Wrongful Death Lawyer in Columbia, SC

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There is no amount of compensation on Earth that can make up for the unjust loss of a loved one. However, it remains important to explore your legal options if you have recently lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct. Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can help to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions and free your family’s finances from the financial burdens associated with your loss. While you – very understandably – are likely not concerned about money as you’re processing your grief, exploring your legal options now can spare you and your family a number of stressful circumstances down the road.

At the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis, we want to help you during this difficult time. Our family-owned and -operated firm takes pride in the competent, courteous, and professional legal support we offer clients and the compassion and dedication we bring to every case we take. The trust that our clients have placed in us is reflected in the dozens of 5-star Google reviews we have received, as well as in the fact that our clients frequently recommend us when their family members, friends, and colleagues need legal help.

Your loved one deserves justice, and your family deserves accountability. Let us help you demand what you are owed. Contact the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis today for a free consultation with a compassionate Columbia wrongful death lawyer. Once we’ve provided you with personalized legal guidance, you’ll be empowered to make whatever decisions are best for you and your family at this time.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving loved ones to demand financial compensation for what they have suffered as a result of their loss. The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit can arise from any circumstances that would have given the deceased the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, had they survived the injury or harm that they suffered. Generally, the right to file a personal injury lawsuit arises when someone is injured or made ill due to another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct.

While no amount of money can make up for the passing of a beloved family member, obtaining financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit may allow families to obtain some small measure of justice from those responsible for the tragedy.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Columbia?

The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Columbia is governed by South Carolina’s wrongful death statute. The law states that this pursuit for damages must be pursued by the administrator or executor of a decedent’s estate, who files the claim on behalf of the eligible surviving family members of the decedent. Typically, the administrator or executor is established by the decedent’s will. However, if the decedent did not have a valid will at the time of their death, a court may appoint someone to this position. In many cases, a close family member such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling is named as the administrator or executor of a deceased person’s estate.

Who Can Receive Compensation from a Wrongful Death Case?

South Carolina’s wrongful death statute lists the family members who are entitled to receive any compensation that may be recovered via a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation is first payable to the surviving spouse and children of the deceased.

If a decedent left behind no surviving spouse or children, then the compensation will pass to the decedent’s surviving parent or parents. However, a parent’s receipt of compensation from a wrongful death claim may be limited or barred if they failed to support the decedent during their childhood.

If the decedent has no living parents, then compensation from a wrongful death claim will be paid to the decedent’s heirs or the family members who would be entitled to inherit the decedent’s estate under South Carolina intestacy law.

Potential Compensation Awarded in a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving family members to seek compensation for the losses they suffered due to their loved one’s passing. Financial recovery for wrongful death may include compensation for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of a decedent’s income and financial support to the family, including health insurance or other benefits the decedent provided
  • Loss of the decedent’s guidance, advice, and society
  • Loss of the services the decedent provided to the household, such as home maintenance
  • Loss of the decedent’s care, companionship, and affection
  • Emotional pain and distress experienced by the surviving family members

In addition to this compensation for surviving family members’ losses, a wrongful death lawsuit may also lead to an award of punitive damages. Also called exemplary damages, punitive damages may be awarded in cases of wrongful death that were caused by an at-fault party’s intentional or reckless conduct. Exemplary damages are not intended to provide compensation for some form of loss suffered by the family but are rather awarded to punish the at-fault party for their conduct and, hopefully, to dissuade others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.