How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Divided?

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A family can only file one wrongful death lawsuit when their loved one has died in an accident.  This lawsuit will be brought by the spouse or relative who is appointed personal representative of the deceased person’s estate but will be for the benefit of all the legal heirs.  The court will ultimately divide the proceeds of any settlement or jury award to ensure that all legal heirs have their interests protected.

It does not matter whether the victim left a will (although it does for a survival action). The wrongful death law takes precedence over any will for dividing the proceeds. The first question is whether there is a surviving spouse. If there is, the surviving spouse will get all the wrongful death money if there are no children. If there are children, the spouse will get one-half of the money, and the children will divide the other half. Each child will get an equal share of the money.

If there is no spouse but there are children, the children will divide the money equally. Finally, if there is no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents will be entitled to all the money. The court may get involved if the deceased has no spouse, parents, or children.

It is usually the spouse who will file the wrongful death lawsuit. They will be able to make legal decisions about the lawsuit. The hope is that the family can cooperate on things like choosing an attorney and lawsuit strategy.

South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys

If your loved one has died, and you think that someone else was to blame, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The Elrod Pope Law Firm is standing by and ready to help. Call us at (803) 599-3080 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit FAQ

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Spouses, children, and parents can file a lawsuit.

Who has the priority to file the lawsuit?

South Carolina law allows the personal representative of the estate to file the lawsuit for the benefit of all the deceased person’s legal heirs.

What can I recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?

You can recover damages that the family suffered due to the loss of the loved one.

[RELATED ARTICLE]: How to Navigate Wrongful Death Settlements

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