To prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of grieving family members, South Carolina law requires court approval of death settlements. The best way to avoid insurance company tactics and give you peace of mind in a trying time is to hire a lawyer experienced in these cases to handle the insurance company and protect your right to proper compensation.
A judge must approve any settlement involving a death, regardless of how it occurred: in a car crash, from medical malpractice, from a defective product, anything.
These are the basics of the wrongful death settlement approval process, where the case settles before trial. If it settles during or after trial, it’s a little different:
- Last things first. The judge will hold a hearing for you to present evidence about the claim and settlement terms. You’ve got to have your ducks in a row before then, or you risk rejection of the settlement.
- The claim must be brought by the proper party. Settlements can only be approved if sought by the personal representative or a similar representative appointed by probate court order.
- Paperwork must be in order. A sworn petition must include specific information, including the basis for the settlement and the amount of insurance available to pay it. A good lawyer can try to find out that amount at the beginning of the case, then give you satisfaction he’ll do everything he can to get it all.
- Approval by court order. If the judge approves the settlement, the order includes specific information justifying the amount of the settlement and directing payment to required beneficiaries and certain creditors, such as medical providers.
If your family is forced to consider a legal case involving a fatality, your life is already too tough. Hire an experienced lawyer to fend off insurance company bullies, help you obtain the maximum recovery, and streamline the approval process for you. Call us today at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841, or send us an email so we can talk about how we can lighten your load and give you peace of mind.