As personal injury attorneys in Rock Hill, South Carolina, we know that although the laws may vary from state to state, the wrongful death of another can lead to prison time in every state as well as significant damage awards. In this article, we will explain how the state of South Carolina defines wrongful death and the damages that can be expected from a wrongful death suit.
HOW DOES SOUTH CAROLINA DEFINE WRONGFUL DEATH?
South Carolina law defines wrongful death as follows:
Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, the person who would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances as make the killing in law a felony. In the event of the death of the wrongdoer, such cause of action shall survive against his personal representative.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN I EXPECT FROM A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?
The individual factors of any single wrongful death case can vary greatly. Over time, however, reports of wrongful death damages show that the above-referenced situation favoring male decedents is a factor in how an insurance company can value a wrongful death case.
Wrongful death damages are also indirectly related to the severity of the conduct on the part of the defendant. If the wrongful death case stems from a tragic accident and the defendant’s negligence did not offend the conscience of the community, damages may not be as large as if the defendant’s actions were willful.
Liability in a wrongful death case is expressed solely in terms of money damages. This is one key way in which a wrongful death case differs from a criminal charge of homicide, where a conviction results in imprisonment, fines, or other penalties.
Damages that may be awarded in a successful wrongful death claim include compensation for:
- funeral and burial expenses
- medical bills and expenses related to the deceased person’s final illness or injury
- lost wages and benefits
- property damages and other financial losses related to the death
- loss of the deceased person’s experience, knowledge, and judgment
- loss of the deceased person’s care, companionship, and protection, and
- pain, suffering, and mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members.
The Lewis Law Firm will help you process a wrongful death claim. If a loved one has been involved in an accident that caused death, call the Lewis Law Firm for a free consultation. Let us help get you the compensation you deserve.