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How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Do you know what to do if a family member’s death is “caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another?”  (South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 15, chapter 51, Article 1, Section 15-51-10) You may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against them, which may allow you to collect monetary damages due to your loved one’s untimely death.

Two things must be proven by family members in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • That the death was caused by another person’s wrongful act, neglect or default; and not by the decedent’s own actions.
  • That the surviving family members are directly impacted financially and emotionally due to the death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file the lawsuit. If there is no estate plan to name the personal representative, or that person does not wish to serve, or cannot serve, the court can name a personal representative.

The personal representative brings the claim to court on behalf of the deceased person’s family members. These family members can include:

  • Surviving spouse and children
  • Surviving parents, if there is no spouse or child
  • The heirs at law, if no living spouse, child or parents

Damages Awarded in a Successful Wrongful Death Claim:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills and other expenses related to the decedent’s final illness or injury
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Property damages and other financial losses related to the death
  • Loss of the deceased person’s experience, knowledge, and judgment
  • Loss of the deceased person’s care, companionship, and protection, and
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members
  • The court may award exemplary damages (punitive damages) if the conduct that caused the death was reckless or deliberate

Time Limits to File

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations (legal time limit) to file a wrongful death suit is usually two or three years from the date of the deceased person’s death, depending on what type of facility treated your loved one. A claim that is filed after the two or three year period will typically not be heard by the court.

Contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood for a Free Wrongful Death Consultation

If someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, please schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the immediate and long-term effects of a wrongful death. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to make things simple for you. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Wrongful Death Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

 

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