Wrongful Death Our Team Can Stand Up for You

Charleston Wrongful Death Attorneys

Fighting For Families Across South Carolina

In South Carolina, our laws allow families to step forward and fight for justice by filing wrongful death and survival actions.

As civil legal actions, these claims require families to prove that someone (or some entity) is at fault for causing their loved one’s preventable death, and that this party should be held financially responsible for the resulting losses. That can be a big task for families that are still grieving and reeling from losses that have changed their lives – and especially when insurance companies that handle these claims care more about protecting their profits than doing right by people.

Fortunately, our caring attorneys at CR Legal Team can help.

Backed by decades of experience and a reputation for success, our award-winning Charleston wrongful death lawyers have helped families across the country fight for justice following fatal tragedies. If you’ve lost someone to another’s negligent or deliberate acts, we’re available to discuss your rights and options during a consultation.

Call (866) 691-0607 or contact us onlinefor a FREE consultation. Our wrongful death lawyers serve clients across Charleston County and beyond.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death refers to a legal claim that arises when an individual's death is caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional, or wrongful conduct of another person or entity.

There are many scenarios that can give rise to a wrongful death action. Some examples include:

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide compensation to surviving family members for the losses they suffered because of the death. To recover this compensation, however, families must be able to prove several key elements. These include:

  1. Duty of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person. This duty is often based on the relationship between the parties or the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the death.
  2. Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the deceased person. This means that the defendant's actions or failure to act fell below the standard of care expected under the circumstances.
  3. Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant's breach of duty was a direct cause of the deceased person's injuries and subsequent death. In other words, there must be a clear link between the defendant's actions and the fatal outcome.
  4. Death: As the claim is for wrongful death, the plaintiff must provide evidence that the individual has died because of the defendant's actions. This element typically involves presenting a death certificate and other relevant medical evidence.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate must file the wrongful death claim. If such a person hasn't been designated, the court may appoint one. Regardless of who this representative is, the wrongful death action is ultimately brought for the benefit of surviving family members.

Beneficiaries of wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Surviving Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased person is typically a primary beneficiary with the right to bring a wrongful death claim.
  • Surviving Children: If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children of the deceased person may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim.
  • Surviving Parents: In certain circumstances, the surviving parents of the deceased may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.
  • Other Dependents: Individuals who were dependent on the deceased person for support and were members of the deceased person's household may also be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death lawsuits are intended to benefit surviving family members. Examples of recoverable damages include:

  • Medical bills and funeral expenses
  • Lost financial support
  • Loss of consortium / companionship
  • Lost emotional support
  • Other economic and non-economic losses

What Is a Survival Action in South Carolina?

In many cases, a “wrongful death” case actually consists of two separate though related actions. This includes the wrongful death action, which benefits the surviving family members of a decedent, and a survival action, which is intended to compensate for the losses incurred by the victim prior to their death.

Under the South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-5-90, survival actions are permitted when a person does not immediately die after being injured. They focus specifically on damages incurred during the time between their accident and death.

Some examples of recoverable damages in a survival action include:

  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Conscious pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Funeral expenses (if not recovered through a wrongful death action)

Survival actions, which like wrongful death actions are also brought by the decedent’s estate administrator or representative, offer families yet another means to hold at-fault parties accountable for the harm they caused, as well as a broader scope of compensation.

At CR Legal Team, we help families file both wrongful death and survival actions, when possible, and conduct the meticulous prep work to position them for the maximum compensation possible.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for both wrongful death and survival actions is three years from the date of the decedent’s death. Failing to file within the statute of limitations can bar you from recovering compensation, which is why it’s crucial to reach out to an attorney as soon as you possibly can.

What’s the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and Criminal Charges?

As legal actions handled in civil courts, wrongful death claims are distinct and separate matters from criminal cases. They focus on compensating families rather than punishing offenders and employ a lower burden of proof than what’s used in criminal court.

This means that you can still bring and prevail in a wrongful death action even when:

  • The at-fault party was never criminally charged or convicted.
  • The at-fault party was found Not Guilty in criminal court.
  • The at-fault party is deceased.

Trusted Charleston Wrongful Death & Survival Claims Lawyers

CR Legal Team is a nationally renowned trial practice with a reputation for providing caring representation in complex injury and wrongful death cases. We’ve cultivated a record of success that includes countless testimonials from satisfied clients, glowing endorsements from colleagues, and millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients – and are readily available to discuss how we can help you.

Speak with a wrongful death attorney in Charleston, SC today. Call (866) 691-0607 or complete an online formto request your FREE consultation.

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