When a person is killed in a tragic and unexpected accident, it has an immediate and devastating impact on those he or she leaves behind. Unfortunately, surviving family members often struggle to pick up the pieces and regain their footing financially in addition to dealing with the grief and anguish that come with the sudden loss of someone close to them.
If a person is killed due to the actions or inaction of another person, the surviving family members may have a legal right to seek compensation to help them in their time of need. South Carolina law allows the administrator or executor of a deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the heirs against the negligent party or parties.
If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in the greater Clinton area, you should have a Clinton attorney who has handled wrongful death claims review the specifics of your situation and explain your legal options. Joye Law Firm has been in business for more than 50 years, and our compassionate attorneys have a strong record of handling wrongful death cases in South Carolina. We are available to answer your questions during a free consultation.
How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help Me in Clinton?
A compassionate, experienced wrongful death attorney can help you and your family make sense of the complicated issues that arise after the unexpected death of someone close to you. Your lawyer can help you evaluate the impact that this tragic event will have on your life and the lives of those affected. You should not be saddled with medical bills and funeral bills because of someone else’s negligent actions. You may have a right to seek compensation from the individual or business that caused your loved one’s death. While no amount of money will replace your lost loved one, our attorneys can help you seek compensation to provide financial stability and move forward with your life.
An experienced Clinton wrongful death attorney at Joye Law Firm will investigate the facts of the fatal accident, consult with medical and financial experts, and work with you and the chosen executor of the estate to file a wrongful death claim. Our attorneys will make sure that all of the state-required deadlines are met. In South Carolina, there is a three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. Our lawyers will protect your rights to pursue the compensation you and your family deserve.
Wrongful death claims are complicated. The experience of the Clinton attorney you choose to represent your family can make all the difference as you navigate the complex legal system. Our firm will seek answers, justice, and compensation on behalf of you and your loved ones.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
The loss of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult ordeals to endure. It is made worse when the person’s death occurred in a preventable accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety. Our Clinton personal injury attorneys understand the struggles that survivors face after a fatal accident. That is why our legal team will do all that we can to obtain a measure of justice for you and your loved one.
Our team is ready to help if you lost a loved one due to negligence. We have extensive experience handling a wide variety of wrongful death cases including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Dangerous or defective drugs
- Dangerous or defective products
- Construction accidents
The circumstances surrounding a person’s death will determine what type of damages the family may claim. Those responsible will often try to deny or downplay their role in connection with your loved one’s death.
Not all wrongful death cases are necessarily accidents. A wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate if a person is killed because of another’s deliberate and purposeful acts such as an act of violence. The offenders responsible for such deaths will frequently face criminal charges. Criminal prosecution is a separate legal action from a civil wrongful death claim. It is possible for a person who is not convicted of a crime to still be held responsible for causing someone’s death in a wrongful death case.
Proving negligence in a wrongful death case can be challenging. Contact our experienced Clinton wrongful death attorney at Joye Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your case.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Clinton
South Carolina requires a wrongful death claim to be filed by the administrator or executor of the deceased person’s estate. Such individuals are often named in a person’s will, but a court can appoint an administrator or executor in cases in which there is no will.
Wrongful death cases are filed on behalf of a victim’s immediate family, with the deceased’s surviving spouse and children typically being the first parties compensated under South Carolina Code § 15-51-20. Additional parties that may be entitled to compensation include a victim’s parents when there are no children or spouse and then other heirs when there are no surviving parents.
Under South Carolina Code § 15-3-530, a family has three years from the date of a person’s death to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. It is important to keep in mind that the date of death can be different from the date of an accident. Some people do not die from their injuries until days, weeks, or even months after the initial accident.
Types of Damages that Can Be Recovered from a Wrongful Death Claim
When it comes to damages in wrongful death cases, a significant number of claims are resolved through settlements because insurance companies usually find it to be more advantageous to settle a case than take it to trial. When the statute of limitations is nearing and a settlement appears unlikely, a lawsuit may have to be filed to recover compensation.
A person who files a wrongful death lawsuit will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant caused the victim’s death. Certain cases may result in criminal charges being filed against a defendant such as if the death was the result of an assault or a drunk driving accident. A criminal case is completely separate from the civil action.
Criminal and civil cases have different burdens of proof. To convict a person of a criminal offense in South Carolina, their guilt needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest possible standard of proof. Civil liability only requires a person to prove a defendant’s negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, which means it is more likely than not that they are liable.
In a wrongful death claim, you could be eligible to recover compensation for damages including:
- Medical bills for the deceased’s injuries prior to death
- Expenses for the funeral and burial
- Loss of income and future earnings
- Loss of support, care, and affection
- Mental anguish
In special cases, punitive damages can be sought. They require plaintiffs to prove by clear and convincing evidence that their harm was the result of a defendant’s willful, wanton, or reckless conduct. Punitive damages are typically sought to punish the defendant for their actions.
Why Choose an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer From Joye Law Firm?
Joye Law Firm has a record of success with injury and wrongful death cases. Our law firm obtained $262.5 million for the family of a deceased child in an automotive product liability claim. While previous case results are not in any way predictive of future results, they do reflect our experience handling these types of cases.
Our attorneys and staff are believers in giving back to our community. Joye in the Community is our program encompassing all our charitable giving and service projects efforts to support local education and aid organizations committed to improving the well-being of others. Our fundraising initiatives have benefitted such organizations as the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, the American Cancer Society, and Habitat for Humanity, among many others.
Was your loved one killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in Laurens County or a surrounding area of South Carolina? If so, our firm is here to help you take legal action to get justice and compensation for your loss. We know that no legal action can bring your loved one back. At the same time, we know that standing up for the surviving family members is the best way to ensure that they don’t suffer undue financial strain in addition to their grief as a result of a loved one’s loss.
Joye Law Firm has four offices in South Carolina, with a location in Clinton as well as offices in Columbia, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. Call (864) 358-5100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with us today.