Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of the negligence, reckless conduct, or intentional act of another person or group of people.  Wrongful death claims can result from different types of accidents, including: 1) Automobile Accidents; 2) Pedestrian Accidents; 3) Personal Injury Accidents; 4) Medical Negligence; 5) Pharmacy Errors; 6) Dangerous Animals; 7) On-The-Job Accidents; 8) Dangerous or Defective Products; 9) And Many More.

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, their families are left with mounting medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and a growing sense of loss, pain, and mental suffering.  All of this on top of their everyday responsibilities and obligations.  A wrongful death claim allows the family to receive compensation for their loss.  Who can file a wrongful death claim?

In South Carolina, only the immediate family of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death claim.  This includes spouses, parents, children, and siblings.  The claim is brought by the Personal Representative of the deceased estate on behalf of the family.  If the surviving member of the deceased's family is a minor, the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to act in the minor's best interest during the wrongful death claim. 

What types of damages are involved in a wrongful death claim? 
Wrongful death lawsuits and claim can recover the expenses associated to the wrongful death itself, in addition to any loss of salary, benefits, pain and suffering, companionship, and other factors that will increase burden on the family already suffering a grave loss.  Since all wrongful death suits will differ, we can help you determine what compensation each family member can seek based on the relationship between the wrongful death victim and the individual wrongful death survivor.
Generally there are 2 main claims for a death: a wrongful death claim and a survival claim.  South Carolina courts will have jurisdiction over these claims and require that a hearing is held. 
"Wrongful death claims" are brought on behalf of the deceased's family by the Personal Representative of the estate. The damages awarded to the family are for those which they suffered as a result of the death of their loved one.  These damages fall into two broad categories of damages, Economic and Non-Economic Loss.  The following are some examples of damages that may be awarded to the family:

Economic Loss includes: 1) Loss of Support; 2) Loss of Inheritance; 3) Loss of Services; and, 4) Funeral and Burial Expenses.

Non-Economic Loss includes: 1) Loss of society and companionship; 2) Grief and Anguish (Mental Suffering); and, 3) Loss of Consortium.

Because these damages occurred after the death of the loved one, they are not considered part of the deceased's estate.

For all damages suffered by the deceased before death, South Carolina has a separate action called a "Survival Action."  A survival action is also brought by the Personal Representative of the estate along with the Wrongful Death action.  This action is brought on behalf of the deceased for any damages that were a result of the accident suffered by him or her prior to their death. These damages can include: 1) Pre-death mental suffering; 2) Pre-death pain and suffering; 3) Loss of enjoyment of life prior to death; and, 4) Pre-death economic loss (this will include medical bills, lost wages, etc. suffered by the deceased prior to death).
Wrongful death and survival claims can also involve a claim for Punitive Damages against the at-fault party. Punitive damages are used by the court to punish the wrongdoer and are awarded when a person commits grossly negligent, malicious, or intentional acts.

Because these damages occurred before the time of death, they are considered part of the deceased's estate.
What will a lawyer do for a family who has suffered a wrongful death?  Regardless, all wrongful death claims are required to be court approved and at least one hearing is mandatory.   Our office will assist you or your family member maneuver through the Probate Court and assist in appointing a proper Personal Representative.

The sudden death of a loved one resulting from another's negligence, reckless conduct, or intentional acts is unexpected and tragic.  It is important that the family seek the advice of a lawyer to not only protect their rights, but the rights of their deceased loved one.

A lawyer can help ease the burden and stress that will follow the loved one's death.  A lawyer can help a family do the following and much more: 1) Open the estate in Probate and ensure an appropriate Personal Representative is appointed; 2) Guide the family through the Probate process; 3) Represent the family and the deceased's estate to ensure their rights are not violated; 4) Determine the facts of the incident and liability; 5) Negotiate with the adverse party to reach an appropriate settlement; and, 6) If no settlement is agreed upon, determine the appropriate court in which to file the lawsuit.
Families of the victim often feel pursing legal action will only increase their feelings of distress. Some families do not immediately realize the impact a wrongful death can have on their lives, so contacting a wrongful death attorney is always a good idea. Our attorneys understand the delicacy of wrongful death suits and will try to resolve the wrongful death lawsuit as quickly as possible in a sensitive, tactful manner.
Shaw Law Firm has the resources and knowledge necessary to expedite the wrongful death lawsuit in a successful manner.  While no amount of money can replace a wrongful death victim, one need not suffer financial loss because of someone else's negligence. 
As soon as you hire Shaw Law Firm, our goal is to take the burden off the enitre family and handle the entire process for you.  We are here to help

We serve York County, Lancaster County and Chester County and all cities within those counties including Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Clover, Lake Wylie, Tega Cay, York, Sharon, Hickory Grove, Indian Land, Catawba, Lancaster, Chester, Great Falls and Richburg. We also serve Charlotte and the entire surrounding region. Shaw Law Firm has a Former Prosecutor on Staff who is dedicated to representing families and individuals going through difficult situations. Divorces and persons accused of Crimes, including alcohol and drug related charges are the focus.

© 2024 Shaw & Cannon | Disclaimer/Privacy Statement
1169 Ebenezer Road, Rock Hill, SC 29732
| Phone: 803.329.4200

Truck Accidents | Medical Malpractice | Wrongful Death | Personal Injury | Divorce & Family Law | Criminal Defense | | Vehicle Accidents | Injuries on the Job | Medical Malpractice | Prescription Errors | Nursing Home Abuse | Injuries to Children