Yes, if someone can be proven legally liable for causing the accident leading to his death. South Carolina law allows a victim’s estate to recover for medical bills plus conscious pain and suffering in a claim called a “survival action.”

How To Get Medical Bills Paid When Someone Dies In a South Carolina Fatal Accident

A survival action allows the estate of a South Carolina fatal accident victim to get reimbursement for medical bills related to the accident.

This part of the case can be critical for a family, as medical providers can make claims for payment against the estate.  These “creditor claims” get paid before anyone can get an inheritance.  Without a settlement accounting for the potentially enormous cost of end-of-life care, family members can see their inheritance destroyed. 

PRO TIP: Use the victim’s health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid to pay medical bills from a deadly accident.  That’s what these benefits are for. And don’t let providers insist they’ll wait on a settlement.  Providers agreed to get paid through health insurance or government benefits long before your loved one died.

Here’s why you pay these bills with health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.  It can virtually eliminate provider claims against the estate.  You will have to repay health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid back through a legal process called subrogation but it works out far better financially to do it this way.

Naturally, a South Carolina wrongful death attorney can guide you and your family through this process, protecting the estate’s rights against medical creditors.  Often, we can negotiate a reduction in repayment, creating additional funds to go to grieving, financially suffering family members. 

Call toll free at  888-230-1841 to get your questions answered in a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session with a Spartanburg, South Carolina wrongful death attorney. 

There’s often another aspect of a survival case we seek a bigger settlement for.

Pain & Suffering In South Carolina Wrongful Death Cases

To get a South Carolina survival settlement for pain and suffering, you’ll need a sharp, experienced, and hardworking wrongful death lawyer who knows how to probe medical records for clinical evidence of suffering, as well as interview witnesses who can attest to it, then present the evidence in a meaningful way to convince the insurance company or a jury to properly compensate the estate.

A victim need not be fully awake and alert to communicate conscious pain and suffering. Here’s examples of conscious pain and suffering evidence for a South Carolina fatal accident victim who seems unconscious:

  • Moans, groans, or cries recorded in EMT, doctor, or nurse’s notes.  If it’s a crash, police dashcam video may capture this audio at the scene.  You might also find witnesses who can give a statement about hearing them. 
  • Observation of facial expressions, like winces or grimaces that can also be found in medical records or made by witness statements.
  • Hospital records showing repeated administration of painkillers.
  • The nature of medical treatment, like operations.  You likely need a doctor’s conclusion the treatment caused the pain, stated to the proper South Carolina legal standard.   

Finding this critical evidence can involve sifting through thousands of pages of medical records, watching agonizing police dashcam videos (which have to be obtained fast before they get erased), and hunting down witnesses to give helpful statements. 

The law in South Carolina wrongful death cases is complex.  Attempting to get a settlement on your own requires you to relive the horror of the worst days of your life.  Insurance companies will take advantage of your inability to understand the law or deal with harsh facts.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Get a professional to intervene and take over what you can’t handle. 

Call toll free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form to get your questions answered in a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session with a Spartanburg, South Carolina wrongful death attorney. 


As a family member, you also have rights to recover in a claim usually brought at the same time as a survival action, called a wrongful death case

But to get a settlement, you've got to prove it the right way, with admissible evidence, to an insurance company that only cares about keeping its money from you. How much of settlement you should get for a wrongful death and survival action involves building a case based on a few critical factors under South Carolina law.

Contact A South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’re picking up the pieces from a loved one’s accidental death you think someone else is responsible for, give the burden of this claim to a professional who can ease your strain, keep you from the frustration of fighting an insurance company, and give you peace of mind your loved one’s case will be done right. There's important reasons to seek a lawyer for your situation. Contact us to see how we can carry this burden for you. Remember, it’s your only chance to make this right.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.