Under South Carolina law, wrongful death cases seek compensation for wrongdoing or negligence that resulted in the death of your loved one.
The process of handling a wrongful death case can be more complex than an injury case. Having a Charleston wrongful death lawyer on your side can make a world of difference. Instead of trying to handle the uncertainties of a wrongful death case on your own, it’s smart to consult with an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process.
Free consultations with Bringardner Injury Law Firm are available now to learn about your legal options in the aftermath of a terrible and tragic accident.
What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
Your Charleston wrongful death lawyer will serve as an indispensable ally throughout the handling of the case. It’s their job to pursue compensation to cover any damages that you and your family face because of a fatal accident.
In other words, they can help get the compensation you need to cover any financial losses you may have suffered after your loved one died.
They handle all of the preparation of the case, document filing, and much more. Essentially, this gives you the room you need to focus on other important matters, like processing your grief and adjusting to life after the death of a loved one.
What Kinds of Accidents May Lead to Wrongful Death Claims?
A number of accidents can unfortunately cause enough damage to lead to the victim’s death. Our Charleston wrongful death attorneys can help anyone who has faced any such accident that has unfortunately led to a fatality.
Trucks, and especially 18-wheelers, have a horrendous reputation for causing lethal damage whenever they get involved in a crash due to their sheer size and weight.
As the average passenger vehicle size continues to grow, the severity of crash consequences also skyrockets.
Motorcyclists suffer from a distinct lack of protection that drivers and passengers in covered vehicles don’t have. This means they’re 18 times more likely to get involved in fatal crashes compared to other motor vehicle drivers.
Any time vehicles and people collide, it results in high injury stakes for the people. Unfortunately, pedestrian crashes have a high fatality rate across our state and our nation.
Product liability claims in the wake of a fatality can include tainted food, medical devices made from harmful materials, defective safety equipment in vehicles, and more.
What Are the Steps of a Wrongful Death Case?
Understanding the process of a wrongful death case is important. Sometimes they may be settled without the need for a lawsuit. Sometimes a lawsuit is necessary. Each case is different. It’s a good idea to begin the process with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can explain the steps to you.
Launching a thorough investigation with a wrongful death lawyer
Upon hiring us, our Charleston wrongful death law firm will have an attorney help you understand the investigative process. Our team will uncover the details of what really happened to determine who is at fault for the accident and what your legal options are going forward.
Opening an estate
All wrongful death settlements in South Carolina must be approved by a judge. Because of this, if there is a settlement, or if a lawsuit needs to be filed, a probate estate must be created through the Court system. This gives the decedent’s estate, through a living representative, the legal grounds to settle the wrongful death case or, if necessary, file a lawsuit, regardless of whether or not they’re a dependent of the deceased.
Filing court documents
This tedious process can cause a family a great deal of stress and anxiety because of the heavy consequences of misfiling or missing deadlines. Fortunately, your Charleston wrongful death lawyer can handle these matters and help keep you on schedule, ensuring you never miss an important filing date.
This is another point where a Charleston wrongful death lawyer is worth hiring. Case preparation can include:
- Calculating damages
- Making sure that all culpable parties and their insurance companies are investigated and held accountable
- Reviewing and preparing for court proceedings
- Discovery, i.e., the exchange of information between parties about evidence and witnesses
Trying to do all of this on your own without an experienced wrongful death lawyer is a daunting task.
Wrongful Death Case FAQs
How much does it cost to hire a wrongful death lawyer?
Hiring a law firm for wrongful death can vary in cost depending on whether the case is settled without a lawsuit, or if a lawsuit is necessary. Rather than sending a bill or requiring an upfront legal fee, most attorneys charge a contingency fee which is paid at the end of the case using a percentage of the total amount of money recovered.
Accordingly, a wrongful death attorney’s fee is usually contingent on success in obtaining a settlement or verdict on your behalf. At Bringardner Injury Law Firm, if we do not recover money for a wrongful death case, we do not get paid a legal fee.
What’s the difference between wrongful death and a survival action?
Both wrongful death and survival claims hold similar purposes, though they’re guided by different laws. Wrongful death claims typically repay the beneficiaries of a deceased loved one. Survival claims repay family members for any damages that the deceased incurred after an accident until the time of death.
An experienced attorney should consider making a survival claim in addition to a wrongful death claim in the event that your loved one did not immediately pass away at the time of the accident.
Do all wrongful death cases go to trial?
No, not all wrongful death cases go to trial. In fact, most wrongful death cases get settled without even filing a lawsuit if an experienced wrongful death lawyer is involved. However, there are a series of negotiations and legal hurdles even if you don’t have to go to trial.
Rely on Our Firm’s Experience With Wrongful Death Cases
As the victim of an accident that took a loved one too soon, you already have more than enough to deal with. Hiring a Charleston wrongful death lawyer is a decision we highly recommend and one that will help provide answers and hopefully a full measure of justice under the law.
At Bringardner Injury Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients through the difficult process of filing a wrongful death claim, and we’ll stand with you against the insurance companies. Let us take care of the complicated legal issues and provide you with the time and energy that you need to start the healing process. Contact us today!