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Wrongful Death

Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyers

Compassionate Advocates Protecting Grieving Families

At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, we understand how devastating it can be to lose a loved one. If you lost a loved one because of another person's negligent or reckless actions, turn to our team of advocates for guidance. Our wrongful death lawyers in Charleston are dedicated to helping grieving families seek justice and fair compensation for their losses. Our focus is to recover the maximum compensation possible so that you can cover practical expenses and have peace of mind knowing your loved one has been honored.

Over the years, our firm has taken on countless complex and challenging cases, including those involving fatal accidents. We are well-versed in the wrongful death laws in South Carolina and are equipped to assist with your claim.

If you are ready to trust your case to our Charleston wrongful death attorneys, we encourage you to call us at (843) 968-0886 or request a free consultation today.

How Is “Wrongful Death” Defined in South Carolina?

South Carolina's wrongful death statute, Section 15-51-10 through 60, defines a “wrongful death” as one that is directly caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or fault” or another individual. Under this definition, wrongful death suits are viewed as a personal injury case that is brought to court by another person, since the victim is no longer available to file the claim for him or herself.

Like all lawsuits, there are various events that can warrant filing a wrongful death claim. Here are some events that could justify claiming wrongful death:

Wrongful death cases differ from criminal homicide cases in that the defendant is only liable to compensate the grieving family financially in a wrongful death case but may be subject to a prison sentence or more if convicted for homicide.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the wrongful death statute allows for action to be pursued on behalf of the deceased’s spouse and children. In cases where there is no spouse or children, an action may be brought on behalf of the parents, heirs, or parties financially dependent on the deceased. We can help you determine if you are eligible to file and what damages you can recover.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Suit?

The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina is three years from the date of your loved one’s passing. This means you have only three years to file a claim or you will most likely lose your right to file and recover compensation. This statute can be extended to six years if the wrongful death occurred because of medical malpractice. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident due to faulty brakes on behalf of the manufacturer, you would have three years from the time the accident occurred to file your case.

It’s worth noting that the date of your loved one’s death may be different from the date they suffered the injuries that led to their passing. Exceptions to this rule exist that can change the amount of time you have to file. By consulting an attorney you may better understand the timeline for your specific case and what next steps should be taken.

If you fail to file your wrongful death case within the statute of limitations, you may be subject to the following:

  • Your case may be dismissed when submitted
  • The opposition may ask for the case to be dismissed if it’s filed past the deadline, and a judge may approve the dismissal
  • You may be liable for all the damages incurred (medical bills, etc.) because of the death of your loved one

Think you might have a case? Speak to wrongful death attorneys in Charleston by calling (843) 968-0886 today. Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC is here to help.

What Accidents Give Rise to Wrongful Death Claims?

In South Carolina, wrongful death claims can be filed when a person is killed due to the negligence or intentional act of someone else. Wrongful death claims are mostly the same as personal injury claims except the injured party has died and the claim is being brought on behalf of the deceased.

Proving a Wrongful Death Claim

Generally speaking, a valid wrongful death claim must satisfy the following elements:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care
  • The defendant breached that duty
  • The breach of duty caused the decedent's death
  • The death caused damages to the decedent's survivors

While these elements may seem simple, establishing proof in a wrongful death case can often be an extremely complex endeavor requiring expert evidence, lengthy investigations, and the skills of a knowledgeable attorney. You can trust our Charleston wrongful death lawyers to ensure no stone is left unturned in pursuit of justice for your loved one.

Wrongful Death Compensation in South Carolina

Many times, clients come to us concerned about the challenges of taking legal action so soon after the loss of their loved one. When you trust your case to our team, we can walk you through the entire claims process and shoulder the legal burdens for you. We can explain what your claim may be worth, what to expect with insurers, and what is needed to prepare an effective claim.

Wrongful death damages include:

  • Any medical bills incurred prior to death (for treatment)
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The loss of financial support for the household, including wages and benefits
  • Loss of companionship for spouse and guidance for children
  • Pain and suffering felt
  • Punitive damages in extreme cases (DUI accidents, assault, etc.)

These damages will then be divided among the spouse and children or parents / heirs in a fair manner. The damages that could be paid out upon a successful wrongful death suit are meant to alleviate some of the pain brought on by the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or intent of someone else. They are also intended to punish the person who caused the death and deter others from becoming involved in similar behavior in the future.

Contact the Attorneys at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC

Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be challenging and bring emotional obstacles for mourning family members and loved ones. The good news is that Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC is here to ensure you don’t navigate this time on your own. When you retain the representation of our wrongful death attorneys in Charleston, you can rest easy knowing we have your best interests in mind. In fact, we don’t charge a single legal fee until and unless we win your case, giving you further peace of mind and assurance.

Ready to pursue justice for your loved one? Contact our firm at (843) 968-0886 today to set up a free consultation.

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