Charleston, South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorneys
Facing the death of a loved one is never easy. The grief and despair that follow such an immeasurable loss can be debilitating. These feelings can be further compounded, and even more difficult to manage, in situations where the death was the result of another person’s negligence or recklessness. In the midst of grief, handling the wrongful death of a loved one can seem nearly impossible.
At Cobb, Dill & Hammett, LLC we understand the emotional and financial complexities surrounding wrongful death. We know that dealing with the loss of a loved one can create devastating and unexpected challenges, and we work to relieve some of this stress and ensure your family receives justice. If you believe that your family is entitled to compensation due to the wrongful death of a loved one, consider contacting our compassionate and experienced Charleston, South Carolina wrongful death attorneys today at 843-936-6680 to discuss your options in greater detail.
What Is Wrongful Death in South Carolina?
Wrongful death occurs when an individual dies as a result of the misconduct or negligence of another. To determine whether the death resulted from wrongful action, misconduct, recklessness, or negligence, consider whether a personal injury lawsuit could have been filed if the person had lived. If the answer is yes, then your family may have legal grounds for a wrongful death claim under the law.
It can be helpful to think of wrongful death as a personal injury case that must be filed by someone else. The deceased person is unable to file a lawsuit, and so another individual must step in and seek personal injury compensation on behalf of the deceased.
Many types of incidents can result in wrongful death, including:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premise liability accidents
- Accidental poisoning
- Workplace accidents and illnesses
Wrongful Death vs. Criminal Homicide
It is important to differentiate wrongful death from criminal homicide. Where homicide is a criminal offense, wrongful death is handled by a civil lawsuit.
There is a different degree of liability that must be proven depending on whether the case is considered a wrongful death or a criminal homicide. In wrongful death cases, the accused’s guilt must be shown by a “preponderance of the evidence.”
This means that your wrongful death attorney must prove it is more likely than not that the accused is responsible for the wrongful death. Whereas, in criminal homicide cases, guilt of the perpetrator must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney at Cobb, Dill & Hammett can help you determine whether case is considered a wrongful death or criminal homicide under South Carolina law.
Are You Entitled to Compensation?
South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-51-40 states that damages may be awarded to the family or loved ones of a wrongful death victim. In South Carolina, the personal representative or administrator of the deceased individual’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim.
South Carolina law also determines who can recover damages in wrongful death cases. The state prioritizes immediate family members, using a hierarchy system that adheres to the following structure:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse and children
- The deceased’s parents if there is no spouse or children
- The deceased’s heirs if there are no parents, spouse, or children
If the wrongful death case is successful, there are a variety of damages that may be recovered. These damages are awarded for a range of losses, with the goal of easing the financial burden faced by the surviving family members. It is possible to receive compensation for the following losses:
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Medical bills related to the deceased injury
- Loss of financial support
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the deceased individual’s experience, knowledge, and judgment
- Loss of the deceased individual’s care and companionship
Our Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys at Cobb, Dill & Hammett Can Help
If your loved one died due to the negligence, misconduct, or recklessness of another person, you and your family may be entitled to receive justice and compensation for your loss. It is important to note that South Carolina utilizes a statute of limitations regarding wrongful death cases, so time is of the essence. Wrongful death cases are often legally challenging and complicated, and having an experienced attorney advocating for you can be highly valuable.
At Cobb, Dill & Hammett, LLC our team of compassionate South Carolina personal injury attorneys understand the complexities involved in wrongful death cases and know how to maximize compensation for their clients. We believe that all wrongful death cases should be handled with complete openness and fairness, and these beliefs are reflected in our work. For more information or to speak with an attorney, consider contacting our office at 843-936-6680 today.