What is Considered Wrongful Death?
Death is a natural part of life.
Eventually, every single person alive today will die.
While death may be inevitable, sometimes, serious accidents cause death before a person’s time.
When someone else's negligence causes a fatal accident, the surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim.
In these cases, we can help. We're ready to talk today and offer free consultations.
Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina
South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-51-10 allows a civil action for wrongful death in certain cases. If a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another causes death, there may be a claim. The act must be responsible for the death. It's best to review your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Action
When a person dies, they often leave surviving family members with financial worries, grief, medical expenses, and more.
The decedent’s beneficiaries deserve compensation for these losses. As such, the state of South Carolina allows those in a wrongful death action to seek damages for losses.
These include medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, and the loss of earning capacity.
Noneconomic damages such as the value of the loss of the decedent’s comfort, knowledge, parenting, companionship, and protection are also included.
Finally, if the defendant’s recklessness, willfulness, or malice caused the death, there may be a claim for punitive damages.
What Does a Claimant Need to Prove?
The executive or administrator of a deceased person’s estate files wrongful death claims in South Carolina. They file for the benefit of beneficiaries of the deceased, such as a surviving spouse, children, or parents.
The party who is bringing forth the action must prove that:
- The defendant owed the deceased person a duty of care;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the decedent via a wrongful act, act of neglect, or default; and
- The victim’s death would not have occurred but for the defendant’s actions.
The burden of proof is lower in a civil case than it is in a criminal case.
In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s fault beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a civil case, the plaintiff only needs to prove the defendant’s guilty by the preponderance of the evidence.
The Peace Law Firm is Here to Help
Losing a loved one is never easy, but feelings of grief intensify when