Raleigh, NC: (919) 277-9299
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
You are not necessarily eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one even if you are their spouse or adult child. Some states allow immediate relatives of the deceased to pursue a claim, but South Carolina only permits the executor of the victim’s estate to file a lawsuit. The executor is typically named by the deceased as part of their will. If no valid will exists (or the chosen executive is unavailable to fulfill the job’s duties), the court will appoint an executor, typically an immediate family member.
Though the executor must bring the lawsuit, any awarded damages are distributed amongst the victim’s surviving spouse and children. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the victim’s surviving parents will receive any awarded damages. If there are no surviving parents, the victim’s closest surviving heirs will receive awarded compensation.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
In South Carolina, the executor of the victim’s estate generally has three years from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If a government entity is the defendant, the executor has only two years from the date of death to start the legal process. Note that the statute of limitations is tied to the day the victim died, not the date of the accident. Your family will likely be barred from recovering any compensation if you miss this deadline, so you should not wait to get legal advice.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN MY FAMILY RECOVER IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
The abrupt passing of an individual often represents a significant financial burden to their loved ones, especially if the victim was the primary wage earner for their family. Beyond losing the income and companionship associated with their loved one, surviving family members may struggle to handle funeral and burial costs as well as final medical expenses. Fortunately, a wrongful death lawsuit allows families to secure compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Punitive damages may also be awarded as a means to punish the defendant if their conduct was especially egregious, though these damages are capped in South Carolina.
Our South Carolina wrongful death lawyers will fight to get your family maximum compensation for all losses, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Final medical expenses
- Lost financial support, including wages and benefits the victim would have earned had they survived
- Loss of companionship and experience
- Pain and suffering experienced by you and other surviving family members
- Punitive damages
You deserve compassionate, diligent legal representation when you lose a loved one to another party’s negligence. Call (843) 396-1777 or contact us online to discuss your case with our team at Bell Legal Group.