emotional toll and financial devastation in the aftermath of wrongful death. However, it’s important to take action quickly.

Call an Attorney Right Away

After a fatal accident occurs, it’s important to call a personal injury attorney right away. South Carolina imposes a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases.

Avoid Taking a Settlement from an Insurance Company

It’s very likely you’ll quickly hear from an insurance company to try to settle a wrongful death action case, usually, at a time when victims are still in shock over a loved one’s death. Insurance companies often make low settlement offers to swiftly close the case, waiving your right to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Seek a Free Case Evaluation to See if You Have a Wrongful Death Case

As soon as possible, seek a case evaluation from an experienced personal injury lawyer. They’ll carefully look through the details and circumstances associated with the event that led to the wrongful death of your loved one, identifying any wrongdoers that may be to blame.

How Can HawkLaw Help with a Wrongful Death Case?

The negligent party who caused your loved one’s wrongful death may suffer or even feel bad, but that pain is nothing compared to the aftermath of such a devastating loss. At HawkLaw, our legal team understands the pain South Carolina families suffer after experiencing the tragic loss of a family member, especially a preventable one. We’ll stand with you during this difficult time and help you receive justice for the great loss you’ve suffered.

Understanding All Potential Damages

No amount of money can ever replace the loss of your loved one. However, receiving financial compensation in the form of potential damages might help ease some of the burdens you carry after your devastating loss. We can examine your case, offer legal advice, and present you with your legal options.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations, and Exceptions

The State of South Carolina places a three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. This means a lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date the death occurred. If a suit is not timely filed, a South Carolina court will likely refuse to hear the case. There may be some exceptions, but it’s best to speak with a Columbia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can determine if any exceptions would apply and ensure the eligibility to file a wrongful death claim does not expire.

Aggressive Representation

The parties responsible for a wrongful death will work hard to protect themselves. You’ll want someone on your side. HawkLaw has a proven track record of aggressively pursuing justice for South Carolina families. We take the attorney-client relationship seriously and promise to represent you as we fight back against defense attorneys and insurance companies that seek to minimize your loss and pain.

History of Successful Wrongful Death Suits

HawkLaw has 20 years of experience in successful wrongful death suits to bring justice to South Carolina families. The verdicts we’ve fought for vary since every case is unique.

Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation with a Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney

HawkLaw has been fighting for South Carolina families since 2002. Our caring and compassionate legal team understand the trauma you’re going through after the loss of your loved one. To request a case evaluation, call 888-HAWKLAW or complete the online contact form to speak with an experienced Columbia wrongful death lawyer at HawkLaw today.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
140 Stoneridge Drive
Suite 430
Columbia, SC 29210
+1 (803) 879-5648
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John D. Hawkins
Founder and CEO

John Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of HawkLaw He has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since his graduation with honors in 1994 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was on the Law Review and Order of Wig and Robe.