Losing a loved one is painful, especially if someone else caused the death. Fortunately, a South Carolina wrongful death attorney can help you seek justice.
When you lose a loved one, it can take time to overcome the grief that you’ll experience. A family member has died, and that’s difficult to deal with. But you might not have just lost a loved one—you might have lost him or her to someone else’s carelessness.
When a family member dies in an accident someone else caused, like a car crash or medical malpractice, the victim and surviving family members deserve justice for the suffering they were put through because of a reckless person. Fortunately, you do have the chance to give your family members the peace of mind they deserve by contacting a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer.
At HawkLaw, PA, we understand the pain of losing a loved one, and we’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve when someone else caused the death.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death in South Carolina?
Wrongful death claims are distinct from other personal injury cases because the injured parties are no longer able to stand up for themselves. Instead, you’ll need to determine who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina.
South Carolina law says the wrongful death claim must be filed by an executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. The deceased might have named this person in his or her estate plan. If there is no executor or administrator, or if the chosen person doesn’t want to take on the role, a court can appoint someone.
While you might not be the executor of your loved one’s estate, you can still recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. The chosen executor acts on the behalf of the family, which may include the surviving spouse, children, parents, or heirs at law (if there are no others available). This gives you and your family a chance to recover compensation even if you won’t be part of the legal claim.
Your Wrongful Death Compensation
You’ll also need to keep track of what compensation you might be owed in the case of a South Carolina wrongful death claim. This compensation should cover the losses you’ve suffered because of the death. This isn’t just monetary—your claim might also cover the emotional toll of your loved one’s death, which may be especially important for dependent children.
You may be able to recover compensation for any of the following damages:
Medical expenses for the deceased’s injuries prior to the death
Funeral and burial expenses
Loss of income
Loss of care and affection
Mental anguish for surviving family members
You may also pursue punitive damages (also called exemplary damages) in cases where the at-fault party was especially negligent or malicious. You might pursue these damages, but they aren’t intended to compensate you. Instead, they’re meant to punish the person responsible for the death in the hope that this will prevent similar conduct in the future.
Contact a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina for help determining which damages you’re owed.
Time Limits Will Affect Your Claim
If you’re seeking compensation for a wrongful death, your claim will be subject to certain deadlines. South Carolina places a three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, meaning that you only have three years to file your claim for compensation. If you don’t act in time, you could be barred from recovering compensation.
Three years may seem like plenty of time to decide whether to pursue a claim, but you’ll need to act as soon as possible. Those three years can pass quickly—it takes time to prepare your claim and gather evidence.
Talk to a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney
It’s devastating to lose a loved one, especially when that loved one died in a preventable accident caused by a reckless person. When this happens to your family, an experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you all deserve for this loss.
While it can be difficult to navigate the legal system and ensure that your family is fully compensated for the losses you’ve suffered, a lawyer can help you fight back and give your deceased loved one the justice he or she deserves.
If you’re ready to get your claim started, reach out for a free consultation with a qualified lawyer at HawkLaw, PA. To speak with a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer, call us at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of the page.
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