Avoid These Common Missteps When Building Your Wrongful Death Claim

June 12, 2023
white casket at funeral

Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or misconduct is an unimaginable tragedy that no one should have to endure. If you find yourself in such a devastating situation, it's essential to understand the steps involved in building a wrongful death claim and to avoid all the most common missteps that could jeopardize your case.

By taking the right approach in seeking the necessary support, you can pursue justice for your loved one and hopefully obtain the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn more about the mistakes to avoid along the way, so your case has the best chance of being successful:

1. Seeking Legal Representation Too Late

One of the most effective ways to build a strong wrongful death claim is securing the services of an experienced personal injury attorney in South Carolina right away. A knowledgeable attorney can provide you with the guidance and support needed during this challenging time.

They will advocate for your rights, gather compelling evidence, and ensure you meet all applicable deadlines. If necessary, your legal team will also prepare your case for court.

2. Failing to Gather Evidence of Liability

Preserving evidence is vital in establishing liability and strengthening your wrongful death claim. Collect any available evidence related to the incident, such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, surveillance footage, or medical records. A resourceful attorney can assist in gathering and organizing this evidence to build a compelling case.

3. Ignoring the Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, there is a statute of limitations that restricts the time frame within which a wrongful death claim can be filed. It is typically three years, though this is shortened to just two years for claims against government entities. Remember that before you file a lawsuit, the Estate will need a personal representative as well, so the sooner this is done, the better.

It is important to be aware of this deadline (and any exceptions) and to initiate legal proceedings within the specified time limit. Failing to do so may result in your claim being barred and the loss of your right to seek compensation.

4. Communicating Directly with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often seek to minimize their liability and may attempt to settle your wrongful death claim for less than it is worth. It is crucial to avoid direct communication with insurance representatives without the guidance of your attorney.

Insurance adjusters may use your statements against you, so it is best to let your attorney handle all negotiations and communications with the insurance company on your behalf.

5. Failing to Accurately Assess Damages

Calculating the full extent of damages in a wrongful death claim can be complex. It is crucial to work closely with your attorney to accurately assess the economic and non-economic losses suffered as a result of your loved one's death. This includes medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income and financial support, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.

Properly evaluating damages will help ensure that you seek appropriate compensation to cover the full extent of your losses.

6. Overlooking Self-Care and Support

Coping with the loss of a loved one is emotionally and mentally draining. During this challenging time, it is essential to prioritize self-care and seek emotional support.

Lean on your support system of family and friends, consider joining a support group, or seek professional counseling to help you navigate the grieving process. Taking care of your emotional well-being will not only support your personal healing but also help you stay strong throughout the legal process.

Discuss Your Claim with a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Carolina

If you think your family might have grounds for legal action following the death of a loved one, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident to help you determine how best to proceed. Call 864-585-3873 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina.



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