If you have lost a family member due to someone else’s negligence, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do next. Funeral expenses, mental anguish, and figuring out the details of your loved one’s estate can overwhelm you.
While you’re grieving, you should have help from an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Charleston. The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve to help move forward.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death cases in South Carolina hinge on what is known as the duty of care. That means a person has an obligation to act a certain way, and that if they fail to do so, they are negligent. For example, an employer has the duty to keep a safe work environment and a driver has the duty to drive responsibly.
In South Carolina, a death is wrongful if:
- The defendant owes a duty of care to the deceased.
- The defendant failed to meet the duty of care, which caused the death in question.
- The breach of duty of care caused damages to the surviving family members of the deceased.
A Charleston personal injury lawyer who represents wrongful death claims can work to prove the negligence of the at-fault party so you and your family can recover from your loved one’s death.
How Much Can I Get in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The amount of compensation you receive in your case depends on the circumstances of death and how much fault somebody else bears. It also depends on what damages the death caused to you and your family.
Wrongful death attorneys in Charleston can calculate your damages and assess your case. We’ll give you a good idea of how much compensation you can expect, then we’ll get to work.
Talk to Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers for Free
At the offices of Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping every client with their specific needs. You need someone by your side in your moment of grief.
The Thumbs Up Guys can handle the details so you don’t have to. Contact us today for a free consultation. Let us get you the financial reset you need to move forward with your life after a wrongful death.
Seek the Justice You Deserve
When a loved one is wrongfully taken from you, you deserve justice and compensation for your loss. Let us handle the legal process on your behalf, so you can mourn in whatever way is best for you.
No Upfront Fees
When you work with the Thumbs Up Guys, you don’t have to worry about any fees unless we obtain a successful outcome for your case.
Losing a Loved One Is Tragic
Losing a loved one is never easy, and it can take a huge emotional and financial toll on your entire family. While the grieving process is different for everyone, learning that your loved one’s passing could have been avoided can create a wide range of emotions, from devastation to anger. On top of it all, you may have bills to pay and a legal battle on your hands.
Taking the next steps in this situation can feel impossible, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our Charleston, SC, wrongful death lawyers know what you’re going through. We are ready to help you navigate this incredibly difficult time.
What Compensation Is Available After a Wrongful Death?
The impact of a wrongful death can send ripples throughout every aspect of your life, leaving you with huge expenses, a loss of household income that you depended on, and worst of all, the absence of your loved one.
If you’re in this situation, the state of South Carolina has laws in place surrounding wrongful deaths. You may be entitled to compensation for the financial and emotional losses you and your family have suffered, including:
Any medical expenses that were incurred in the wake of the incident that led to your loved one’s death may be recovered. For example, if the deceased was injured, taken to the hospital, and died later as a result of those injuries, the cost of that medical care could be included in a wrongful death settlement.
In the event of a wrongful death, you may also be entitled to compensation for the funeral costs, as well as any mortician services and burial/cremation expenses.
Loss of Financial Support
If the deceased had any dependents or close family members who relied on their income, they may be compensated for their loss of financial support. For example, if the deceased took care of three children with their wages, the cost of that care could be covered.
Loss of Companionship
There’s no simple equation that can put a price on how much a person is worth in your life, but compensation for your loss of companionship after a wrongful death may also be obtained. The value of this factor can vary significantly, so having an experienced wrongful death attorney to help you fight for the full amount you’re owed will be to your benefit.
South Carolina Code Annotated (SCCA) § 15-32-510 outlines what are called “punitive damages.” Much of the compensation you can get from a wrongful death lawsuit is meant to pay for things like burial expenses and other damages.
Punitive damages, however, are just meant to get justice for a victim. These are meant to make an example of criminals so fewer people are forced to take wrongful death action.
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death cases can stem from a wide variety of causes. We’ve listed some of the most common below. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the carelessness of another individual or entity and are wondering if you have a case, a Charleston wrongful death, lawyer can help.
Vehicle safety features may be improving, but road fatalities still happen every day. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident due to another driver’s carelessness, you may have a wrongful death case.
A botched surgery or general medical error can lead to a wrongful death. In these instances, medical practitioners, doctors, nurses, and even hospitals can be held responsible, depending on the circumstances.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents require a level of care to ensure they live comfortably and with dignity. If your elderly loved one passes away as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you could have grounds for a wrongful death case.
If your loved one is killed in a workplace accident or passes away from a medical condition due to the nature of their job, you can possibly take legal action through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Companies that manufacture defective pharmaceutical drugs or consumer products could be held responsible in the event of a wrongful death. These products can range from vehicles to health products and everyday household items that malfunction, break, or cause severe illnesses.
Have You Lost a Loved One Due to Someone Else’s Carelessness? We Can Help
While taking legal action can never bring your loved one back, it can help give you peace of mind and provide the financial assistance you need as you begin to move forward. Whether you are in Charleston, North Charleston, or anywhere in South Carolina, The Thumbs Up Guys are here to walk you through every step of the way.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina
There are several steps to filing a wrongful death claim in the state of South Carolina. A successful wrongful death claim must demonstrate that the death was caused by a negligent party.
Families Must Have an Executor
First, you must make sure you’re compliant with the local laws. Only an executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate has grounds to file a claim. If there isn’t one, a court may appoint someone, typically a family member. Even if that person isn’t you, you may still be able to file a claim through that appointed person.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Within the Statute of Limitations
According to SCCA § 15-3-530, there’s a three-year statute of limitations from the time of death to file wrongful death lawsuits. Keep in mind that it takes time to gather evidence and build a strong case, so it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death FAQs
Building a case on your own can be daunting, especially in the middle of the grieving process. Having the right Charleston wrongful death attorneys on your side can make all the difference.
Will I Have to Go to Court for My Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In some cases, wrongful death claims may be settled outside of court. However, in the event that a fair settlement cannot be reached and you need to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you may have to appear in court. Whether you’re in negotiations or the courtroom, it will be to your benefit to have an experienced attorney guiding you throughout the process.
Who Has the Right to Sue in a Wrongful Death Case?
In South Carolina, only the legally appointed representative for the deceased person’s estate, known as the executor, has the right to sue for wrongful death. Sometimes this person has been chosen by the deceased when they wrote their will. If that’s not the case, then a court will appoint an executor.
How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
Damages such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship can’t be easily calculated like medical bills. Generally, those amounts are left to the two parties to settle or for a judge to decide if your case moves to court. In any case, our Charleston, SC, wrongful death lawyers will review every detail of your case and help you demand what’s fair for the loss of your loved one.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death cases can be particularly complicated to navigate alone. Having an experienced wrongful death attorney in Charleston on your side can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of by the other party involved and make the legal process much less stressful while you and your family are mourning.
How Much Is a Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer?
The Thumbs Up Guys believe every family who has experienced the wrongful death of someone they love should have access to quality legal representation. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that your initial consultation is always free and you won’t owe us a penny unless we win your case.