Tragically losing a loved one is any family’s worst nightmare. Not only are you dealing with grief and trauma, but you may also be struggling financially due to the loss of your family member’s income. Your family has the legal right to financial compensation when you can prove that someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death.
First, you would need to contact a wrongful death lawyer who can both help your family prove the case and recover damages that are sufficient to compensate you. Contact McCall Law to learn more from an experienced injury lawyer about what you can do to start your case.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
A wrongful death case is the family filing a lawsuit for their own personal injury that they suffered. The tragic loss of a loved one causes surviving family members harm in a number of ways. They are left behind without the financial and emotional comfort that the deceased person provided. They are also left to deal with their own grief and trauma that they have suffered.
South Carolina has a wrongful death law that addresses who may file a wrongful death claim. According to the statute, the surviving spouse and the children are beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim. The law says that if there is no surviving spouse or children, the parents can file the wrongful death claim. Finally, if there is no spouse, children, or parents, the heirs can be the beneficiaries of the wrongful death lawsuit.
South Carolina law specifies how wrongful death lawsuits proceeds are divided:
- If there is only a spouse, they will receive the entire proceeds
- If there is a spouse and children, the spouse will receive half, and the children will divide the other half
- If there is no spouse, the children will divide the proceeds equally
In addition to a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate of the deceased person can file a survival action. This type of lawsuit is brought when the accident victim did not die right away. A survival action seeks the damages that the deceased person suffered between the time of their injury and their death.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
In order to win a wrongful death case, you must first prove that the death was wrongful. In most cases, a wrongful death is the result of negligence. In other cases, someone else’s reckless or intentional actions caused the death of your loved one.
Here are some examples of wrongful death cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Physical assaults
- Pedestrian accidents
- Swimming pool drownings
No matter the type of case, you have the burden of proof to show that someone else was to blame. If you cannot meet this burden, your family will not be eligible for financial compensation.
Defendants in a Wrongful Death Case
An attorney would cast as wide of a net as possible to bring in potential defendants to your case. The more responsible parties, the more assets and insurance coverage there is to pay for your true damages.
In some cases, you would be suing the individual who was responsible for your loved one’s death. In a motor vehicle crash, there is usually a driver who would be to blame.
In other cases, you may be able to sue a company. If your loved one died on the property of another, the entity that was in control of the property would be the defendant in the wrongful death case. Further, if a driver was on the job at the time of the fatal accident, their employer would be responsible to pay for what they did if it occurred within the scope of the driver’s employment. Having a corporate defendant could help you maximize your damages.
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Family
Your family needs a wrongful death attorney to help you get the best possible legal result. You are dealing with so many things, including grief and handling details, that you cannot effectively deal with the legal process. Even if you had the time, you certainly do not have the knowledge to maximize your own damages.
The first and perhaps most important thing that a wrongful death lawyer can do is help you prove your case. There is no financial recovery for your family if you cannot show that someone else was to blame for the wrongful death of your loved one. At the very minimum, you would need to demonstrate that someone else was negligent in causing your family member’s death.
The second thing that a wrongful death lawyer can do is estimate the value of damages that you are seeking in your case. Your family has likely suffered a large amount of emotional and financial harm. You need the money that the wrongful death lawsuit could provide, and you cannot afford to settle your case for less than it is worth. An attorney can properly value your case, so you can get what you deserve.
A lawyer can also give you advice on how best to receive wrongful death money. You could receive a one-time lump-sum payment. Alternatively, you may take a structured settlement to ensure that your family has money in the years to come.
Generally, you need the help that a lawyer will provide. They will review your case and explain your legal options. We understand what your family is going through, and we provide legal representation in a compassionate and responsive manner.
Contact a Florence Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Wrongful death attorney Chaquez McCall is committed to helping families in Florence and surrounding areas. As a lifelong resident of the region, he cares about your legal rights. Once you contact McCall Law, we will immediately get to work to help you begin the legal process. You can call us today at 843-279-8148 or send us a message online to schedule a time to speak with an attorney. The initial consultation is free, and you owe us nothing unless you win your case.