Top Ten Facts about Wrongful Death in South Carolina
If you believe you may have a wrongful death claim for the death of a loved one, you may have questions about your rights and options. To learn a little more about wrongful death in South Carolina, read on to discover the top ten facts about wrongful death.
- Wrongful Death Is Not a Criminal Action
You can bring a wrongful death lawsuit independent from any criminal action taking place against the responsible parties. Remember, however, that you can also pursue criminal action against the parties responsible for the decedent’s death.
- There Are a Variety of Claims
There are several grounds for a wrongful death claim. Slip and fall accidents, work-related accidents or diseases, medical malpractice, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities could all be grounds for a wrongful death suit. This great variety of claims is just one reason you should find an attorney with experience in wrongful death suits.
- There are a Variety of Damage Awards
In a wrongful death suit, you may be entitled to a variety of forms of compensation, including payment for medical costs, loss of the decedent’s income, and for burial and funeral expenses. Pain and suffering compensation is also possible, on the part of the decedent as well as on the part of the surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages Are Possible
Punitive damages are generally reserved for cases in which the defendant has acted particularly willfully or maliciously. Punitive damages are not an available form of compensation in many types of cases. However, in some wrongful death suits, there is the potential for recovery of punitive damages from particularly culpable defendants.
- There Is a Statute of Limitations
Like many states, South Carolina has a statute of limitations, or deadline, before which you must file your wrongful death claim. You must file your wrongful death claim before three years has elapsed since the decedent’s death.
- Loss Calculation Can Be Complicated
When determining pecuniary loss, courts consider many relevant factors including the age, character, and condition of the decedent, his earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, as well as the circumstances of those bringing the claim.
- Your Case May Require an Expert
Depending on the nature of your wrongful death claim, your attorney may bring in an expert to demonstrate that those responsible for the decedent’s death didn’t meet the required standard of conduct.
- You Might Not Go to Court
A skilled wrongful death attorney can assist you in finding a settlement in some cases without a lengthy court battle. The idea is to get the best possible outcome for your claim, which might come outside of the courtroom.
- There Are Special Rules for Children and the Elderly
Special rules apply to calculating damages and compensation for child victims of wrongful death and for elderly victims as well.
- You Need an Attorney
Has someone you love passed away under conditions that make you suspect wrongful death? You can and should get in touch with an attorney with experience with wrongful death claims. Contact a dedicated Columbia wrongful death attorney today at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation.