The unexpected loss of a loved one can cause serious emotional and financial stress on a family. If the death of your loved one was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, you may be entitled to seek financial recovery and justice. Talk to a knowledgeable North Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyer about your options.
For over 50 years, the North Myrtle Beach wrongful death attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm have dedicated their careers to helping families across South Carolina through the heartbreaking process of recovering from a loved one’s passing. Our legal team has more than 100 years of combined experience, giving us the skills to handle even the most complicated and difficult wrongful death cases.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation to speak to our North Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyers about your family’s legal rights and options. There is no charge for us to start work on your claim. You only pay us if we recover money for you.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in North Myrtle Beach?
Under South Carolina’s wrongful death statute, a claim must be brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. However, a wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the surviving family members who are eligible to recover the compensation that is ultimately awarded. This may include a surviving spouse, surviving children or grandchildren, surviving parents, or any other eligible heirs.
What Can You Recover in a North Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit in North Myrtle Beach may entitle you and your family to recover compensation for various losses that your loved one and your family suffered due to the death. This includes:
- Medical bills from the decedent’s last injury or illness
- Lost income from work the decedent missed prior to his or her death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before passing
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Estate administration expenses
- Property damaged in the accident that led to the decedent’s death
- Lost expected future financial contributions of the decedent to the family
- Loss of the value of the decedent’s household services
- Loss of the decedent’s care, companionship, guidance, affection, and society
- Emotional distress experienced by the decedent’s family members
In addition, South Carolina law allows for the recovery of punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, when your family member’s death was caused by deliberate or egregious conduct that shocks the public conscience. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate your family for any loss, but rather to punish the at-fault party or parties for their conduct and to hopefully deter others from committing similar conduct in the future.
What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Claims?
Wrongful death actions are often thought of as two separate claims – the wrongful death claim and the survival claim:
- The wrongful death claim refers to the legal claim that the surviving family members of a decedent have against the party or parties at fault for their loved one’s death. A wrongful death claim seeks to recover the losses that family members incur due to their loved one’s death. This includes emotional pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the decedent’s expected financial contributions to the family, and loss of the decedent’s companionship, affection, care, guidance, and services to the household.
- A survival claim is considered a continuation of the legal claim that the decedent could have brought as a personal injury claim had he or she survived the injury. A survival claim can recover losses such as medical expenses incurred to treat the decedent’s final injury or illness, conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to death, and lost wages from the time of the decedent’s injury to the time of death.
Statute of Limitations for a North Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Claim
South Carolina’s statute of limitations requires that a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within three years of the decedent’s passing. Filing suit after the statute of limitations expires on your family’s claim means that the party or parties you bring your wrongful death claim against can file a motion to dismiss your case from court. This means you would lose the right to seek financial compensation and justice, so it’s important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
What Do You Have to Prove in a North Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Claim?
In order to recover compensation in a North Myrtle Beach wrongful death claim, you will need to prove that your family member’s death was caused by the negligence, recklessness, intentional acts, or legal fault of another party.
Because a wrongful death claim is related to the personal injury claim that the decedent could have brought if he or she had survived the injury, proving a wrongful death claim requires not only proving that your family member’s injury was caused by the other party but also that their death occurred because of that injury.
Finally, you will also need to establish with evidence the losses that your family has incurred due to your loved one’s wrongful death.
Leading Causes of Wrongful Death Claims in North Myrtle Beach
Unfortunately, any accident has the potential to cause fatal injuries. Some of the most common examples of accidents that lead to wrongful death claims in North Myrtle Beach include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Defective product accidents
- Animal attacks
- Slip and fall accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Medical malpractice
How a North Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that could have been prevented, a North Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyer from Jebaily Law Firm can help by:
- Investigating the underlying facts and circumstances of your family member’s death to identify who can be held liable
- Advising you on your rights and options for pursuing a wrongful death claim
- Preparing an effective, persuasive case, including bringing in expert witnesses where appropriate to bolster the strength of your argument
- Filing your claim against the responsible party and negotiating with the insurance companies and defense lawyers for a fair and full settlement, so that your family can stay focused on healing after your loved one’s passing
- Taking your claim to court, if necessary, to pursue financial recovery and justice for your family and your loved one
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or reckless actions of another party, contact Jebaily Law Firm for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We’ll take on the work of handling your complex legal claim so you can take the time you need to grieve. Learn more about how our compassionate and dedicated legal team can assist your family during this difficult time.