Filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for your family member’s premature death can be an understandably intimidating prospect. Even if the accident was unintentional, holding them accountable for the harm they caused can be emotionally challenging—especially if you pursue your claim without help from someone who has been through proceedings like this before.
An experienced Walterboro wrongful death lawyer could be a valuable ally throughout each stage of your civil suit or settlement negotiations. No matter what circumstances led you to undertake legal action, a compassionate personal injury attorney at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could ensure your rights are protected and preserve your family’s best interests every step of the way.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death Litigation?
Wrongful death claims follow many of the same basic principles as other forms of personal injury litigation. In both situations, the filing plaintiff attempts to demonstrate that an at-fault party should bear financial liability for harm they caused through misconduct, whether inadvertently negligent or intentionally malicious.
However, since an untimely death claim involves the most direct victim of the at-fault party’s actions losing their life, civil recovery is instead meant to compensate that individual’s immediate family for losses they sustained and will sustain through the tragedy. This is accomplished through the personal representative, executor, or administrator of the deceased party’s estate—either someone picked for this role in the decedent’s will or nominated by the court—filing suit on behalf of surviving family members.
Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws §15-51-20, a wrongful death claim may seek damages for losses experienced by:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s biological or adopted children
- The decedent’s parent(s)
- Any surviving heirs of the decedent’s estate and property
A knowledgeable Walterboro wrongful death attorney could provide more information about recovery through this type of claim during a confidential consultation.
Recovering Compensation Within Filing Deadlines
Compensable damages in a successful wrongful death case may include both economic and non-economic forms of harm suffered by a decedent’s eligible beneficiaries, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Lost financial support
- Lost comfort and companionship
- Lost household services
In certain cases involving reckless conduct, egregious negligence, or overtly malicious actions by a defendant, a court or jury may elect to award punitive damages as well.
Importantly, though, wrongful death claims are subject to the same filing deadline as most other forms of personal injury litigation. As a well-practiced wrongful death lawyer in Walterboro could explain in more detail, S.C. Code §15-3-530 limits prospective plaintiffs to a maximum of three years after the unexpected loss of a loved one to file civil litigation against an at-fault party. The timeline to file a wrongful death action against a governmental entity could be as early as two years. Failure to abide by this deadline may result in the claim being time-barred and beneficiaries being ineligible to recover any compensation.
A Walterboro Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help
Even if you have clear evidence that someone else’s misconduct directly led to a family member’s death, turning that evidence into a comprehensive civil claim is not a simple task. In addition to complying with state statutes for cases of this nature, you may, understandably, have difficulty managing your family’s needs in the immensely stressful and emotional time while also effectively pursuing financial compensation.
A confident and capable Walterboro wrongful death lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could provide assistance in both regards. Call today to learn more.