Survival Actions in South Carolina
Losing a loved one is extremely devastating. Beyond the stress, depression, and guilt, you may be experiencing financial difficulties if you recently lost a loved one. Fortunately, in South Carolina, it is possible to recover monetary compensation after the death of a loved one. In South Carolina, if another party’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you can file two types of claims. The first is a wrongful death claim, and the other is a survival action. While these two courses of action are filed after someone dies because of the negligence of another party, they are very different. This article discusses the meaning of a survival action, the damages recoverable in a South Carolina survival action, who can file a survival action in SC, and the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death claim.
What Is a Survival Action?
A survival action in SC is a legal action that survives an individual’s death. In South Carolina, a cause of action arising from the negligence of another party does not end after the victim dies, unlike the case with many other causes of action. A survival action allows a deceased individual’s surviving loved ones to seek compensation for the damages the deceased suffered before their death. A survival action asserts that a person survived their accident and injury and suffered damages for which they could have sought compensation had they not died.
Damages Recoverable in a South Carolina Survival Action
In a South Carolina survival action, the deceased’s surviving loved ones can recover damages that the deceased suffered before their death, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage. Funeral expenses are also recoverable in a South Carolina survival action. However, if funeral expenses are part of a wrongful death claim, they cannot be included in the survival action as well. Usually, a survival action is filed alongside a wrongful death claim. If the defendant acted recklessly, willfully, or with malice, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages in an SC survival action.
Who Can File a Survival Action in South Carolina?
A South Carolina survival action can be brought forward by (or in the name of) the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is a Will, the personal representative will be named in the Will as the executor. If there is no Will, the court will appoint an administrator to act as a personal representative.
Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Claim
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a survival action is different from a wrongful death claim. First, while you cannot recover compensation for damages suffered after the death of your loved one, such as loss of companionship and loss of future earnings, in a survival action, you can recover such damages in a wrongful death claim. Second, a survival action can only be filed if the deceased survived for some time after the accident. In contrast, a wrongful death claim can be brought even if the deceased died immediately after the accident.
Contact a Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve recently lost a loved one in South Carolina, contact our experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer, at Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, for legal help.