4 Common Mistakes Families Make After a Wrongful Death

October 29, 2020
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Planning a funeral for a deceased loved one is never easy. It can be especially challenging, however, if the death was entirely unanticipated and totally preventable.

During such a stressful time, it’s not uncommon for family members to devolve into arguing. Everyone has their own way of coping, after all, and conflicts will inevitably arise when no one is on the same page.

If you intend to file a wrongful death claim, though, it’s essential that you and your loved ones work together. In addition to gathering evidence of both liability and damages, you’ll have to avoid critical mistakes along the way.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that could hurt your family’s wrongful death claim:

1. Postponing the Proceedings

While there are probably dozens of administrative tasks you must tend to, you should not put off calling an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, the most important evidence you will need to obtain may be time-sensitive, so you will want to enlist help as soon as possible.

What’s more, there are strict filing deadlines for wrongful death lawsuits in South Carolina. The standard statute of limitations is three years, but there are exceptions that can shorten this deadline considerably. For example, families that intend to sue a government agency generally have just two years to proceed to court.

2. Giving a Public Statement

If the accident was publicized, local media may reach out to your family for a statement. As long as you intend to take action, though, it’s best to avoid saying anything. There’s no way to be sure how your statement will be interpreted or how it may impact the proceedings.

Instruct all your loved ones to avoid talking to the press as long as your case is pending. A polite but firm “no comment” will let the media know you’re not interested in discussing the situation.  

3. Failing to Identify the Correct Representative

While many people may be entitled to some portion of the payout that results if your family’s claim is successful, there’s only one party who may actually bring the case. In South Carolina, wrongful death claims must be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate.

If the victim left any estate plans, he or she should have named this party in his or her will. Otherwise, you will have to ask the court to appoint someone before commencing the proceedings.

4. Going up Against the Liable Party Alone

A reputable law firm will have the resources to help you put together a strong case. They will also help you navigate the proceedings from start to finish while protecting your family’s best interests every step of the way.

Call 864-585-3873 for a Free Consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney

If your loved one died because another party failed to exercise reasonable care, turn to the compassionate team at Hodge & Langley Law Firm. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Spartanburg.

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