Losing a loved one is a tragic and traumatic event, no matter what the circumstances. When the death is caused by the negligence or wrongful conduct of another, the pain and frustration can be immeasurably greater. At Peake & Fowler, we know that no amount of compensation can make up for your loss, yet we also know that the death of a loved one can cause serious financial distress for the surviving family members. It is simply unjust and intolerable for the family to have to bear these additional costs, while the wrongdoer responsible for the death is not held accountable. That is why our attorneys devote ourselves to the cause of a wrongful death lawsuit for the benefit of spouse, children or parents of the deceased.
South Carolina Wrongful Death Law
South Carolina law recognizes wrongful death actions when a death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another. The law allows a lawsuit to be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate, who may collect legal damages, including exemplary (punitive) damages if the responsible party is found to have been reckless, willful or malicious in causing the death.
Wrongful death actions are brought for the benefit of the surviving spouse and children of the deceased, who share in the proceeds of any judgment or settlement. If the deceased did not leave behind a surviving spouse or children, the monetary award will go to the deceased’s parents or heirs.
Wrongful Death includes Survival Actions
South Carolina law also recognizes survival actions, which can be brought in conjunction with a wrongful death lawsuit. Therefore, it is possible to recover compensation for any conscious pain and suffering or medical expenses incurred when a person injured by another’s negligence subsequently dies. Together, wrongful death and survival actions help to ensure that the surviving family members are able to pay medical bills and funeral expenses, and compensate for the loss of income, household services and support, and the loss of guidance, love and companionship they have been bereft of.