Losing a loved one due to the negligence of another individual can be devastating. Survivors are often left with emotional scars and astronomical bills. Fortunately, those who have lost someone in this way can file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover due compensation. The South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at Anastopoulo Law Firm are here to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit if you need assistance in the wake of a loved one’s death.
Call (800) 313-2546 or contact us online now to learn how we can be of assistance during this difficult time.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits are unique in that they are not based on the injuries to the party who died. Instead, a wrongful death case is a separate cause of action brought to obtain compensation for the family of the victim for the harm suffered as a result of the victim’s death.
Any type of fatal accident can give rise to a wrongful death case, including:
- Defective products
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
South Carolina Code Section 15-51-10 governs wrongful death actions and allows such a lawsuit when the death of a person was “caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another.”
Who can bring a wrongful death action depends on which parties survive the victim following his or her death. For example, though a decedent’s children and spouse are at least initially the only parties who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, when no children or spouses survive the decedent, a wrongful death action can be brought by the decedent’s parents and/or for the benefit of the decedent’s heirs (other family members). However, wrongful death actions are officially commenced by or in the name of the administrators/executors of the decedent’s estate.
Recovery in Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death actions are brought to recover the costs and expenses left to be paid by a decedent’s surviving family and estate. Such expenses can include medical bills, funeral costs, and other costs that arise as a result of decedent’s fatal injuries and subsequent death.
The types of damages that may be awarded in wrongful death lawsuits may include:
- Economic Damages: These damages include medical and funeral expenses, loss of future wages or benefits such as pensions or IRAs, and loss of goods and services the deceased may have provided had they lived.
- Non-Economic Damages: These types of damages cover pain and suffering, mental anguish caused by the death, and loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of emotional and physical benefits that comes with being in a familial relationship.
- Punitive Damages: Under South Carolina law, punitive damages are meant to financially punish a negligent party for harm done in which the actions causing the injuries or wrongful death were intentionally negligent, reckless, or lacking duty of care.
The award granted under a wrongful death claim is not determined by the value of the life that has ended. Instead, wrongful death claim awards are determined by the decedent’s surviving family’s:
- Pecuniary loss
- Mental shock and suffering
- Grief and sorrow
- Wounded feelings
- Loss of companionship
- Deprivation of both use and comfort of the decedent’s estate
Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation Today
Losing a loved one can be an extremely trying time for a family. Allow the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at Anastopoulo Law Firm help ease at least some of the suffering you and your family are facing.
Contact us today for the legal representation that you need and deserve in your wrongful death case. Reach out to us by calling (800) 313-2546.