Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina
When a person dies because of another person’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless actions, it is called a wrongful death. Like other states, South Carolina has a law that allows surviving loved ones to file a wrongful death claim if their loved one died because of another person’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless acts. While no lawsuit can bring back your loved one, a wrongful death claim can help you secure the money you and your family need to get on with your life. Maybe you were relying on your deceased loved one’s income or incurred substantial medical debts and funeral expenses. A wrongful death claim can enable you to seek compensation for these damages. Below, we discuss wrongful death claims in South Carolina.
How Does South Carolina Law Define “Wrongful Death?”
According to S.C. Code section 15-51-10, a wrongful death arises when someone is killed by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. Therefore, a wrongful death claim can be defined as a personal injury claim in which the victim dies and cannot file their own case.
Accidents That Can Result in a Wrongful Death
In South Carolina, any kind of accident can be the reason for a wrongful death claim, including the following;
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
According to S.C. Code section 15-51-20, in SC, a wrongful death claim may be brought forward by or in the name of the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. The executor will be specified in the Will if there is one. If there is no Will or an executor is not named in the Will, the court will appoint someone to serve as the administrator. The wrongful death claim is filed for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse or children. If there is no spouse or children, the executor or administrator files the wrongful death claim for the benefit of the parent(s) of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parent, the executor or administrator files the claim for the benefit of the heirs. Heirs are the people who are lawfully entitled to inherit property from the deceased.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in an SC Wrongful Death Claim?
Surviving loved ones can recover economic and non-economic damages in a South Carolina wrongful death claim. Economic damages that can be obtained in an SC wrongful death claim include;
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages, including lost future earnings
Non-economic damages that can be recovered in an SC wrongful death claim include;
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of care, companionship, and protection
Also, punitive/exemplary damages can be awarded in a South Carolina wrongful death claim. These damages can be granted if the defendant’s conduct was deliberate, reckless, or malicious.
Contact a Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you’ve lost someone because of another person’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless acts, our skilled Charleston wrongful death lawyer, at Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, can help you file a wrongful death claim and recover the compensation you deserve.