When a loved one has died, surviving family members are faced with many challenges. In addition to the pain and grief of loss, there are practical questions that must be answered. For many families, financial concerns are a top worry, particularly when the loved one was a main income earner and/or caregiver. While money may be the last thing that families want to think about at this difficult time, it is both important and possible to consider your family’s financial future and how it could benefit from a wrongful death claim. Understanding wrongful death claims The Derrick Law Firm

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that surviving family members can bring against the person or entity responsible for their loved one’s untimely death. The law states that a wrongful death claim is, in essence, the personal injury claim that the deceased could have filed against the party who harmed him had he lived. In South Carolina, this type of claim is typically brought on behalf of a spouse and children. If there are no spouse or children, parents or other heirs could be eligible to file a claim.

Types of Compensation For A Wrongful Death Claim

While nothing can bring back your loved one, a wrongful death claim can help ease some burdens as families begin to rebuild their lives. South Carolina law allows surviving family members to obtain compensation for:

Funeral Expenses

The costs associated with the funeral and burial of the deceased can be included in wrongful death compensation.

Medical Bills 

It is often the case that the deceased did receive medical care in an attempt to save the life. Bills for this care related to the injury that caused the death still need to be paid and could be covered by a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lost Income And Benefits 

Surviving family members may be entitled to compensation that is equal to the wages and benefits that the deceased would likely have earned throughout his life until an anticipated retirement.

Value Of Services 

In some cases, the deceased may not have earned income but rather provided essential services for the family, such as caregiving. The value of that contribution need not be ignored.

Pain And Suffering 

The pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to his death can be considered by a wrongful death lawsuit.

Loss Of Care, Companionship, And Protection 

Especially in cases where the deceased was the parent of minor children, it is possible to acknowledge the loss of the care and guidance that the deceased could have provided to loved ones.

Every situation is unique, and the amount of compensation that surviving family members may obtain can vary from case to case. South Carolina law does state that family members could be awarded as much compensation as a jury “may think proportioned to the injury resulting from the death.” So, the specific details of each family’s circumstances will be considered to determine the value of the claim.

How a Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Surviving family members often find that a wrongful death claim can be extremely stressful. Insurance companies and at-fault parties will seek to shift responsibility to save money. They may try to blame the victim or convince families to settle quickly for less than they deserve. Families already struggling to manage the unexpected death of a loved one need a knowledgeable, effective advocate who can ensure that their rights are protected. An experienced wrongful death attorney can ease some of that burden by investigating the death, providing evidence to support your claim, negotiating with insurance companies, and ensuring that your family’s voice is heard. Our legal team has helped many grieving Myrtle Beach families, and we are here to answer your questions, too. 

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 843.488.3165 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.


Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.