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What are the elements of the wrongful death case?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Wrongful Death

The loss of a loved one is a difficult situation, no matter the circumstances. When a death occurs because of another person’s possible negligence, feelings can be especially tender.

Anyone who experiences the death of a loved one from the alleged careless behavior of another person should understand what composes a wrongful death case.

What is wrongful death?

A wrongful death claim alleges that someone’s negligence was responsible for the death of another and that the person should pay compensation. Such claims have similarities to personal injury cases. States vary on the statutes surrounding wrongful death suits, such as time limitations and maximum awards.

Who can file a claim?

Courts only award damages to family members or a representative of the decedent’s estate. The first in line for compensation would be a surviving spouse or children of the decedent. Otherwise, surviving parents can make a claim. Finally, if there are none of these immediate relatives, a lawful heir can file a claim. In South Carolina, the time limit to file is within three years of the death.

What types of situations lead to wrongful death suits?

Wrongful death claims arise from the same types of situations that create personal injury suits. Examples include the following:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Car accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Criminal activity
  • Product defects

Any instance where a person or entity was negligent and led to a person’s death can cause a wrongful death claim.

A loved one’s sudden death can bring untold grief and monetary injury to a family. The pain and cost of a funeral, property damage, medical bills and financial loss create additional struggles to cover, and a negligent person may be liable to offer support to the family.

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