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Fighting for South Carolina Injury Victims for Over 50 Years

Wrongful Death Attorney in Chesterfield

The loss of a family member is never easy. If their death was the unexpected result of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, it can be especially devastating. 

It’s understandable that the surviving family often needs time to process this kind of shock. Unfortunately, there are certain realities of life that do not pause for grief. Mounting expenses such as medical bills, funeral invoices, and day-to-day costs of living cannot be ignored. Covering these expenses may be harder than ever without your loved one’s financial support. 

This is where compensation from a wrongful death claim can help.

It’s not always easy to take legal action when you’re still mourning, but when you feel ready to do so, the Chesterfield personal injury attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm, P.A. are here. We understand the pain and difficulties families face as a result of the wrongful death of a loved one. For more than 40 years, we have worked hard to fight for the rights of those families. 

Not only is our team highly skilled and experienced in injury law, but we also provide the support, transparency, and empathy you need during this difficult period. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call. We’re happy to provide confidential consultations free of charge. 

Call us or use our online contact form to schedule your free case review today. 

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Chesterfield Can Help After an Accident

After losing a loved one, it can be a challenge just to get through each day. The grief of your loss and the anxiety you may feel as you consider the challenges you face without your loved one can be overwhelming. It’s understandable if legal action is the last thing you want to deal with right now. 

However, the compensation you could recover from a successful wrongful death claim can go a long way toward easing your family’s financial burdens and giving you a measure of closure that you and other surviving family members deserve. Many families find solace in seeking a measure of justice on behalf of their deceased loved one.

The attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm have more than five decades of experience fighting for families in Chesterfield and across South Carolina. We are ready to stand up for you. Our team of experienced lawyers is prepared to: 

  • Thoroughly investigate the incident that led to your loved one’s wrongful death
  • Consult with expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists, economists, and medical professionals to evaluate your loved one’s death and the impact it has had on your family
  • Prepare a strong case for your wrongful death claim based on compelling evidence and credible testimony
  • Communicate with others on your behalf and keep you informed of any settlements offered to you
  • Present your case at trial, if no settlement is reached for your case
  • Assist with the disbursement of settlement or trial verdict compensation to eligible beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate
  • Resolve any claims against the funds that are disbursed, such as those from creditors or health care providers

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, it is legally considered a “wrongful death.” Since individuals who suffer wrongful deaths don’t have the ability to file any claims themselves, wrongful death claims exist to allow their surviving family members to recover compensation for any losses associated with the person’s death. 

Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is intended to reimburse family members for damages such as funeral expenses, lost income from the deceased, and losses of things like companionship or parental guidance. Generally speaking, if your loved one would have had standing to sue another individual or entity for their injuries if they had survived, you likely have grounds for a subsequent wrongful death claim.

Wrongful death claims are filed for all kinds of fatal accidents, including those resulting from vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, unsafe premises incidents, or even defective product issues. A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought against a person, corporation, or even government entity if their negligence directly contributed toward your loved one’s death.

One important distinction to keep in mind is the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action. While wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed for the benefit of those who survive the deceased, survival actions are brought for the benefit of the deceased’s estate and are intended to compensate wrongful death victims for the pain and suffering they endured between the time they were injured and the time that they died. 

The benefits awarded in either a wrongful death lawsuit or survival action case are often ultimately distributed to surviving family members. It’s a good idea to work with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience with both types of case law to ensure your family receives the compensation it needs to heal and move forward.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?

Even if you feel certain that there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit following the loss of your loved one, it’s important to learn who is eligible to actually file a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina courts. 

South Carolina wrongful death claims may only be brought by or in the name of the personal representative of your loved one’s estate. A personal representative, typically an executor named in a will or other administrator appointed by the court, is the individual tasked with managing and administering someone’s estate and assets after they pass.

Although wrongful death claims may only be brought in the name of a personal representative, these claims are understood to be for the benefit of surviving family members or beneficiaries who would be entitled to inherit by law, such as:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving biological and adopted children
  • Surviving parents, if no surviving spouse or child exists
  • Other surviving heirs as defined by law, if no surviving parents, spouse, or children exist

Personal representatives have an important role, as they are responsible for managing court processes, approvals, and the distribution of assets. If you have been named as a personal representative for an individual who may have been the victim of wrongful death, Jebaily Law Firm can help you determine the strength of your case and navigate the wrongful death claims process.

Compensation in a Chesterfield Wrongful Death Claim

Any compensation awarded in a Chesterfield wrongful death claim is meant for the benefit of family members who suffered losses as a result of their loved one’s death. Generally speaking, the types of damages available in a wrongful death claim may include:

  • Financial losses, such as medical costs associated with treating the victim’s fatal injuries, funeral and burial expenses paid by family members, and decreases in household income from the loss of the deceased’s earning capacity
  • Mental and emotional damage, such as shock, psychological anguish, and grief
  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship, guidance, support, comfort, and management of family affairs
  • Punitive damages, which are intended to punish at-fault parties whose negligence contributed to a person’s wrongful death and are only awarded in rare cases

If a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of your loved one’s estate is successful, compensation will be distributed the same way their assets would be distributed under South Carolina intestate succession laws or the laws that describe how estates are administered when individuals die without a valid will. Under state intestacy laws:

  • If a person is survived by a spouse and children, they will share the distributed assets equally, with the spouse’s share not to exceed one-third of all assets.
  • If a person is survived by a spouse but no children, the spouse inherits everything.
  • If a person is survived by children but no spouse, the children inherit everything equally.
  • If a person is survived by their parents but has no spouse or children, their parents inherit everything.
  • If a person is survived by their siblings but has no surviving parents, spouse, or children, their siblings will inherit everything.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Accidents in Chesterfield, South Carolina

Almost any accident with the capacity to cause personal injury could also result in wrongful death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death accidents include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Boating and recreation accidents
  • Sports-related accidents
  • School-related injuries
  • Construction site accidents
  • Workplace incidents
  • Dog bites and other animal attacks
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Unsafe premises incidents
  • Defective product accidents
  • Medical malpractice injuries
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Chesterfield Today

The Chesterfield wrongful death attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm are standing by to provide qualified counsel to you as soon as you are ready to take action. We know that this is likely a difficult time for you in more ways than one, so we will not charge any legal fees for your case unless and until we recover compensation for your family. 

Call us now or contact us online to get started with your free initial case review.