Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. When the death could have been avoided, however, the loss becomes even more painful and difficult to deal with.
A wrongful death occurs when an individual is killed because of an intentional or negligent act. It differs from personal injury, as personal injury is a negligent act resulting in a non-fatal injury. Wrongful deaths can stem from almost any type of fatal accident—car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, defective products, and even slip and fall accidents.
At one point in legal history, there was no such thing as a wrongful death action. A victim’s cause of action against a wrongdoer died with him, which meant that the victim’s beneficiaries could not bring an action for loss of their loved one against the responsible party. Now, however, beneficiaries may bring actions for their loss of financial support, mental anguish, grief and sorrow, and other damages resulting from their loved one’s death.
Have you lost a family member due to the negligent or careless acts of another? If so, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim and obtain damages for your loss. Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be challenging, but an experienced attorney from Kassel McVey can help you in your quest for justice.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina
Not everyone who loses a loved one can file a wrongful death claim. South Carolina statutes allow a wrongful death claim to move forward if an individual’s death was caused by the neglect or wrongful act of another, and if the decedent would have otherwise been entitled to recover damages from the wrongdoer if the victim had survived. The wrongful death claim must be brought in the name of or by the decedent’s administrator or executor.
A wrongful death case intends to provide compensation to the decedent’s surviving spouse and minor children. If no spouse or children exist, the action may be for the benefit of the decedent’s parents. If no parents exist, then the action is for the benefit of the decedent’s heirs.
Note that the party at fault in a wrongful death case can be an individual or a corporation. To make a wrongful death claim, the decedent’s survivors must be able to establish that the party being sued performed an act—or failed to perform an act—that was the direct cause of death.
Damages in Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death claim allows the decedent’s survivors a means to pursue justice, as well as ease their financial difficulties. Family members of the wronged individual may obtain compensation for economic and non-economic damages such as:
Under some circumstances, survivors of the decedent may also sue for punitive damages, which punish a wrongdoer for their willful, malicious, or reckless actions.
In a wrongful death claim, all damages recovered are to be apportioned among the decedent’s husband or wife, children, parents, or successors according to the share they would have been entitled to if the decedent had died without a will and the recovery was part of the estate’s personal assets.
Determining how much a wrongful death claim is worth is a complex process, and it is crucial to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can closely examine your case to gauge the full extent of your loss and help maximize a damages award.
Contact Kassel McVey Today
We at Kassel McVey are committed to providing personalized and compassionate legal services for clients who may be going through trying times—including surviving family members in a wrongful death.
Losing a loved one is an extremely burdensome situation to deal with. We will advocate aggressively to protect your rights and to provide you with some kind of peace of mind. We will utilize our skills and experience to gather facts and evidence to build a compelling case, and will take all steps necessary to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent actions.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with a wrongful death attorney, call Kassel McVey at (803) 256-4242 today.
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1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 256-4242
Toll Free: (855) 256-4242
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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