To lose a loved one is heartbreaking. To lose someone you love through the negligence of another is even more devastating. A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit you file on behalf of a loved one who tragically died due to the wrongful actions or inactions of an individual, company, or group. If you’ve experienced the heartbreak of loss and feel your loved one deserves justice for an accident that should have been prevented, a Columbia wrongful death lawyer may be able to help.
When you contact Solomon Law Group, LLC, you’ll be able to speak to a caring, compassionate attorney who understands what you’re going through and how you may be able to obtain justice for your loved one. Death is an excruciating experience—one shouldn’t have to suffer through it, knowing your loved one’s death could have been prevented. Our South Carolina law firm is committed to making reckless, careless, or otherwise negligent people and businesses pay for their wrongdoings as we deal with wrongful death cases. If you’re considering filing a wrongful death claim, the first step will be determining if you have a potential case.
Do I Have a Potential Wrongful Death Case?
If you’re thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, the first step will be to determine if you have a potential case. Wrongful death cases require thorough evidence and a great deal of investigation. After contacting wrongful death attorneys in Columbia, they will consider the available evidence you may have to determine the eligibility of your case.
According to South Carolina state laws, wrongful death is defined as a death that was caused by the neglect or wrongful or default action of another person. You’ll know you have a claim if, had the deceased survived, they would have been able to file a personal injury claim.
It’s important to note that you only have three years from the time of your loved one’s death and/or accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is called a statute of limitations. If you don’t file within this period, you will likely render yourself ineligible to recover compensation from the responsible party.
When you speak to Columbia wrongful death attorneys regarding your case, you should be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Was your loved one’s untimely death directly caused by the accident, incident, or act of negligence that occurred?
- Do you feel the accident or incident was caused by someone else’s reckless, careless, or wrongful act? In other words, could an individual, group, or entity have prevented the accident or incident if they weren’t acting negligently?
- Have you and your family suffered financial losses after the passing of your loved one? Does the loss directly correspond to a loss of income or emotional distress caused by the premature death?
These questions from personal injury attorneys may be difficult to answer, but they are crucial in determining the eligibility of your claim. If you can answer “yes” to every question, it may be possible to prove your legal claim in court, so you have a chance at a fair settlement.
What Are the Types of Wrongful Death Claims?
Since wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits, you can file a claim against a guilty individual or group, in addition to any criminal charges that may already be pending. Depending on the nature of your case, you may be able to file suit after the death of a loved one or family member in the following circumstances:
- Auto Accidents. Traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles, tractor-trailers, or motorcycles can result in fatal consequences. While numerous situations can cause a fatal accident. Some of the most common include distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding.
- Defective Products. When you go to the store to purchase a product, you assume it will work as intended. In some instances, however, manufacturers cut corners to save money. When this happens, it’s possible the products released could be defective. When something like a medical device doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, a person could sustain fatal injuries when something like a medical device doesn’t work as it should.
- Nursing Home Abuse. Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide residents with safe and attentive care. In the event your loved one received substandard care that resulted in fatal injuries, the negligent facility and employees should be held accountable for your loss.
- Slip and Fall Accident. Property owners are supposed to ensure their residence or place of business is safe for all visitors. When a property is neglected, cracked pavements, torn carpets, and inadequate lighting can result in someone falling. If someone slips, falls and sustains a fatal traumatic brain injury, the family can initiate a wrongful death action.
There are other situations that have the potential to result in a person’s death. In the event we did not discuss your family’s situation above, you may still have legal rights to a valid claim. Get in touch with a Columbia wrongful death lawyer from our law firm to arrange a free case evaluation today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?
Every state has different laws concerning who may file a wrongful death claim against a guilty individual or group. In South Carolina, only the following family members may file on behalf of a deceased loved one:
- Surviving spouse
- The decedent’s children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
- Any heirs named in a will or representatives of the deceased individual’s estate
A surviving spouse or any children will generally have priority when it comes to being the beneficiaries of a wrongful death action, followed by any surviving parents or siblings. These rules may vary from case to case, however, depending on a family’s circumstances.
If you decide to file a claim, you want to make sure it’s done properly. In order to ensure that, it’s best to work with an experienced lawyer who can start the legal process for you. If you’re located in or around the Columbia, South Carolina area, the lawyers from Solomon Law Group, LLC can help, starting with a free legal consultation.
How Can I File a Survival Claim in South Carolina?
In addition to the wrongful death claim, the personal representative has the option of bringing a lawsuit for the medical expenses and pain and suffering that the decedent experienced between their accident and death. This is only a viable option when there is evidence that the deceased person survived for an amount of time after the accident. Medical records and the death certificate can confirm this.
Individuals entitled to damages for the survival claim are the heirs to the deceased person’s will or estate. Those individuals may be different than the persons identified as being entitled to recover damages for the wrongful death claim. In some cases, creditors of the estate may be entitled to claim some or all of the proceeds of a survival claim.
Whether you’re looking to file a wrongful death claim, survival claim, or both after the unexpected passing of your loved one, a Columbia law firm can explain your legal rights and guide you through the process to make it as easily digestible as possible for you during this difficult time. Now, let’s take a look at other ways a law firm can help you when you’re looking to take legal action on behalf of a loved one who has passed.
How Can a Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney Help Me?
Wrongful death lawsuits are among the most difficult types of claims to handle, and they require legal counsel that has extensive legal experience coupled with deep compassion for those left behind.
An experienced legal team will document the life of the person who died as the result of another’s negligence. Every minor detail of the accident or incident is important in determining the type of claim presented. Experts will calculate the loss to the family or heirs of future earnings. Medical costs, as well as funeral and administrative costs, will be included.
As the claim evolves, a good Columbia wrongful death attorney will find ways to present the life of the deceased in a way that shows the victim was a real person. This takes experience, care, and concern—and can make a difference to the judge or jury who settles your case. At Solomon Law Group, LLC, we don’t treat you and your family like you’re a number. We know your loved one deserved better.
How Can I Recover Losses After a Wrongful Death?
Filing a claim not only holds the negligent party accountable for your loved one’s death, but your surviving family members can also collect compensation, often referred to as damages, to manage any related expenses.
Compensation for a wrongful death is typically split into two categories: economic and noneconomic. The Columbia law firm you choose will help you properly value your case so you can manage all accident-related expenses and ensure you have the financial means you’ll need in the future that your loved one would have provided.
Economic damages refer to those that can be calculated directly. When someone dies unexpectedly, especially after an accident, it’s likely you’ll have to contend with medical expenses, property damage costs, funeral and burial expenses, and lost wages and benefits. Your lawyer will take the time needed to calculate those losses and ensure nothing is left out.
Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate because they’re based on more subjective forms of suffering. Your family could be awarded compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and more. Factors like marriage and children have the potential to increase the non-economic damages that immediate family members are eligible to recover.
In some instances, punitive damages could be available. Punitive damages serve to punish the at-fault party’s negligence or willful, wanton, or reckless conduct in order to discourage others from taking similar actions in the future. In regard to wrongful death, punitive damages could be available, for example, if a drunk driver was responsible for your loved one’s death.
The members of our law firm recognize that compensation won’t bring your loved one back, but it can help ease related financial burdens. When medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses are taken care of, you can focus on spending time with your family and grieving your loss in peace.
Can Solomon Law Group, LLC Help Me?
Losing a loved one, no matter the situation, is always devastating, and it can be a challenge to move forward. When someone else causes the death, the situation can be that much harder to cope with. This is especially the case if you’re dealing with unexpected and unmanageable expenses.
If a loved one has died because of the actions or inactions of an individual or business, complete our online form to schedule a free case review. Get in touch with a Columbia wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible by calling our office or filling out our secure online form. You deserve the chance to move forward. We can help.