Wrongful Death Accident Attorneys in South Carolina
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 South Carolina wrongful death attorneys.
FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
A South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 are 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.
Frequently Asked Questions about South Carolina Wrongful Death Accidents
When Should You Hire a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney?
When the death of a loved one is caused by grossly negligent or reckless conduct, you should consult with a wrongful death attorney immediately. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will evaluate your case and quickly move forward to preserve you and your family’s interests.
What Does a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney Do?
Wrongful death attorneys understand that the family members are suffering in many ways. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will work through the process to make it simple so the family can heal and rebuild their lives after their loss. The wrongful death attorneys represent the family members in the court case to absolve any stress related to the process and will correspond with the insurance company or legal entity involved.
How Does a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney Get Paid?
Wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that all upfront costs are paid by the attorney and their fee is contingent upon winning the case. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will not charge the family anything up front and will only recover their costs and fee upon a favorable settlement or jury award.
Who Can File a Lawsuit for South Carolina Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death action can be filed by immediate family members, a spouse, child, parent, or other heir or devisee. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm would be able to assist the heri(s) in obtaining the necessary designations in probate court to begin the process of filing a wrongful death action.
What Are the Benefits of Filing a South Carolina Wrongful Death Action?
In the wake of the emotional havoc the death of a loved one can cause, having a wrongful death lawyer to handle the procedures required can lessen the stress for those involved. Not only would filing a wrongful death action provide solace to those dealing with the grief, but it would also ensure the at-fault party would be held accountable for the death they have caused.
How Long Does it Take to Resolve a South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death actions do not happen right away and can take years to resolve. However, some can settle in a matter of months. Unfortunately, many family members attempt to settle the case on their own, which results in a quick, but usually unfair resolution. It is always better to have your claim evaluated by an experienced wrongful death attorney to ensure you are obtaining the best settlement possible.
Does a Wrongful Death Claim Rely on a Criminal Conviction?
Oftentimes a wrongful death claim may result in an investigation and charges pertaining to a person’s actions or inactions. A criminal conviction would help produce evidence in proving your claim, it is not necessary for this in order to make a claim.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a South Carolina Wrongful Death Claim?
While you do not need an attorney to file a wrongful death claim, having an experienced attorney can prove to be a great advantage. Many believe an attorney provides a reasonable view of the compensation the families deserve. In many cases, merely hiring an attorney can increase that potential award. The most important benefit of an attorney is that it reduces the stress caused by the loss of the loved one in such a manner and provides guidance during each phase of the claim.
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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina courthouse. Our South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorneys strive for excellence and the ability to obtain the highest recovery possible in the case.
Call The South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.