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What should you know about a wrongful death claim?

Losing a loved one can be a traumatic experience, regardless of the circumstances. Yet, when the loss is because of a catastrophic event like a car wreck, the stress felt by surviving loved ones can escalate in a number of ways. Thankfully, while no amount of compensation can ever make up for that kind of profound loss, when a loved one’s loss was caused by the negligence of another party, it’s generally possible to take legal action in the civil courts.

A wrongful death claim in South Carolina can potentially be filed when an individual dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another. This legal action allows the deceased’s family or estate to seek damages.

Proving negligence or wrongdoing

At the heart of a wrongful death claim is the requirement of proving that the person’s death was a direct result of someone else’s negligence or intentional harm. This means the case must show that the responsible party had a duty of care toward the deceased and that breaching that duty directly led to their death.

The breach of duty could range from a distracted driving incident to failure to provide adequate medical care, depending on the case. Medical records and other evidence that ties the incident to the injuries can make this easier to prove.

The impact on the family

The aftermath of a wrongful death is devastating for the family left behind. South Carolina law allows for the recovery of damages. This includes lost wages and benefits the deceased would have earned, medical bills related to their final illness or injury, funeral and burial expenses and compensation for the loss of companionship and emotional support. Determining what type of compensation is possible may require the assistance of a legal representative.

Remember, timing is critical in wrongful death claims because South Carolina law limits claims to three years from the date of death. Working through the complexities of these cases often requires the assistance of a legal professional who can ensure that a claim is filed promptly and correctly. This can help to maximize a family’s chance for a fair resolution.