Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?

Couple pining after their relative after funeral

Losing a loved one before their time can be devastating. Grief is a complex process, and that process can extend even further when someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing causes their death. If you believe your loved one has lost their life due to another party’s negligence, it’s essential to understand who may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In South Carolina, not everyone possesses the right to file a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one. However, knowing the survivors who can file a wrongful death claim can help bring justice to the deceased. Please continue reading to learn who can file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina and why connecting with a compassionate Chesterfield County Wrongful Death Lawyer is in your best interest. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

In some states, the deceased’s surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In South Carolina, this is not the case. The executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate must file the wrongful death claim. If the deceased person created a will, the executor would be named there. However, if the deceased person died without an estate plan or the named executor can’t or doesn’t wish to serve, the court could appoint someone else.

While the executor or administrator is responsible for pursuing the wrongful death claim, any recovered damages will be awarded to the deceased person’s surviving family members. The family members who can recover damages on behalf of the descendent in a wrongful death case include:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse and children
  • The decedent’s surviving parents (if there are no spouse or children)
  • The decedent’s heirs (if there are no parents, spouse, or children)

What Damages Are Available?

For a wrongful death claim to be successful, you must be able to prove that your loved one lost their life due to the negligent act of another and that if they had not died as a result of the wrongful act, they would have been able to recover damages from the defendant. If you can satisfy the burden of proof, you should be able to recover financial compensation for the claimed losses. In most cases, the following damages can be awarded for a range of losses:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical bills and expenses related to the deceased person’s final illness or injury
  • Lost financial support and benefits
  • The loss of companionship, guidance, and protection
  • Emotional distress
  • The cost of household services before their death
  • Pain and suffering

After the sudden, unexpected death of your loved one, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a trusted Chesterfield County wrongful death lawyer from the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C., who can help you get justice for your loved one. Contact our legal team today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.