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No one should have to struggle with the consequences of losing a loved one due to the negligence, carelessness, recklessness, or malice of another. When a person's life is taken through these means, it is known as wrongful death and can cause a ripple effect of hardship and heartache throughout an entire family.
As a family impacted by a wrongful death, you may find yourselves in situations where financial straits, legal difficulties, and overwhelming grief become a reality—and that is simply not fair.
At Jeff Johnson Law, we understand the stress and injustice of these cases. Our firm is here to provide valuable support to you and your family at this critical time.
Our attorney can answer your questions, take on the painful burden of your legal case, guide you through the process, and aggressively fight for the compensation to which you are entitled under the law. We seek justice for wrongful death families to help to bring you a measure of closure to this traumatic and chaotic experience.
The civil remedies and procedures for wrongful death in South Carolina have been established in South Carolina Law Section 15-51-10. In our state, wrongful death is defined as death caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person; this can include intentional acts, such as crimes.
This specific set of laws protects and compensates surviving family members of someone who has died due to the wrongful actions of another. These claims can be based on such events as automobile accidents, medical malpractice, and other types of accidents and events.
These cases are civil actions seeking financial compensation as a legal remedy. However, they can be filed in addition to criminal charges if the death was caused by a criminal act.
In the wake of a South Carolina wrongful death, the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate has the right and responsibility to file the claim. Any damages proceeding from the claim or lawsuit, however, will go to surviving family members, such as:
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving children
- If no spouse or children, the surviving parents
- Absent all the above, any surviving heirs
Damages in South Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
Damages available to survivors in a wrongful death claim can include:
- Medical costs incurred by the deceased person before death for the illness or injury sustained
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages, income, or benefits of the deceased person
- Loss of the companionship, care, guidance, and protection of the deceased person
- Loss of household services that the deceased may have provided
- Pain and suffering of the survivors
- Emotional distress of the survivors
Family members may also be eligible for additional compensation if they can prove that their loved one's death was caused by intentional or malicious acts. In this case, punitive damages may be sought in addition to compensatory damages.
Punitive damages can be used to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and punish them accordingly.
In South Carolina, you must generally file your wrongful death lawsuit within three years from the date of the death. This time period may be extended under certain conditions.
Additionally, in cases where government agencies or entities are involved in causing a wrongful death, a claim must generally be filed within one year from when the injury occurred or one year from when it was discovered that an injury had been sustained.
At Jeff Johnson Law, our Horry County wrongful death lawyer can handle all aspects of your wrongful death claim; we work diligently to help you secure the compensation that reflects the full value of what you and your family have suffered.