When someone gets killed in a South Carolina accident, whether it’s a car, motorcycle, tractor-trailer, or other accident, no money can replace that life. Life is priceless.

The law recognizes this. The legal right to get a settlement for a fatal accident, called a wrongful death case, is not intended to put a monetary value on anyone’s life. Instead, it’s how we as a society offer justice to hold careless people or businesses accountable.

Monetary settlements speak a universal language everyone understands. In a wrongful death settlement, money is given to compensate certain close family members of victims for the harm and loss they sustained from the death. Here's an overview how we handle the specific factors for wrongful death under South Carolina law to arrive at how much of a settlement you should get.

There’s usually no legal limit on how much you can sue for, but there’s almost always a practical limit to consider. We'll cover both situations in a minute. 

Regardless of your situation, you've got an emotionally-charged case that's high-stakes and highly complicated. If ever there was a time to get legal advice, this is it. Contact our  Spartanburg, SC wrongful death lawyer to answer your questions and point you in the right direction for FREE, with no obligation to hire us. Do what's easiest for you: call toll free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

When the Law Limits a Wrongful Death Settlement- and What You Can Do About It

Sadly, the South Carolina legislature cuts off how much victims can financially recover against wrongdoers who fall in these categories: 

  • Charities. South Carolina law defines “charity” as any tax-exempt organization. That includes most charities, and churches. The limit is $300,000, and you can't get punitive damages, no matter how recklessly they acted. 
  • Government offices. This includes car accidents caused by city, county, or state employees while driving government vehicles, like the police, and school or city bus drivers. The limit's the same as for charities- $300,000, and no punitive damages.
  • Medical malpractice cases. Just figuring out the limit can be a challenging exercise for an experienced malpractice attorney. It depends on whether the doctor, nurse, hospital, or facility responsible for the medical mistake is "government-affiliated" under South Carolina law.  However, you might be able to "expand" those limits, if you can prove more than one careless act caused the fatal accident. That'll require a highly skilled, knowledgeable, determined South Carolina injury attorney.

It gets worse. Malpractice cases are always hard-fought, and you need need a skilled attorney to convince a medical provider it did wrong. Many victims are shocked to discover even though the South Carolina government insurance fund has less to lose, they fight even harder to keep it. And for car accidents, you may have an option for more settlement money from your own insurance policyif you convince the charity or government to pay its insurance limit. That makes hiring a experienced South Carolina car accident attorney even more important. 

If you're worried your case might involve a legal limit, find out. Fill out a Get Help Now form

The Real Limit on Most South Carolina Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts

Realistically, the limit on a wrongful death suit often comes from insurance. Most people and small businesses don’t have enough money or assets to pay a large wrongful death settlement.

That’s especially true in car accident cases. But there may be some good news—the victim’s family may have access to extra coverage from a surprising source, the victim’s own policy.

That brings us to the first legal hurdle a fatal accident victim’s family faces in South Carolina.

If you’ve got questions about a fatal accident case, get answers from an experienced Spartanburg wrongful death attorney. You can contact us the easiest way for you: with a live chat, fill out a Get Help Now form, or call toll-free at 888-230-1841.

The First Legal Hurdle in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case: Finding Out the Amount of Insurance to Pay the Settlement

While the amount of insurance is a primary question in evaluating a potential settlement, it can also be the hardest answer to find. There’s no public registry telling how much insurance a person or business carries. It’s totally private information.

But that amount can be discovered if the right professional asks the right way. To make sure you get a completely true answer from the insurance company—which makes money by keeping it from innocent victims—you need an experienced attorney to ask the proper way and confirm the insurance company honestly reports the limits.

As experienced Spartanburg fatal accident lawyers, we know how to force an insurance company to cough up the amount of its policy. For fatal South Carolina car accidents, we can review insurance policies owned by the victim and anyone who lived with them to determine if we can access additional insurance for a potentially higher settlement. To ffind out how we can help you for FREE, call toll-free at 888-230-1841.

Finding out the amount of insurance doesn’t solve your problems.

Finding Out the Insurance Amount Doesn’t Make it Easy for Victim’s Families

On top of your grief and shock, you’re facing an insurance company determined to keep its money—even if it’s at the expense of traumatized victims who may desperately need financial help. Now you’ve got to convince a greedy insurance company it should properly compensate you with the money the company never intended to spend.

While the claims rep may seem concerned and even somewhat helpful, he’s just not on your side. Unlike you, he’s a professional at these claims. He’s not emotional or exhausted. He’s had two cups of coffee, and he’s just doing his job, which is to cheat you. That includes the shocking lengths they’ll go to keep you from hiring an attorney, so they can keep you cornered.

There’s a lot of good reasons you need an experienced wrongful death attorney. The primary one is to protect you from the insurance company.

The Last Big Problem May Be the Biggest

The most agonizing thing to do in these cases, even for an experienced attorney, is to estimate the value of the case. The question at that point becomes, do you know what to base the value of the case on? Can you prove that basis using evidence that’s admissible in court? And will the basis for your evaluation be so grounded on facts and evidence, not emotion, that an insurance company can expect a jury of 12 strangers to agree with your amount?

These are the hard questions confronting any family of a wrongful death victim in South Carolina. And if you’re sitting there saying “I don’t know” in response to those questions, you need professional help to answer of the biggest questions in the case. That’s what a wrongful death attorney is for.

This is your only chance to do this right. We are Spartanburg, South Carolina wrongful death attorneys who can help you. We’ll find how much insurance exists so you can decide whether to investigate the at-fault party’s assets.

We’re here to pursue justice the best way for you. Call us toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. Check out what it’s like to work with us, based on unscripted, unedited reviews from actual clients on an attorney review website we don’t own and Google.

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