In today’s busy world, people make mistakes. Tragically, sometimes those mistakes can cause someone to lose their life. When a loved one is killed by the negligence or misconduct of another person, it can be devastating to know that the loss of life could have been prevented. It is also reassuring to know that the responsible party can be held accountable for their actions, whether negligent or reckless.
What is considered wrongful death in SC?
In South Carolina, a wrongful death is considered to be any death that is the direct result of the negligence or reckless behavior on the part of an individual or a company. Negligence is understood as the failure to maintain safety standards set by law to ensure the security of others. For example, failure to maintain equipment to safety standards or driving while intoxicated would both fit under the definition of negligent or reckless behavior. Therefore, wrongful death has the potential to occur in any situation where there is an unreasonable risk of harm.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Surviving spouses, children, parents and immediate family members can file for a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was taken care of by their grandparents or others, these people have the potential of receiving compensation for their losses as well. Wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of death.
What evidence is needed in a wrongful death case?
The death certificate of the deceased is required to prove death. Most importantly, it must be proven that the death was the direct result of negligence of someone other than the deceased. Gathering and retaining any details or information about the circumstances surrounding a wrongful death is crucial. This may include different forms of evidence to be presented including, but not limited to, copies of records and eyewitness testimony. An experienced wrongful death attorney would ensure that all pertinent evidence would be obtained.
What can survivors be compensated for in a wrongful death claim?
Survivors wishing to file a claim for wrongful death must )1) be able to prove their relationship with the deceased and (2) be able to prove any monetary burdens resulting from the death. Those filing the claim have the potential to receive compensation for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical and hospital bills
- Loss of Companionship: emotional grief resulting from losing the fellowship or friendship of another
- Pain, suffering and mental anguish
- Loss of future wages: the amount of money the victim would have earned if they had continued working
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of benefits: includes health insurance
- Loss of inheritance
- Punitive damages: payment from the responsible party meant as punishment for negligence
Elrod Pope Law Firm and Wrongful Death Cases
Knowing the death of a loved one could have been prevented is distressing. A well constructed claim could bring about well-deserved peace of mind in a trying time. If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, Elrod Pope Law Firm can help you determine your options. We are here for you during this difficult time.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.