Did you lose a loved one in an accident? Was it due to someone else’s negligent or reckless actions? If so, contact the Georgetown personal injury lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC for legal representation, and we can help you fight for the justice you and your family deserve.
Losing someone you care about can be a heart-wrenching experience that upends every part of your life. It isn’t just the emotional pain you have to deal with but also the financial aspect of losing an income, planning a funeral, and paying for other associated costs. You shouldn’t have to cope with financial strain when you’re struggling with such a devastating loss.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the pain you’ve suffered, but we hope it can alleviate some of the financial stress you might encounter and help you move forward with your life.
Call (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation with one of our Georgetown wrongful death attorneys and learn more about our services and how we can help you after this difficult experience.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
The legal definition of wrongful death in South Carolina is the death of one person caused by another person’s neglect, default, or wrongful act. The wrongful or negligent act that led to your loved one’s death must be an action that the deceased could have pursued compensation for if they had survived.
Many different situations could result in someone’s wrongful death. Examples include:
Car accidents – According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 426 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020. These crashes are often the result of driver error or inattention. Common causes of fatal car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Running a stop sign or red light
Workplace Accidents – No matter what kind of job someone has, they could die due to their employer’s or another party’s negligence. Fatalities commonly happen in industries exposing workers to dangerous conditions every day, such as construction. Examples of fatal accidents include:
- Fall from heights
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Lack of safety gear
- Slip/trip and fall
- Exposure to toxic substances
Product Liability – Manufacturers must provide consumers with products that are safe and free of defects. Mistakes made during the design, manufacturing, or marketing process could lead to an inherently dangerous product. Defective products that could cause a person’s death include:
- Medical devices
- Children’s toys
Truck Accidents – Large trucks can cause devastating accidents. The impact of a tractor-trailer against a passenger car is typically violent and destructive, often causing the occupants of the smaller vehicle to suffer severe injuries or fatalities. Truck drivers and trucking companies must comply with various state laws and federal regulations to ensure other motorists’ safety. Violating these regulations could result in legal action against the truck driver or their employer if it leads to someone’s wrongful death.
Premises Liability – Business and property owners are responsible for keeping their property in a condition that doesn’t cause someone harm. Wrongful death can occur when they fail to maintain a safe place for guests. Some types of premises liability cases are:
- Slip and falls
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Stair collapse
Medical Malpractice – Medical malpractice results from a healthcare professional’s error or negligence, causing injury or death to a patient. The most common causes of fatalities include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Delayed or wrong diagnosis
- Inadequate post-surgery care
- Prescribing incorrect medication
- Failure to sterilize medical tools
Police Misconduct – Police officers are there to keep communities safe. Unfortunately, their careless actions could lead to a person’s death. Whether your loved one died while they were in custody, during a traffic stop, or while law enforcement was searching their home, you have a right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if negligence was the cause.
Nursing Home Abuse – Nurses and other staff members at nursing homes must ensure the residents receive the medical treatment and physical assistance they need each day. Unfortunately, physical, sexual, and other forms of abuse often lead to fatalities in nursing homes. Patients living at nursing facilities typically have physical or mental impairments or are too frail to defend themselves against violent attacks and other physical acts of aggression.
Defective Medical Devices – Surgical mesh, pharmaceutical drugs, and hip implants are just a few examples of defective products that can cause injuries to a patient and, in some cases, death. Some devices could contain a toxic material that leads to a fatal illness. Other devices become defective during the manufacturing process, but the company sells them to medical providers and patients anyway. You could file a wrongful death claim if your loved one’s death were due to a defective medical device.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina
South Carolina has a statute of limitations in place that limits the time you have to pursue a wrongful death case. The statute of limitations in South Carolina is three years. That means you must file within three years of your loved one’s death. A statute of limitations is a strict deadline. If you attempt to file after the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case.
You don’t want to miss your opportunity to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and to recover financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. So it’s vital that you start preparing your case immediately after your loved one’s death.
Only one person is allowed to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The person named as the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate can file. If there isn’t an estate plan, the court can appoint an executor. It is typically the next of kin or a close family member.
Although the estate’s administrator or executor is the one filing the lawsuit, they are pursuing compensation on behalf of any surviving family members, such as:
- Spouse and children
- Parents, if there isn’t a surviving spouse or child
- Deceased’s heirs if there isn’t a surviving spouse, child, or parent
Evans Moore, LLC understands the sensitive nature of a case like this. When you’re dealing with the emotional effects of losing someone and pursuing a legal case, it can seem overwhelming. Our Georgetown wrongful death attorneys will handle your lawsuit with care. We will provide the guidance and support you need and walk you through each step of the process.
You Might Be Entitled to Compensation for the Death of Your Family Member
You could seek compensation for various losses you and your family suffered as a result of your loved one’s death. The monetary award you receive will depend on the total expenses or losses resulting from the accident or fatal injury.
The types of compensation available in a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish experienced by surviving relatives
- Property damage and associated costs caused by the fatal accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Medical bills and other expenses incurred from the deceased’s fatal injury or accident
- Loss of companionship, care, and protection provided by the deceased
You might also be entitled to punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were wanton, willful, or reckless. Unlike other losses, this isn’t a form of compensation. Instead, it punishes the defendant for their actions and aims to deter similar behavior in the future. You would have to provide clear and convincing evidence of their misconduct for a jury to determine that you deserve this financial award.
Evans Moore, LLC Will Help You Fight for Justice
Our Georgetown wrongful death attorneys have built an excellent reputation in our community for the dedicated and compassionate legal services we provide to clients and their families. Since opening our firm, we have recovered over $100 million in financial compensation from insurance claims and lawsuits. Our case results have earned us various awards from legal organizations, such as the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys and Super Lawyers.
We have an experienced and knowledgeable team that will always make you a priority and handle every legal aspect of your case from start to finish. Losing someone you love is a life-altering experience and something you shouldn’t have to go through alone. During this difficult time, you have our support as we pursue the compensation you and your family need and deserve for the excruciating loss you suffered.
When you hire Evans Moore, LLC, we will advocate for your rights and help you fight for justice. We can help you hold the negligent person or entity accountable.
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence or careless misconduct, call us at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation with one of our Georgetown wrongful death attorneys.