South Carolina Wrongful Death Damages
Words fail to describe the loss of a loved one. It’s always a life-defining experience. Yet, your loved one’s death is especially traumatic when it stems from someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
Whatever the exact situation, seeking legal redress might seem like a distant fantasy. Nevertheless, it’s vital to understand your rights and legal options during such trying times.
South Carolina law provides a pathway for families and beneficiaries to recover damages when their loved one’s death stems from someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts. This article aims to guide you through the landscape of wrongful death damages in South Carolina and shed light on the available legal avenues. We stand with you in your quest for justice and healing.
What Kinds of Damages Are Available in South Carolina Wrongful Death Cases?
The short answer is that there are multiple types of damages available. A wrongful death claim in South Carolina is a civil action separate from any criminal proceedings. Consequently, it’s possible to pursue criminal penalties against wrongdoers while also filing a civil action against them. Wrongful death cases in South Carolina allow for compensatory damages. Under the umbrella of compensatory damage, a plaintiff can obtain compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
What Are Economic Losses?
As the name suggests, economic losses are losses with a definite monetary value. Let’s explore a few common categories of economic losses.
- Medical expenses. This category includes medical costs that your loved one accrued as a result of the injuries that ultimately led to their death. Frequently covered cost items include surgery, ambulance trips, prescription medicine, rehabilitative treatments, and even alternative therapies.
- Funeral and burial expenses. Survivors can claim the expenses related to the decedent’s funeral, burial, or cremation. These costs include purchasing a plot of land and preparing and transporting the body.
- Lost wages and benefits. This class of economic losses includes the potential earnings and benefits (like pension or health insurance) the deceased would have contributed to their family if they had lived a natural lifespan. It can also include past lost wages that accrued between the injury of your loved one and their ultimate demise.
Keep in mind these are only the most common examples of economic losses. Depending on the facts of your case, you might be able to seek additional compensation.
What Are Non-Economic Losses?
Let’s turn next to non-economic losses. This classification of loss describes intangible losses that are difficult to quantify. The foremost non-economic loss is your family’s loss of companionship and support due to the absence of your loved one. It can encompass the loss of guidance, comfort, fellowship, and protection. A jury can also award damages for any pain and suffering that your loved one suffered between the time of their injury and death.
Do Wrongful Death Cases Allow for Punitive Damages in South Carolina?
Yes. South Carolina law provides explicitly for punitive (or exemplary) damages in wrongful death cases. As the name suggests, punitive damages have a different purpose than compensatory damages, as they are not meant to compensate the family. Instead, they punish the wrongdoer for particularly egregious misconduct and deter others from engaging in a similar fashion.
That said, punitive damages are not always available. You need to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless, malicious, or intentionally harmful for a court to award you punitive damages. And even if you are successful, it’s likely that the defendant will attempt to appeal the award of punitive damages.
How Can I Calculate Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Knowing how to calculate wrongful death damages is less of a science and more of an art. No two cases are the same. There are a variety of considerations that come into play. What was your loved one’s age and salary? How many medical bills resulted from their fatal injury? How much medical treatment did they receive before passing away? Did other family members suffer injuries as a result of the same act? All of these factors will play a role in calculating the damages in your wrongful death case.
Want a Personalized Calculation of the Wrongful Death Damages in Your Case? Contact the Peace Law Firm Today.
The journey after a loved one’s wrongful death is marked with grief, questions, and a longing for justice. We know that no amount of compensation can make up for the void left behind by your lost loved one. Still, it’s essential to ensure you uphold your family’s rights and receive the financial support you’re entitled to.
At the Peace Law Firm, we continually commit ourselves to representing the families of South Carolina in their pursuit of justice. We built our firm on the fundamental principles of integrity, compassion, and dedication, so we stand ready to guide you every step of the way. With our experienced team by your side, you can overcome the complexities of a wrongful death claim and recover what is rightfully yours.
Remember that the Peace Law Firm is more than just your legal ally in these challenging times. We’re your pillar of support throughout the critical days ahead. Call us today to set up an initial consultation.