Wrongful death attorneys South Carolina assist families that have suffered the loss of a relative that lost their life as a result of someone's negligence, usually in an auto accident. Only the executor (personal representative) of the decedent's estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and only designated "distributees" can receive compensation if the suit is successful. This page provides information on the most common causes of action as well as the possible legal recourse that you or other family members might have if you have lost someone. It is important to promptly contact South Carolina injury attorneys to preserve your rights or you may be unable to receive any compensation since there is a fixed time limit, called the statute of limitations, which will prevent you from ever filing suit against the person or company that was the cause of death.

The statute of limitations sets out a specific time within which a wrongful death attorneys South Carolina must file a lawsuit in the circuit court. In South Carolina, a cause of action accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date. Thus, if you believe the death of someone you know occurred due to someone's negligence or intent to harm, it is important that you contact a injury attorney South Carolina immediately to determine your rights and learn about settlements and court awards. It is important to act promptly to preserve your rights even if you have just been injured. For example, if you have been hurt and have a valid case against the person at fault, you must file suit within the three years. If you wait and should later die as a result of complications from those injuries, your family will be unable to receive the compensation they deserve in a wrongful death case. For a fuller explanation of the statute of limitations see the following South Carolina case law:

Estate of Stokes v. Pee Dee Family Physicians

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death

Only the personal representative (executor) of the deceased estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important for someone to be appointed by the probate court as soon as possible in order to avoid a statute of limitations problem.

Negligent driving accounts for thousands of accidents and injuries each year. When someone dies as a result of another party's negligent driving, it may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Although doctors and hospitals work hard to provide quality patient care, thousands of medical mistakes and incorrect diagnoses occur each year. Sometimes these mistakes and misdiagnoses lead to harm or injury. Cases of negligence or malpractice that lead to a patient's death may be grounds for a wrongful death suit.

The family of a 73-year-old South Carolina man who died after receiving the wrong drug during surgery will receive $1.775 million in the settlement in such a lawsuit as the result of South Carolina injury attorneys.

South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Manufacturers have a responsibility to provide safe, effective products to consumers. A company's failure to recognize a defect in one of its products — or to report that defect to retailers and consumers — is grounds for a lawsuit. Product liability lawsuits involving everything from car tires to defective medical devices have played a major role in removing defective products from the shelves and out of the workplace. However, not all defective products are removed before they cause harm. If a known defective product has resulted in the death of someone you know, a South Carolina attorney can provide you with examples of settlements and help determine your legal recourse.

Any settlement or court award granted in a wrongful death case goes to the estate of the deceased. The survivorship actionis divided among the persons relatives or dependents.

Wrongful death attorneys South Carolina can get their clients compensation for several issues related to the death of a loved one, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Deceased's pain and suffering prior to death (survivorship action)

Compensation may also be awarded for issues affecting the family members, including:

  • Companionship
  • Financial support
  • Parental support
  • Mental distress
  • Emotional pain
  • Loss of wages

The loss of a close relative or possibly a parent is a difficult time for anyone. Money will never replace the loss that you have suffered. However, a settlement in a wrongful death case and ease the financial burden of their loss. For caring and compassionate yet aggressive legal representation contact:

L. Wayne Patterson
Wrongful Death Attorneys South Carolina
10 Century Dr. Suite B
Greenville, SC 29606

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Survival Right of Action

In addition to the wrongful death damages, the deceased’s estate may also recover money damages for the conscious pain and suffering that the deceased experienced prior to death as well as for the medical expenses under the Survival Right of Action Statute. S.C. Code § 15-5-90.

SECTION 15-5-90. Survival of right of action.

Causes of action for and in respect to any and all injuries and trespasses to and upon real estate and any and all injuries to the person or to personal property shall survive both to and against the personal or real representative, as the case may be, of a deceased person and the legal representative of an insolvent person or a defunct or insolvent corporation, any law or rule to the contrary notwithstanding.

The test of a survival action in South Carolina is whether the decedent suffered conscious pain and suffering. Camp v. Petroleum Carrier Corp., 204 S.C. 133, 139, 28 S.E.2d 683, 685 (1944). South Carolina case law provides illustrative examples of when a survival action has evidentiary support of conscious pain and suffering.

In Ward v. Epting, 290 S.C. 547, 560, 351 S.E.2d 867, 875 (Ct. App. 1986), this court found testimony that the decedent's response to directions in the recovery room following surgery constituted sufficient evidence of conscious pain and suffering to present a factual question to the jury. In contrast, in Welch v. Epstein, this court concluded there was only evidence the decedent lapsed into a coma at the time of his arrest and he did not recover from this condition. 342 S.C. at 313, 536 S.E.2d at 426.

For an excellent discussion of South Carolina law on a survival action where the family was awarded $300,000, see

Rutland vs. S.C. Department of Transportation Wrongful Death Case

Moped Deaths on the rise in South Carolina



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