When a person dies because of another party’s negligence in South Carolina, it can result in two different kinds of legal claims. Certain family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, while the executor for the deceased’s estate could file a survival action. The claims could be filed together or separately, depending on the circumstances involved.
In many cases, prompt legal action is required. South Carolina allows people only three years to commence wrongful death actions (the deadline can be extended to six years for certain medical malpractice claims), and it can take time to conduct proper investigations into fatal accidents. You should contact the Nye Law Group for assistance meeting all legal deadlines as they relate to your wrongful death or survival action claim.
Wrongful Death Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina Code § 15-51-10 establishes that a party whose wrongful act or negligence causes the wrongful death of another person becomes liable for damages. Under South Carolina Code § 15-51-20, wrongful death actions are for the benefit of spouses and children first, then for the benefit of the deceased’s parents, and then the heirs of the deceased if none of the aforementioned parties exist.
Several different kinds of damages can be recovered in wrongful death lawsuits, including medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of consortium. A wrongful death can arise from any one of a number of possible accidents, including car crashes, workplace accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice.
When the victim in a wrongful death case is a child, South Carolina still recognizes the value of the life even though the victim did not provide financial support to his or her family. State courts have held that parents are entitled to certain intangible damages in these cases.
Survival Actions in South Carolina
South Carolina Code § 15-5-90 establishes the survival right of action in South Carolina. Under this statute, the legal representative for the deceased is allowed to bring the action that the deceased would have brought for his or her injuries had he or she survived.
Survival actions can result in similar damages being awarded to plaintiffs, but the damages relate only to the harm inflicted on the deceased before or during his or her death. In other words, damages resulting from the death (such as lost income) are not compensated in these types of claims.
Find a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Carolina
If you are not sure whether you should file a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action claim following the death of your loved one in South Carolina, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. The Nye Law Group understands that families need time to grieve, which is why we handle all the paperwork and court dates so you can take all the time you need.
Our experienced Bluffton personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to help you get all of the compensation you are entitled to. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 855-636-9277 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.