Do I Have the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

June 13, 2023
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If your loved one was killed in an incident that could have been prevented, you’re probably wondering if you have the right to file a claim. The answer is maybe.

Assuming the death was indeed wrongful, your family should have grounds for action. Whether you can actually be the one to bring the suit, however—and whether you’ll be entitled to any compensation that results—depends on the circumstances. Read on to learn more.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the right to file a wrongful death claim belongs to the personal representative of the deceased's estate. The personal representative is typically the executor of the estate, but it can also be a trustee or other person appointed by the court.

If the claim yields a payout, eligible beneficiaries include the spouse and children of the deceased. Parents and other heirs may also be entitled to some or all of the compensation that results depending on whether the deceased victim has a spouse or children, or their age.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death caused by the negligence of someone other than the deceased. When someone dies as a result of another party, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages.

While no amount of money will erase their grief, a payout could at least make it easier to achieve some sense of normalcy in the aftermath. This is especially true if those left behind relied on the deceased financially.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In a successful wrongful death claim, the surviving family members may be able to secure compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Attendant services
  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship

In rare cases, punitive damages are also warranted. These damages are only awarded, however, if the liable party’s conduct constituted willful, wanton, reckless, or intentional misconduct.

How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in South Carolina?

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in South Carolina is usually three years if the wrongdoer is a private person or entity. This means that you likely have three years from the date of your loved one's death to take the liable party to court. If you miss the deadline, you may lose all legal recourse. It is always a good idea to check with a lawyer regarding the statute to ensure you do not miscalculate the statute.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim?

If you believe that you might have a wrongful death claim on your hands, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also help you put together a compelling case and represent you in court if settling proves impossible.

Discuss Your Claim with a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Carolina

If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, the compassionate team at Hodge & Langley Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 864-585-3873 or complete the Contact Form on our website to schedule a free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina.



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