The death of a loved one can be a devastating event in everyone’s lives. The grief of those left behind may be compounded if your loved one died suddenly. In some cases, the reason for your loved one’s death may be out of anyone’s control.
However, it could be that your loved one lost their life because someone else acted in a negligent or reckless manner. As the family of the deceased, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim, which will allow you to recover monetary damages for the loss of your loved one.
Our Chester wrongful death lawyers will ensure you have a basic understanding of South Carolina wrongful death claims so you will understand your rights. As you will see, a wrongful death claim in South Carolina can be a complex legal matter and we would be honored to be able to assist you in such a matter.
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No upfront costs to you or your family. We strive to recover the maximum possible compensation allowed under the law for our clients.
If you have additional questions as to whether you may have a claim for wrongful death in Chester, South Carolina, then we welcome you to contact one of our wrongful death attorneys at Elrod Pope.
What is Wrongful Death in Chester, South Carolina?
South Carolina law states that a claim for wrongful death may be filed “whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another and the act of neglect or default is such as it would, if death had not ensued.”
This means that the entity and/or that caused the death of your loved one may be held liable for any damages and you could receive monetary compensation.
Who Can File A Chester, South Carolina Wrongful Death Claim?
In South Carolina, only certain individuals are eligible to file a claim for wrongful death. They include:
- The personal representative who is the executor and/or administrator of your loved one’s estate. If your loved one had an estate plan, the executor could have already been named in the documents.
If your loved one died without an estate plan, then the court may appoint one. Once the executor has been appointed, they will be allowed to file a Chester, South Carolina wrongful death claim.
- The spouse and children of the deceased
- If there isn’t a spouse, or children, then the parent or parents may file a claim for wrongful death.
- If there are no parents of the deceased, then the heirs will be allowed to file a claim for wrongful death in South Carolina.
What Are the Damages Available in A Chester, South Carolina Wrongful Death Claim?
The main goal of any South Carolina wrongful death claim is to provide financial compensation to the deceased’s survivors to ease their emotional and financial losses. The types of damages you may recover in a wrongful death claim include, but may not be limited to:
- Emotional Pain and Suffering
- Funeral and Burial Expenses
- Loss of Emotional Support, Companionship, and Love
- Loss of Financial Support
- Lost Wages and/or Benefits Your Loved One Would Have Earned
- Medical Expenses Related to the Injury that Caused Your Loved One’s Death
Additionally, in some cases, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s knowledge, protection, and/or experience.
Common Examples of Wrongful Death Claims in Chester, South Carolina
If your loved one died as a result of another’s negligent and/or reckless behavior, the deceased’s family members may have a claim for wrongful death. Some of the most common examples of wrongful death claims in South Carolina include, but aren’t limited to:
- Construction or Workplace Accidents
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Vehicle Accidents including Cars, Motorcycles, and Trucks
What is a Survival Claim in Chester, South Carolina?
Besides a wrongful death claim, the deceased’s personal representative may also be able to file a lawsuit for any pain and suffering and medical expenses the deceased experienced between the time of their accident and the time of their death. This is called a survival claim.
In order for a survival claim to be viable in court, there must be evidence that your deceased loved one survived for a period time after the accident until their death.
The proceeds from a Chester, South Carolina survival claim will go to the deceased’s estate as opposed to a claim for wrongful death where the proceeds would go to those who are entitled to receive damages.
What this means is that the people entitled to damages for the survival claim are the heirs named in your deceased loved one’s will or estate which may be different than the people identified by South Carolina statute as being able to recover damages for a wrongful death claim.
The Chester, South Carolina attorneys at Elrod Pope understand the distinction between a survival claim and wrongful death claim and can assist you in apportioning the proceeds between both claims in order to achieve the most equitable result for everyone involved.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim in Chester, South Carolina?
The law in South Carolina states that the personal representative and/or executor has three (3) years from the time of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the claim is not filed within the time limit, the court will not hear your case.
However, in certain circumstances, such as medical malpractice, you may have up to six (6) years to file a claim for wrongful death.
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Do I Need an Chester, South Carolina Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Chester and throughout South Carolina, wrongful death claims can be extremely complicated, and you will need an experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable attorney in your corner to convince a judge or jury that your loved one’s death may have been preventable. Please contact the wrongful death attorneys at Elrod Pope today to find out how we can assist you in settling your case in a timely manner so you can focus on moving forward with your life.