Who Is Eligible To File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

James Law Office, LLC

Losing a loved one is always a difficult experience, but losing someone due to a preventable accident can make the grieving process even more painful. A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim in which a victim passes away in an accident and therefore needs someone else to file a claim on their behalf. If someone you know lost their life due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Read this blog or reach out to a Darlington County, South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyer to learn more about your options.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

A wrongful death could be caused by medical malpractice, a crime, or a negligent person. Negligence is defined in court as someone’s failure to use reasonable care which results in an accident that injures another person. For example, if someone drives while intoxicated and accidentally crashes into another car, killing that driver, then the drunk driver could be sued for wrongful death since their negligent and reckless actions directly led to another person’s death. But who files the lawsuit?

South Carolina laws only allow certain people to file a wrongful death claim on a victim’s behalf. The only family members that are automatically eligible to file a lawsuit are the victim’s spouse, children, parents, and heirs. Other family members can only legally file a claim if they also happen to be the victim’s personal representative, which is usually the named executor of the will. A victim’s personal representative is always eligible to file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina, no matter their familial relation to the victim. If the victim did not leave a valid will, then the court will elect an appropriate personal representative on behalf of the victim.

How Can I Pursue a Claim?

If eligible, you can file a claim to pursue financial compensation, like expenses for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages that the victim would have provided the family, and funeral costs. However, family members can also seek restitution for something called loss of consortium. This is the deprivation of benefits a victim would have provided for their family, such as loss of companionship, parental guidance, household chores, and more. Usually, the victim’s family members need to prove they were dependent on the victim in order to receive restitution. A personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need and file a lawsuit.

Are you considering filing a claim on a deceased victim’s behalf? You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you determine your options. Thankfully, James Law Office, LLC is here to provide individualized legal counseling! Contact us today for an initial consultation with a compassionate and effective wrongful death lawyer.

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