Wrongful Death Accident Attorneys in Columbia
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience for those left behind, causing sadness, grief, loneliness, and a void that can never be filled. When an unexpected death is caused by the willful, reckless, or negligent acts of another, the at-fault party should be held accountable. In many situations, correcting the wrong requires a case to be filed by experienced, committed, and diligent Columbia wrongful death attorneys.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
A Columbia wrongful death attorney can pursue an action on behalf of the spouse, children, parents, or other heirs of the decedent. The experienced lawyers at the Strom Law Firm in Columbia can help assist with the initial probate court process, to help the heir(s) and beneficiaries in obtaining the necessary designation in probate court to begin the process of filing a wrongful death action.
Types Of Wrongful Death Accidents
Many different types of accidents and actions can lead to a wrongful death:
Big-wheelers are massive modes of transportation that can cause devastating injuries or death during collisions or other major roadway accidents. Many truck drivers are bound by federal regulations when licensed to operate such large machinery, which includes their allowable hours of service and monitoring the weights of their loads, and required vehicle maintenance. If an investigation proves a truck driver has failed to maintain their log or fallen asleep because they have driven over the allowable number of hours, or any number of other violations, including violations related to drugs or alcohol, maintenance, fitness for duty issues, etc., this could be cause to file a wrongful death claim.
There is no dispute car collisions have led to fatal accidents. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a deadly crash occurred on South Carolina roadways every 9.5 hours in 2017. If a loved one’s death is caused by a driver who is intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise acting in a reckless manner, such as texting while driving, you may be entitled to compensation for punitive damages as well under the wrongful death statute.
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. Because these motorists are without metal barriers or protection, being hit by a large vehicle or tractor-trailer could cause catastrophic injuries. These motorists may also be run over by larger vehicles after being involved in an initial accident that disables the motorcycle in a roadway.
Bicycle Accidents and Pedestrian Accidents
Bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents are often fatal. Downtown Columbia is filled with people riding bicycles, mopeds, and scooters. Many pedestrians walk the streets of Columbia as they head to and from the parking garage, leave their offices to obtain a bite to eat or exercise with walks through the beautiful city area. As with the accidents mentioned above, any type of negligence or reckless or willful collision resulting in the death of a loved one can constitute the need for a wrongful death claim.
With the many lakes in South Carolina, the likelihood of an accident involving boats is great. As with vehicles, accidents can be caused by other boaters or with a malfunction with the boat when it has not been well maintained. A driver can also be liable in the event they are operating while intoxicated or failing to provide a proper lookout for other boaters. If a fatal accident has been caused by another boater or there is a concern that there was a defect with the boat itself, you may be entitled to compensation.
There are many jobs and professions that are dangerous to perform. Even in positions where the environment provides little danger, many different injuries can happen at work. Especially in careers that require the use of heavy machinery and strenuous activity (like climbing up poles or onto roofs), injuries on the job can be severe and fatal. Construction sites can be particularly dangerous and are often controlled by a number of different people. You might be entitled to more than the benefits provided under worker’s compensation if a loved one was killed while on the job. Contact the Strom Law Firm today to let us evaluate whether any third party may also be responsible.
We do not want to believe that products can be unsafe, but sometimes things can go awry in the manufacturing process or with the information the company provides or fails to provide. This could include a part being defective or a drug being mislabeled. If you believe a loved one may have died from the result of a bad product, you may be entitled to compensation under the wrongful death statute.
Many medications are put on the shelves before much is known on the effects of taking the drug. This could include situations where a medicine has been linked to cancer, or someone has died from a condition caused by the medication. An improperly labeled drug that caused the death of a loved one could constitute a wrongful death claim.
Because there is a multitude of risks in medical settings, medical professionals are held to specific standards and levels of care. These standards apply to many types of medical professionals and other practitioners, such as nurses and therapists. If you feel a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice or has died as a result of a lack of care or actions that are below the necessary standard of care, you may be entitled to compensation under the wrongful death statute.
Damages Available In A Wrongful Death Action
There are different damages available in a wrongful death action.
This would include medical costs from ambulatory bills, to physician costs, to emergency room costs. There could be additional medical costs if your loved one lived for a few hours or days after the incident. Funeral expenses to include burial expenses, cremation expenses, and a coffin or urn, can also be recovered. Any time missed from work may also be compensated where it relates to the medical attention and care of the loved one prior to death, funeral and arrangements, or other post-death matters to attend. You may even be entitled to lost wages you will no longer receive due to the death of a loved one.
These damages include those that do not have a price tag. With medical expenses and other economic damages, there is an out-of-pocket loss that can easily be calculated. Yet with non-economic damages, there is no set amount for the loss that has been suffered.
- Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, which would encompass the at-fault party paying for the loss of a loved one that was caused by a negligent or willful act of harm.
- Losing the companionship of a loved one can be compensable as the family left behind will no longer be able to have that relationship with the loved one.
- The same is true for the death of spouses – you can be compensated for the inability to have a physical, meaningful relationship since the death of the loved one.
- These damages could also include a child that will no longer have parental guidance from the loved one as they navigate through life and could constitute additional compensation.
When the death of a loved one is caused by grossly negligent or reckless conduct, punitive damages can come into play.
You can be entitled to punitive damages when this gross negligence and intentional harm is proven as a role in the death of your loved one. These damages are used for punishment or deterrent to the defendant and others in similar situations to ensure this does not happen to another employee.
Let Us Work Through Your Case
Many believe they will be able to get the situation behind them quickly by communicating and negotiating with the insurance company. This is not in the best interest of you, the family or the lost loved one. Your only communication with an insurance company should be to report the initial claim. Anything after that step should be referred to your Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney.
We will strive to make sure that the insurance company has all of the information they need. We will investigate all of the matters, injuries, and other moving parts of the claim. If the proper settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, an action will be filed in the appropriate Columbia courthouse. Our Columbia Wrongful Death Attorneys strive for excellence and the ability to obtain the highest recovery possible in the case.
Call The Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney at the Strom Law Firm
If someone you know may have died as the result of someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct, call the Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney at the Strom Law Firm (803) 252-4800 to schedule a free consultation. Our offices in Columbia and Georgia are ready and willing to work through this emotionally draining time to provide you and your family with the experienced representation you deserve.