When someone dies in an accident in South Carolina due to someone else’s carelessness, it’s traumatic. Families of South Carolina fatal accident victims have legal rights to a settlement in a wrongful death case.
Beware of going it alone against the insurance company. You’re a traumatized victim with no legal knowledge, and the insurance company will be heartless in keeping its money from you—no matter how much you need it or deserve it. A South Carolina wrongful death attorney can prevent you and your family from being doubly victimized by a cheap settlement. We can help in ways you may never have considered.
One of the key reasons you need a wrongful death attorney in a fatal accident case is gathering the evidence and evaluating it to develop the right amount to ask for in a settlement.
Here are the legal factors to get a wrongful death settlement in South Carolina and examples of evidence we use to prove it.
Our Five-Point Assessment for a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case
1. Establish legal fault (liability). In most cases, liability is clear. But sometimes, we must face hard facts bravely, and that includes whether the victim may be partially at fault. You can still get a settlement if the victim’s partially at fault under South Carolina’s comparative negligence law. Other cases are just intensely complex, especially medical malpractice.
2. Evaluate the depth and strength of the relationship between the victim and family members who can get a wrongful death settlement. Only certain family members can get a settlement under South Carolina law.
A key component of the amount of the settlement is the emotional trauma and loss of the victim’s companionship. That means we’ll need to have some emotionally tender conversations with you to help you describe how the victim’s story formed yours.
This is where a wrongful death attorney who’s a good storyteller can make a real difference in your case. We can find your family’s story and craft it in a meaningful way to translate the powerful impact of your loss. Here’s how we did that in a real case.
3. Evaluate the financial loss caused by the death. This can be a critical calculation you can’t afford to get wrong, especially if the victim’s income was vital to your family. It will likely require an expert like an economist or an accountant. That becomes even more important if the victim held a job with benefits like health insurance and retirement since those benefits aren’t immediate cash but do have a potentially enormous impact on the family’s bottom line. These experts’ highest service is computing these figures and translating the amount to present value so it’s admissible in evidence if the case goes to trial.
4. Prove funeral expenses, medical bills, and the victim’s conscious pain and suffering from accident injuries. In South Carolina, a fatal accident victim’s estate has a separate case, called a survival action, to get a settlement for these items. We obtain the medical records and closely study them for evidence of pain and suffering. We’ll also help protect the estate from creditors, including health insurance, by negotiating repayments from the settlement, hopefully for a reduction.
5. Evaluate whether punitive damages apply. You can qualify for punitive damages in a South Carolina wrongful death settlement, but the legal factors are highly complex, and it’s often hard to prove.
Even if you should get punitive damages, as in a drunk driving accident—which could involve a tough case against a bar or restaurant—just coming up with the right amount takes a trained legal mind.
Don’t Sell Your Family Short. Get Guidance From a South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney.
This is your only chance to do this right, to get a financial settlement your family might desperately need.
You’ve got too much to deal with already. Don’t expose yourself to be taken advantage of by the insurance company—and the lifetime of regret that can come with that.
Contact our Spartanburg wrongful death attorney to get your questions answered and schedule a free strategy session to start building a case to protect your rights, your family, and your peace of mind. Before you do, feel free to check out what other clients say about us on an attorney website we don’t own and even Google. Call us toll-free at 888-230-1841.
We will handle the dirty work while you work through your grief and start moving forward.