Whenever there’s a fatal accident, the odds are good that the victim’s survivors will also suffer. Their financial and emotional losses sometimes cause them to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Anyone who is considering a wrongful death lawsuit based on the tragic death of a loved one that’s due to another person’s negligence must ensure that their claim meets the requirements set forth by the law. There are four primary points that must be present in order to have a valid claim. These include:
- A human being died.
- The death was caused by someone’s intentional act or negligence.
- The family members who are left behind are suffering financial damages.
- The estate for the decedent has a personal representative.
Wrongful death claims can arise following accidents and criminal incidents alike — and they’re handled through civil court.
Putting together the case can take time, so it’s best to get to work quickly when you know that you’re going to pursue legal action. South Carolina law limits the amount of time you have to file your case to three years. This typically starts on the date of the death; however, rare extensions of that time based on the discovery rule are sometimes possible.
It’s imperative that you include all financial damages in the documentation you provide to the court. Once you have a settlement or judgment, you won’t be able to go back to ask for more money. Think about factors like final expense and lost income. Other damages might also be possible so work closely with your attorney to determine the true extent of your present and future losses.