Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases in South Carolina

It’s understandable to be devastated after the unexpected death of a loved one, especially if it was caused by the wrongful or negligent actions of another person. You shouldn’t have to deal with all of the stress alone. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can help you understand if you have a strong case and how you should proceed.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Greenville, South Carolina

Attorney Ryan Montgomery has handled all types of wrongful death cases. Some of the most common our office has seen include the following:

Fatal Car Accidents

More than 1,000 people die every year in fatal car accidents in South Carolina, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Whether the crash is caused by a defective auto part or another driver, you will likely have many costs associated with the crash. A car accident wrongful death claim can help you cover those costs.

Fatal Truck Accidents

Because of the sheer size of semi-trucks, crashes involving these big rigs are often fatal. Collecting evidence in these cases can be complex and the insurance companies often have teams of lawyers on their side to protect their interests. You need someone on your side to represent you as well.

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have no protection from motor vehicles that pose significant threat to them. If a driver or even bike rider negligently causes the death of a pedestrian, they can be held liable for any damages that result.

Fatal Bike Accidents

Bike riders are typically forced to ride alongside large motor vehicles, such as cars and semi-trucks. When they are hit, they have little to protect them other than a helmet. Fatal injuries are common in bike vs. car accidents.

Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcyclists are often given a bad reputation as being risk takers; however, many fatal motorcycle crashes are caused by the driver of the other motor vehicle. Drivers often fail to properly look for motorcycles, cut them off, and don’t yield proper right of way. Motorcycle wrecks can be immediately fatal or the victims may suffer injuries that lead to death soon thereafter.

Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose, surgery mistakes, and many other causes of medical malpractice can lead to patient deaths. When a doctor or medical facility breaches a national standard of care, they should be held accountable for the losses associated with the death of your loved one.

Fatal Work Accidents

Workplace injuries can result in death due to falls, electrocution, and other fatal accidents. In South Carolina, Workers’ Compensation benefits may cover some of the losses associated with fatal workplace accidents, but you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party.

Fatal Aviation Accidents

An aviation accident may involve a crash from the air, an incident on the tarmac, or even severe turbulence. Airplanes, jets, and helicopters are all at risk of causing a fatal aviation accident. When these accidents are caused by the negligence of a pilot or other airline employees, then you can get compensation for your injuries.

Defective Products that Cause Death

Manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and other companies that handle products are responsible for injuries caused by defective items they make and sell. Car parts, medical devices, food products, toys, and more must be safe when distributed to the public. Otherwise, they may cause fatal injuries.

South Carolina Wrongful Death Laws

South Carolina establishes civil remedies, or how compensation can be obtained, in wrongful death cases in the Code of Laws Title 15, Chapter 51, Article 1.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Section 15-51-10 states that when a person causes a death by a wrongful act or neglect, the victim is entitled to recover damages from the person who is liable.

It is worth noting that a survival action is different than a wrongful death lawsuit. A survival action recovers compensation for damages that the victim could have received prior to their death for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This type of claim is also permissible in South Carolina and arises out of the same types of wrongful actions as death claims.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to Section 15-51-20, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death action for the benefit of a:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Other heirs if no one else exists

Damages for Wrongful Death Claims

Damages for wrongful death actions are detailed in Section 15-51-40. The family may recover compensatory damages, which include actual losses for funeral costs and other out of pocket expenses. You may also get exemplary damages, also called “punitive damages,” which are meant to punish or make an example of reckless, willful, and malicious actions that caused the death.

Wrongful Death Settlements

In South Carolina, only a personal representative of the victim’s estate can settle a wrongful death claim. Additionally, court approval is required for settlement of a wrongful death claim or survival action, pursuant to Section 15-51-42.

A Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

If your loved one was fatally injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another person or company, then you have a right to recover compensation. A Greenville wrongful death attorney can help.

Ryan Montgomery, Attorney at Law, LLC helps clients throughout South Carolina. He has extensive experience with all types of wrongful death claims. Our goal is to help you find peace and get what you need to move forward with life. Call us today at (864) 406-3776.