At Williams & Walsh, we represent individuals who have suffered the loss of a family member as a result of the wrongdoing and/or negligence of another. Many people who suffer the loss of a loved one not only have lost the cherished companionship, but also have lost emotional support, financial support, and/or intimacy upon which they relied. Surviving family members who have lost these benefits may have a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are not intended to simply allocate a value on the life of the deceased as no monetary value can replace the life of a loved one. Wrongful death claims exist to assist family members in attaining justice for the deceased against the wrongdoer, and in facilitating the healing process by assigning a value to the financial and emotional support the deceased provided. The goal of such a claim is to help those left behind return to a functional life and navigate the radical changes caused by the death of a family member.
The South Carolina Wrongful Death Act provides the statutory authority and procedures for a wrongful death claim. S.C. Code §§ 15-51-10, et seq. The law grants a spouse, child, parent, or other family member – the statutory beneficiaries – the authority to act as the personal representative, executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate for the purpose of initiating a wrongful death action. The law sets forth time constraints for filing a wrongful death action during the probate process for the deceased. If the time constraints are not observed, a statutory beneficiary may lose the right to file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that a defendant’s conduct brought about the fatal injury of the deceased. A wrongful death due to another’s wrongdoing and/or negligence can occur in the following, but not limited to, circumstances:
- Auto accidents
- Auto Defect Accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Boating or Water Related Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Construction Defect Accident
- Anesthesia Error
- Products Liability Accident
- Premises Liability Accident
- Medical Malpractice
- Surgical Mistake
- Dental Accidents
- Hunting Accident
- Train Accident
- Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
- Slip and Fall Accident
- Faulty Equipment
- Defective Product
- Work or Job Accident
- Toxic Chemical Spill Accident
- Environmental Hazards
The damages permitted in a wrongful death lawsuit for statutory beneficiaries such as a spouse, child, or other family member include:
- Monetary loss
- Mental shock and suffering
- Wounded feelings
- Loss of society and companionship such as the beneficiaries loss of the deceased’s experience, knowledge and judgment in managing the deceased’s affairs and those of the beneficiaries
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Monetary Compensation for the loss of future earnings of the deceased
In addition to the wrongful death damages, the deceased’s estate may also recover money damages for the conscious pain and suffering that the deceased experienced prior to death as well as for the medical expenses under the Survival Right of Action Statute. S.C. Code § 15-5-90.
Williams & Walsh, LLC will vigorously pursue wrongful death and personal injury litigation. Williams & Walsh, LLC will investigate the facts, determine who is the liable party or parties, determine which insurance company or companies is responsible for the damages, assess the claim(s), and prepare the case for settlement negotiation and trial.
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Our free consultation includes an initial meeting with you to discuss your case and review any paperwork you may have relating to your property. Following the initial free consultation, we generally represent and charge clients for our legal services on contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorney fees if we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf. Our fee, if we are successful, is a percentage of the total compensation we obtain for you. We generally cover all costs while your case is pending which is reimbursed to the firm after the contingency fee is calculated. You are not responsible for reimbursement of costs if there is no recovery.