Charleston Wrongful Death Attorney
Thousands of people tragically die each year in preventable accidents in Charleston. When a family loses a loved one, seeking out a wrongful death lawyer may be an important step in beginning the healing process. These unexpected losses are emotionally and financially devastating, changing families’ futures forever. According to the 2018 South Carolina Collision Statistics Clock, these fatal accidents occur way too often:
- A fatal collision occurs every 9 hours in South Carolina
- A person is killed in a traffic accident every 8.5 hours
- A person is killed in a DUI accident every 30 hours
- A motorcyclist is killed in South Carolina every 3.3 days
- A cyclist is killed in South Carolina every 16.6 days
- A pedestrian is killed in South Carolina every 2.2 days.
Although traffic accidents are common examples of wrongful deaths, a wrongful death claim may be brought following any death where negligence was a factor, such as construction accidents, medical malpractice, negligent supervision in daycares or nursing homes, or a fatal injury from taking dangerous prescription drugs.
When an accident is caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or company, the responsible party and its insurance company may be financially responsible. A surviving spouse, sibling, children or other heirs may recover money in a wrongful death claim. Wrongful Death Lawyer Mark Bringardner has represented many South Carolina families in wrongful death lawsuits. He is dedicated to helping families obtain justice and hold negligent parties accountable. In 2018, Mark Bringardner was a part of a trial team that recovered $17 million for three families who lost love ones in a truck accident. In 2020, Mark Bringardner won a $5 million settlement for a woman who was killed by a negligent driver of an industrial power truck, commonly called a “yard dog.” While money cannot bring the loved one back, it can provide the family justice and closure to the extent that the law allows.
So many accidents are preventable tragedies. Traffic accidents continue to be a leading cause of death for people aged 1-54 in the United States. An estimated 38,900 people died in traffic accidents on US roads in 2019.
Who is Liable for a Fatal Car Accident?
The driver and owner of a vehicle may be BOTH responsible for a fatal accident. If a loved one was killed as a passenger in an accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, you may pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver. Car insurance typically follows the vehicle, which is maintained by the vehicle owner. If most cases, the owner and driver’s insurance will both be responsible to pay.
Parents may also be liable for injuries or deaths caused by their children. South Carolina State Code(SCC). § 56-1-110 states that all parents who sign for their minor’s beginner’s permits, instructional permits or driver’s licenses must assume liability for any damages their child inflicts as a result of willful misconduct or negligent behavior while driving.
An employer will usually assume liability for the actions of their employee depending on the facts and circumstances at the time of the accident. For example, if an employee is driving a work truck and causes a fatal accident, the employer may be liable and the employer’s insurance company will pay.
Damages Available in a Charleston Wrongful Death Claim
No amount of money can bring back a loved one or ease the pain caused by a sudden or unexpected loss. But compensation in a wrongful death claim can cover final medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and lost income and support. Additional damages may be available for loss of love, support and companionship. For spouses and children, this can mean a more stable future. Under South Carolina law, eligible for wrongful death compensation are the wife or husband and child or children of the victim. If there is no spouse or children, then the parents. If there are no parents, then the heirs at law. In South Carolina, the next heirs would be siblings followed by grandparents, grandparents’ children (aunts/uncles), great grandparents, or great grandparents’ children. If you have questions about who may be entitled to wrongful death compensation, it’s best to speak with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Charleston Wrongful Death Time Limits: Statute of Limitations
A Statute of Limitations is a time period in which parties can initiate legal proceedings. After the time period passes, legal action cannot be brought. In Charleston, the wrongful death claim must be brought by the executor of the deceased person’s estate. It is always in your best interest to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. It is much easier to preserve evidence and work with insurance companies in the immediate aftermath of an accident versus two years later.
Contact Mark Bringardner Today For a Free Case Evaluation
For immediate help, call Mark Bringardner today to schedule your free wrongful death case consultation. As a Charleston personal injury lawyer, we will listen to your story, review your case for free and determine if you may have a claim for your loss. If you do have a potential case, we will explain your options for pursuing a claim and explain applicable procedures and timelines. As part of our contingency fee agreement, there are never any legal fees or costs unless we recover money for you.