Our South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
It is painful to lose someone you love, but the pain is even more acute when that person died under circumstances that could have been avoided. When this occurs, it may be considered a wrongful death.
Wrongful deaths can be due to personal misadventure, but they are often caused by someone else's negligent or reckless behavior. In these situations, the family of the deceased may go after that person for damages.
A wrongful death lawsuit can get complicated, and it can also be emotionally trying for the family. That's why it's so important to have a reliable lawyer on your side.
The Hopkins Law Firm is a team of Charleston, South Carolina legal professionals with years of experience in wrongful death law. Read on to find out how they can help you get the best possible outcome in your lawsuit.
What are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death can occur for any number of reasons. Here are some of the most common.
There are several types of road accidents that can occur each day including truck accidents, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, and the list goes on. If someone dies in a road accident that was caused by another driver's reckless or negligent behavior, it is considered a wrongful death.
An employer has a duty to keep employees safe at the workplace. If unsafe conditions cause a wrongful death, the decedent's family may be able to go after the company for damages.
It is a doctor's responsibility to care for their patients. If a doctor acts negligently while providing care and causes injuries that result in death, they may be looking at a wrongful death lawsuit due to medical malpractice.
Slip and Fall Accidents
If a slip and fall accident occurs on someone else's property because the owner failed to properly maintain the premises, they are responsible for any injuries or fatalities that occur.
It is up to a manufacturer to make sure their products are safe when they release them on the market. If the product is unsafe, and they fail to warn consumers of possible dangers, they will be held responsible for the consequences.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get in a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you lost a loved one and file a wrongful death claim, you are eligible to receive both economic and noneconomic compensation. These include the following.
Economic compensation will cover all financial losses and may include the following:
This includes all funeral and burial costs
This includes all medical expenses incurred in the incident leading to the victim's death
This covers the lack of income the family is dealing with as a result of no longer being able to count on the decedent's financial contributions
Non-economic compensation covers the emotional pain the family is living with after losing a loved one. It is difficult to come up with a monetary value for these intangible damages, but your lawyer will determine a number based on his or her years of experience in the field.
Damages may cover any of the following.
- Loss of companionship for the spouse
- Loss of training and guidance in the parent child relationship
- Sorrow and mental anguish
Who is Eligible to File a Claim?
Since the decedent is unable to represent themselves, a personal representative will be responsible for filing the claim. This is usually the executor or administrator of the victim's will but if no will was left behind, a personal representative will be appointed by the court. A close family member such as a spouse, or a personal friend, will typically be appointed.
If the victim was a minor, their parents will usually represent them.
The personal representative will also be responsible for the distribution of the awards. They must be fairly allocated to all beneficiaries and must cover expenses including legal fees, funeral, burial, medical expenses, and lost wages.
It can be difficult determining who is eligible to collect damages, but a lawyer will make sure each party is given the amount they are due.
In most instances, the spouse and children of the victim will receive awards. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the money will go to the parents and siblings of the victim. It there is a surviving spouse and no children, damages go to the spouse and the victim's parents.
Finding Fault in a Wrongful Death Case
Finding fault in a wrongful death case may seem cut and dried, but it can be more complicated than it appears.
First, you will need to prove liability by establishing the at fault party acted in a negligent manner. This will require you to prove that the individual had a duty to act responsibly and failed to do so. You will also have to show that the person's behavior caused the injuries that ultimately led to the victim's death.
The statute of limitations must also be taken into consideration. In the state of South Carolina, families typically have three years to file a claim after a wrongful death occurs. If you fail to do so, you may be unable to claim damages.
The Hopkins Law Firm is the Best Choice for Your South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, you are dealing with a lot of emotional strain. Do not let a lawsuit add to your stress. An experienced lawyer will make it easier for you to get through difficult times so you can focus on healing.
The Hopkins Law Firm is a team with years of experience in wrongful death and personal injury law in South Carolina. We have a deep sense of sympathy and treat our clients with care and respect. We will fight relentlessly to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
A wrongful death is devastating. Call Hopkins Law Firm for a free consultation. We will give you the closure you need to move on with your life.