When a loved one dies due to the careless or reckless conduct of another, a family can suffer a range of emotions – from pain and sadness to anger and confusion. Ultimately, no amount of money can make up for the loss. However, with help from an experienced Rock Hill wrongful death lawyer, you can purse the answers you deserve as well as compensation that can help you to move forward with your life.
With decades of combined experience helping the people of Rock Hill, Fort Mill and surrounding communities in South Carolina, the attorneys of McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, are here for you. We can provide the compassionate and professional legal representation that you need to get through this difficult period. At the same time, we will aggressively pursue the justice that your case demands.
To discuss your case today, call or reach us through our online form. Our consultations are always free, and we will not charge for our legal services unless we obtain a financial recovery for you.
Rock Hill Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury claim. You may be eligible to pursue the claim if another person’s wrongful act, neglect or default caused your loved one’s death, and if the deceased victim could have recovered damages from the wrongdoer if he or she had survived.
The claim can arise in many different situations. For instance, people in South Carolina pursue wrongful death damages in cases that involve:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck (or commercial motor vehicle) wrecks
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous property conditions (slip and falls)
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Defective products.
The list of possible actions that can cause a wrongful death is virtually limitless. However, these are some of the more common ways that people suffer untimely deaths. The bottom line: If you lose a loved due to someone else’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer as early as possible.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
Under South Carolina law, a “personal representative” must bring a wrongful death claim. Typically, the personal representative is the person who serves as the executor of the deceased victim’s will. However, a court may also need to appoint a person to serve as the personal representative.
The personal representative would bring the lawsuit for the benefit of any or all of the following persons:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents (if no living spouse or children)
- Heirs (if no living spouse, children or parents).
A wrongful death attorney from McKinney, Tucker & Lemel can help you to pursue a wrongful death suit or claim if you are the personal representative of your deceased loved one’s estate. We can also protect your rights and interests if you are a person who is eligible to recover damages through a claim.
Types of Damages in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Claim
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the living for their losses. Our law firm works hard to obtain full and fair compensation for all types of damages that are available to those who have lost a loved one, including:
- Medical expenses for the deceased victim’s treatment – In most cases, a victim undergoes medical treatment after an accident before he or she passes on. Surviving family members should not face the burden of paying for this care if another person’s negligence caused the accident.
- Funeral and burial costs – As with medical expenses, an unexpected and untimely death can challenge a family’s budget and leave spouses and children in financial despair. You have a right to claim compensation for the costs of laying your loved one to rest funeral expenses.
- Loss of financial support and benefits – If the person who died was the primary breadwinner for the family, anyone who was dependent on that person has a right to claim compensation for the lost support.
- Loss of household services – Childcare and household services such as cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, running errands and getting children to school can be extremely expensive. You have a right to claim these costs if you lose the services of a loved one.
- Loss of companionship, love and guidance – South Carolina recognizes the intangible losses associated with a family member’s death, including the loss of love, affection and support. We lose something very special when we lose a close family member, and often it can be difficult to articulate and explain that loss. However, our attorneys have decades of experience with establishing these damages in order to maximize compensation for our clients.
- Pain and suffering – Surviving family members can experience significant emotional distress and anguish due to a loved one’s death.
- Punitive damages – Family members may pursue these damages in exceptional situations where a defendant’s reckless, willful or malicious conduct caused the death. These damages seek to deter future bad conduct and punish the defendant.
A person may experience injuries during life and live with those injuries for a period of time before he or she finally succumbs to them. In these cases, surviving family members may bring separate and distinct claims – a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival claim. Think of it this way: A wrongful death claim compensates the living for their losses. A survival claim compensates the deceased victim’s estate for damages that he or she could have recovered had they survived their injuries.
Many insurance companies and defendants try to avoid paying claims by arguing that the victim shared responsibility for the accident. In South Carolina, this is known as comparative negligence. Our experienced attorneys will aggressively counter any attempts to reduce or deny your damages.
How Our Attorneys Help Families with Wrongful Death Claims
First, our attorneys will take the time to meet with all interested family members and get a full picture of the case. We will carefully review the facts and circumstances of your loved one’s death, build a strategy, identify potentially responsible parties and determine all sources of compensation.
Next, our office will gather as much evidence as possible, including the deceased victim’s medical bills and records, police reports or incident reports, witness statements and all other items that can help your case. Armed with this evidence, we will seek to resolve the case as efficiently as possible through a settlement.
If necessary, we will take the case to trial. Having a skilled and experienced legal team on your side is your best hope of success when you must face a powerful insurance company and its heavily financed defense team in the courtroom.
Statute of Limitations for South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In general, South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. This means that you typically will have just three years from the date of your loved one’s death to bring a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, then you could lose the right to recover compensation.
For this reason, you should connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you are ready to act after a loved one’s death. A wrongful death case may involve a complex investigation and require swift action to preserve and gather evidence. Your lawyer should start work as early as possible on your case.
When you contact McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, we will review your case and determine the time you have left to bring a wrongful death claim. We will work efficiently and make sure that you do not miss any deadlines.
Our Rock Hill Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here for You
The attorneys at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel understand the stress and fear that you may experience when a loved one dies due to another’s negligence. While no attorney can make those feelings go away, we believe that we can play an important role for you by protecting your rights and pursuing all compensation that you are entitled to receive.
We have deep roots in the communities that we serve, and we care about our clients and their futures. We will work tirelessly to seek the answers and the justice that you deserve.
We are located in Rock Hill, which allows us to serve all of Fort Mill, Indian Land, Lancaster, York, Chester and surrounding areas. If your family has experienced a tragic and unexpected loss and believe it is due to the careless or reckless actions of someone else, you owe it to yourself to explore all of your legal options. Contact us today to learn more about those options in a free and confidential consultation.