Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim? What if the driver who hit me is uninsured? Why do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

We answer these questions and many more in our collection of frequently asked questions. Unlike many websites that provide brief yes-or-no answers to important legal questions like these, we provide detailed answers to help you get a better idea of your rights, your options, and what you can hope for in the future.

If your questions are not answered here, feel free to connect with us through our website, or call us at 843-248-7486, to speak directly with us about your legal concerns.

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  • What types of accidents can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit in Myrtle Beach?

    A wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina seeks to provide surviving family members with a sense of justice, as well as compensation, for the emotional and financial challenges they face after a loved one dies unexpectedly. State law defines a wrongful death as a death caused “by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” It goes on to explain that this type of claim is appropriate when “if death had not ensued, (would) have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages.” Essentially, it is the personal injury claim the deceased could have pursued had he lived.  Causes of wrongful deaths The Derrick Law Firm

    Common Causes of South Carolina Wrongful Death Claims

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 169,000 unintentional injury deaths every year in the U.S. There are a wide variety of circumstances that can result in an accidental death and a wrongful death claim, but these lawsuits most commonly occur because of:

    Car Accidents

    In 2017, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in a car crash. While not every accident may warrant a wrongful death claim, there are many times when another driver’s negligent behavior directly causes the death. In those cases, surviving family members may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. Drivers who are drunk, fatigued, distracted, or simply reckless can be held accountable for their actions.

    Truck Accidents 

    Tractor-trailer truck accidents are particularly dangerous, and when crashes occur, it is most often the smaller vehicle passenger who is injured and killed. Drivers and trucking companies may be held responsible for the death when their careless behavior leads to a crash.

    Pedestrian Accidents

    Pedestrians have rights to the roadways just as cars, trucks, and other vehicles. However, the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that one in every five traffic fatalities in 2018 was a pedestrian. In Horry County alone, there were 107 pedestrian accidents. Drivers can be held responsible when they do not adhere to the rules of the road and cause the death of a pedestrian.

    Recreation Accidents

    In a beach resort town like Myrtle Beach, there is no shortage of fun activities for thrill seekers and those just looking for some active fun. The owners and operators of recreational businesses, however, also have a responsibility to ensure the equipment for the activities they provide are safe. Accidents that occur when boating, jet skiing, parasailing, and at amusement parks can have devastating consequences, and those responsible can be held accountable.

    Product Liability 

    Product liability cases refer to situations when a defective product causes injury or death. Manufacturers, assemblers, and retailers have a duty to bring only safe products to the market, and they can be held accountable when they knowingly fail to uphold their responsibility.

    Medical Malpractice 

    Medical malpractice occurs when a care provider fails to perform his duty fully and appropriately. The general measurement for medical malpractice asks the question of whether or not another doctor, given the same information under similar circumstances, would have made the same decisions about care. This can include unacceptable errors during a surgery or other procedure.

    After the death of a loved one, surviving family members may feel overwhelmed. They may want justice for their loved ones and need compensation to help them begin their own recovery, but they may not know where to start. 

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843.248.7486 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Myrtle Beach?

    time limits for wrongful death claims in Myrtle Beach South Carolina Derrick Law FirmAfter a loved one dies unexpectedly, families need time to grieve and process their loss. The days, weeks, and months after the accident are often overwhelming, and it’s understandable that family members may not be ready to consider filing a legal claim.

    However, many families want justice and to hold the person responsible for the death accountable. To do so, it is necessary to take action as soon as possible. The state of South Carolina has specific rules about how much time surviving family members have to file a wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations.

    Understanding South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations

    A statute of limitations sets the amount of time accident victims have to file a legal claim, with different types of cases allowed varying amounts of time. For those in Myrtle Beach, the law allows three years from the date of the death to file a claim. After this time, the court will not allow the claim and families may be left with no recourse.

    In certain rare situations, however,  it is possible that the time limits would be extended. This is referred to as tolling the statute of limitations. For example, it could be the case that family members were not made aware of the cause of death or did not discover the involvement of another person until a significant amount of time had passed. 

    Families Need Time to Prepare a Claim

    It’s important to get started as soon as possible when surviving family members are considering pursuing a wrongful death claim. While three years may seem like plenty of time, there are many factors to consider. It will be necessary to:

    • Investigate the accident
    • Obtain a police report
    • Talk to witnesses
    • Gather supporting documents
    • Determine the value of the case
    • Fill out legal forms
    • File forms with the court by specific deadlines

    This process can take time, and no family needs the additional stress the statute of limitations running out. When a loved one dies, family members deserve justice and compensation to help them address their changing needs. 

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843-248-7486 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • What can I do if my family member was killed by a person or a product?

    In South Carolina, if a person's death was caused by a negligent act, an intentional act, or a defective product, the personal representative of the deceased can pursue both a "wrongful death action" and a "survival action."

    To determine if you have a wrongful death claim, you will need an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer.

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Who has the right to bring a "wrongful death claim" and a "survival claim"?

    The personal representative of the estate has the right to file a wrongful death claim or a survival claim.

    If a personal representative has been appointed, the claim process can start. If not, The Derrick Law Firm can help the right person file the necessary documents in Probate Court to get appointed.

    Since 1991, SC Personal Injury Lawyer Dirk Derrick has focused on personal injury law including wrongful death claims, car accidents, workers' compensation, and other insurance based claims.

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What is a wrongful death claim?

    A wrongful death claim is brought for the benefit of certain family members who have been harmed emotionally and/or financially by the passing of a loved one. When someone is killed by the recklessness and negligence of another's actions, a wrongful death claim is typically actionable.

    Section 15-51-20 provides that a wrongful death claim is for:

    1. The benefit of the wife, or husband, and child or children, of the person whose death shall have been so caused; and if there is not a wife/husband, child/children, then the

    2. Benefit of the parent or parents; and if there is not a parent, then the

    3. Benefit of the heirs.

    Damages payable by the wrongful death claim are measured by the loss to the beneficiaries, including:

    1. Financial loss

    2. Mental shock and suffering

    3. Wounded feelings

    4. Grief and sorrow

    5. Loss of society and companionship

    Typically, in the event of a wrongful death, you will need an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to help facilitate and settle the claim.

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What is a "Survival Action?"

    If someone dies an untimely death related to another's actions, a survival action may brought for the benefit of the Estate, and includes any damages that the decedent could have sought, had he or she not died.  

    Therefore, you need to prove negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct.

    The following damages can be obtained in a survival action:

    1. Medical bills incurred in the accident;

    2. Pain and suffering incurred before death; and

    3. Possibly punitive damages if the at-fault party was reckless or acted intentionally.

    If you lost a loved one due to another's actions, you may have a wrongful death and survival action claim. Contact Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Dirk Derrick for a free consultation. 843-248-7486.

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.