How to Prove Damages in Your Wrongful Death Claim

April 8, 2022
casket in hearse

When someone dies a wrongful death in the eyes of the law—i.e., when they wouldn’t have passed had another party acted with reasonable care—their loved ones are often entitled to compensation. In South Carolina, for example, grieving families may seek funds for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, lost companionship, and any pain or suffering the deceased experienced prior to passing.

Of course, in order to recover a payout, they must prove that they actually incurred the damages they’re claiming. If you’re putting together a wrongful death case and you’re wondering what kind of evidence you’ll need to present to demonstrate the associated losses, read on. Here are some of the most widely accepted ways to prove damages in these kinds of claims:

1. Hospital Bills

If your loved one didn’t die at the scene of the accident, your family can pursue compensation for the medical bills incurred while treating their final injury or illness. Naturally, the associated hospital bills will serve as the strongest evidence of such losses. Other documentation you may need to present includes health insurance statements, home care invoices, and pharmacy receipts.

2. Funeral Home Records

The funeral home where you held your loved one’s service should be able to produce an itemized invoice that includes everything your family covered out-of-pocket. If you purchased any elements from third-party vendors like flowers, the casket, or a headstone, you’ll need to obtain receipts from them, as well.

3. Tax Returns

If you relied on the deceased financially, their last several tax returns should provide a clear idea of the earnings your family will now miss out on as a result of their death. If you received additional benefits through their job, like health insurance, you’re also going to want to present a copy of their employment contract. Should you be unable to find it, give their former employer a call. The HR department should be able to pull up all the benefits they were receiving and send your family a copy of the information.

4. Social Media Posts

As long as your claim is pending, it’s wise to lay low on social media. The insurance adjuster will be looking for any reason to challenge your credibility, and that might start with monitoring your online activity.

Depending on the circumstances, however, posts from before the accident could bolster your claim. If you and the deceased traveled a lot, for example, photos from your many trips will highlight the loss of companionship you’re now suffering in the wake of their death. The same goes for posts about hobbies you shared or events you attended together.

Discuss Your Claim with a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Carolina

At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we know how devastating an unanticipated loss can be. If someone in your family died a wrongful death, we’ll use all the resources at our disposal to help you hold the liable party accountable. To set up a free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina, complete our Contact Form or call 864-585-3873.

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