Mt. Pleasant Wrongful Death Attorney
The sudden and untimely death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person can face. When that death was caused by the negligence of another person it becomes even harder to understand.
In addition to the sadness of any unexpected death, the surviving family members are often left with many new expenses and financial consequences. There are often immediate costs like medical bills and funeral expenses as well as the loss of the income and financial support of the person who died. When this is the case, survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for their loved one’s death.
The wrongful death attorneys at Steinberg Law Firm understand how hard this situation is and are committed to helping grieving families get the compensation and closure they deserve. No amount of money will replace a family member, but it can ease the financial burden of suddenly living without them.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
A death is considered “wrongful” in the eyes of the law when it is caused by the deliberate, reckless or negligent actions of another. Wrongful death is the basis for a lawsuit against the individual(s) responsible for the death. A lawsuit may sometimes be filed when criminal action is not possible or unsuccessful.
The incident that ultimately caused the death may have happened long before the person actually died. Survivors may still seek compensation from the responsible party even when weeks, months or years have passed between the two events.
Wrongful death claims are often related to:
• Motor vehicle accidents
• Truck accidents
• Motorcycle accident
• Pedestrian accident
• Medical malpractice
• Nursing home abuse or neglect
• Workplace accidents
• Premises liabilities
• Dangerous products
Wrongful death claims do not always go to court. Sometimes a settlement can be negotiated out of court with the party that contributed to the death. This may be preferable for the family or lead to a more favorable settlement. No matter the reason, an attorney should be able to find the best path to resolution.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Motor vehicle accidents account for the largest number of wrongful death claims. Every year around 40,000 people are killed in vehicle accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and more than 30 percent of these accidents involve alcohol. In vehicle accident deaths, compensation might be sought from individual motorists, commercial trucking companies, rideshare services, maintenance companies and vehicle manufacturers, depending on the specifics of the accident.
Medical malpractice results in many wrongful death lawsuits too. More than 98,000 people are killed by preventable medical errors annually in the United States, most often from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or treatment, surgical error, anesthesia error, birth injuries, medication error and much more.
Although these are some examples of more common causes of wrongful deaths, any accident or negligent or malicious act which kills someone else can become a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina
Under South Carolina law, the executor or administrator of an estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving spouse and children of the deceased. If the person was not married and had no children, the lawsuit may be filed on behalf of their parents or other heirs.
In addition to a wrongful death claim, the executor or administrator can also potentially file a survival action. This allows the estate to recover damages on behalf of the recently deceased person who suffered as a result of the negligent actions before they died.
South Carolina statute of limitation laws dictate that family members have three years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. This may seem like plenty of time to act, however, the investigation and preparation involved with filing such a claim is a long process. Therefore, it is important for the family of the deceased person to act quickly and contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Missing the deadline to file a claim can prevent the family from ever being able to recover damages.
Potential Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death lawsuit can help the family recover financially from the death of a loved one. They can recoup some of the immediate costs associated with a death, like funeral costs and medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses. An experienced wrongful death attorney determines the full worth of a case but some potential damages that can be recovered include:
• Medical bills
• Funeral and burial costs
• Loss of income and benefits
• Loss of security
• Loss of consortium (companionship and love)
• Loss of parental guidance
• Loss of household contributions
• Mental anguish
• Punitive damages — also known as exemplary damages and appropriate in cases where the death was caused by negligence or malice and ordered to prevent the responsible party from acting similarly in the future.
Talk to a Mt. Pleasant Wrongful Death Attorney
Again, money is little consolation when grieving the loss of a loved one. It can ease the stress of a very emotional time and may provide at least some closure for the surviving family members.
There is no planning for something as devastating as the death of a loved one. Recovery is a long and complicated process, especially when the cause of the death was preventable. The caring professionals of the Steinberg Law Firm understand how difficult this is and has helped many other families facing similar situations recover the compensation they deserve.
If you have lost a loved one and another’s negligence or recklessness contributed to their death, you could be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Contact the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800 for a free case review.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Car Accident Settlement
Fatal Car Accident
Leaders in the Legal Industry
Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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