Wrongful Death Attorney in Myrtle Beach
To lose a loved one unexpectedly is an incomprehensible sorrow. If someone else is to blame, you may also be dealing with feelings of anger and confusion about how it all happened. Further, you may feel like the person responsible should be held accountable. Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers extends our deepest condolences for your loss. We also offer you compassionate legal care and an avenue for both justice and closure.
Contact our Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyers today. We can help you take action against the negligent party through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Our team of personal injury lawyers in Myrtle Beach is dedicated to client service. Whether you were injured in an accident or seeking justice for a loved one in a wrongful death claim, we can fight for you to receive the best possible outcome in your case.
We have helped clients in Myrtle Beach and across South Carolina recover just compensation from negligent parties, and we want to do the same for you. Our accident injury lawyers want to bring you results like the ones below:
- $725,000 for the family of a wrongful death victim
- $2,000,000 for a client who required neck surgery after being struck by a car while walking
- $125,000 for a slip and fall victim who needed elbow surgery
Free Case Review With Our Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Attorney
A member of our legal team can review your case during a free consultation. We can get to know each other, answer your questions, learn about your case, and see if we're the right fit.
No Cost to Start Your Wrongful Death Claim With Our Injury Law Firm
There are no legal fees to worry about to start your case. Our Myrtle Beach personal injury law firm provides legal service on a contingency-fee-basis. You only pay for your wrongful death lawyers if we achieve financial compensation in your case. They simply take their fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. You never pay us out-of-pocket.
A contingency basis also means:
- No hourly fees
- No retainer fee to start your claim
- Your Myrtle Beach wrongful death attorney can get to work on your case without delay
- If we don't win, you don't pay
Our Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Law Firm Can Fight for Your Family's Financial Relief
Wrongful death claims exist to provide some relief to the family of victims. The passing of your loved one has probably left you with financial hardships and incalculable emotional losses. You can claim a variety of damages related to the deceased's injuries as well as your own losses caused by the untimely death. The damages you can claim in a wrongful death case are determined by the type of legal action you're taking.
These damages could include:
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Final medical bills
- Loss of financial support and benefits due to the death
- Loss of your loved one's care, guidance, companionship, and protection
- Loss of your loved one's services around the house
- Emotional pain and suffering, such as grief, depression, post-traumatic stress, or social isolation
How Wrongful Death Cases Work in South Carolina
The recoverable damages depend on your Myrtle Beach wrongful death claim. Before you file, it's important to know what constitutes wrongful death in South Carolina and the types of wrongful death claims one can file.
Per S.C. Code § 15-51-10, wrongful death is a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person. This could involve anything from ordinary negligence to gross negligence to intentional harm. There are two types of claims that can be made for wrongful death:
Wrongful Death Action
The wrongful death action seeks to compensate the victim's loved ones based on losses that they have personally experienced. Their loss of financial support or their lost companionship provided by the decedent falls under this type of claim.
According to S.C. Code §15-5-90, a survival action is based on the injuries and losses that the victim experienced before death. In essence, it is the personal injury claim they would have been able to make if death had not ensued. For example, if your loved one suffered months of pain due to a spinal injury before succumbing or incurred bills for physical therapy, those losses could be claimed under a survival action.
A wrongful death action and survival action are often brought concurrently. An attorney at our firm can walk you through both of these claims and ensure that both are filed following the legal requirements of South Carolina.
How is Compensation Distributed in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case?
Per S.C. Code 15-51-40, when compensation is recovered through a wrongful death action, the damages are divided according to South Carolina's intestacy laws. This means that the money is distributed as if the decedent did not have a will.
South Carolina intestacy laws stipulate that the money is disbursed in the following order:
- Spouse and children
- Parents, if no spouse or children
- Other next-of-kin, which could be grandchildren, siblings, cousins, aunts, or uncles
Following a survival action, the recovered compensation is given to the decedent's estate and then divided according to their will, if they made one. If no will exists, the compensation is disbursed per the above-mentioned intestacy laws, going to the spouse and children first.
Who Can File a Wrongful Claim in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
While the money recovered from either of the wrongful death claims goes to the victim's family, only the executor or administrator of their estate can legally file a claim for wrongful death. An executor is a person the decedent chose to make sure their will was carried out upon death.
If your loved one did not name an executor, the court will appoint an administrator to handle the affairs of the estate.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Myrtle Beach Can Help with Different Types of Cases
Our Myrtle Beach lawyers handle wrongful death claims stemming from different types of personal injury accidents and incidents.
You can reach out to our law firm for help if you lost a loved one due to:
- A car accident
- A truck accident
- A slip and fall
- A dog bite
- A motorcycle accident
- A pedestrian accident
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Construction or workplace accidents
Our wrongful death lawyers in Myrtle Beach are honored to represent you and your family during this difficult time. No matter what type of case you have, we are here for you.
A Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Can Handle Your Case While You Focus on Healing
There's virtually nothing that can heal the pain of losing a loved one except time, but as you navigate a new normal, our Myrtle Beach wrongful death law firm can provide legal care you can count on. If you're contemplating pursuing a wrongful death case, but are overwhelmed by the thought of taking it on, that's when you put it in our hands.
Our legal team can handle every facet of your wrongful death case, including:
- Investigating the circumstances that led to the untimely death
- Collecting evidence to prove the responsible party acted negligently
- Compiling photos, videos, medical records, and other key documentation of injuries your loved one suffered before passing
- Gathering bills, pay stubs, receipts, bank statements, and other records illustrating the financial hardship resulting from your loss
- Handling all communication regarding your case, from insurance companies to witnesses to defending parties
- Keeping you updated on developments in your case
- Negotiating with the insurance company/defendant for an appropriate settlement
- Preparing your wrongful death case for trial if necessary
- Fighting for your right to justice and compensation in court
Why You Should Consider Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Family members of wrongful death victims take legal action for many reasons, including:
- Justice: Wrongful deaths are preventable. The feeling that someone else's careless, reckless, or intentional actions stole the life of a loved one can leave you with deep-seated anger and the unshakable feeling that those responsible should pay. A wrongful death claim is one way to pursue that.
- Closure: The money recovered from the liable party is a powerful acknowledgment of the harm done to your family. Knowing you were able to get justice can help you move forward to the next chapter of your life.
- Financial support: If your deceased loved one provided monetary support, their death may be a significant blow to your financial stability. You shouldn't have to struggle to pay your living expenses or sacrifice your quality of life. That should rest on the person or entity responsible.
Whatever your reasons, if the negligent acts of another led to the loss of your family member, fair compensation is the least you deserve. A wrongful death attorney at our law firm serving Myrtle Beach can do everything possible to pursue that.
Proving Negligence Played a Role is Crucial to Most Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful deaths are usually the result of negligence. The at-fault party may not have meant for anyone to get hurt, but when their carelessness leads to injury or fatality, they must be held accountable to make sure it never happens again.
To establish negligence and build a solid case, your wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. They had a responsibility to keep others reasonably safe or prevent harm. A pharmaceutical company, for example, must sell drugs that are safe for consumption.
- They violated that duty. By acting irresponsibly or failing to take reasonable or necessary precautions, they put others at risk. A drug company that rushes a medication to market with few studies of the effects, has breached its duty to sell safe products.
- Their negligent actions are the direct cause of the accident, incident, or injuries your loved one suffered that led to death.
- This caused damages. The death left you with financial losses or emotional or psychological injury that can be compensated financially.
Your Myrtle Beach injury lawyer can gather the required evidence to show the at-fault party acted negligently, resulting in the death of your loved one and your financial or emotional hardship.
Time is Limited for Filing a Wrongful Death Case in South Carolina
Generally, most personal injury and wrongful death claims settle in negotiations. However, if a fair settlement offer is not made or if an agreement cannot be reached over liability, we may need to file a lawsuit against the opposing party. Under S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530, a wrongful death suit must be filed within three years of the date of your loved one's passing.
Time is critical in your wrongful death case. Waiting to start your claim risks losing key evidence, access to witnesses, and running out of time to sue the defendant in court. A lawsuit filed after the legal deadline will be tossed out unless there's a valid reason.
Our Attorneys Can File Your Case Before Time Runs Out
Our Myrtle Beach wrongful death attorneys can file your claim on time and determine whether you qualify for any exceptions. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start.
Wrongful Death Attorneys' Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
South Carolina law provides the survivors of those wrongfully killed with a path to recovery. By filing a wrongful death claim, surviving family members can potentially gain financial security for the loss of a loved one's income. Further, the surviving family can find a sense of closure knowing that a negligent someone was held responsible for their loved ones wrongful death. Wrongful death lawsuits do not only arise out of automobile accidents, but can be filed after any kind of accident, including those involving medical negligence (malpractice) or deaths arising from defective products.
Who can sue for Wrongful Death in South Carolina?
The spouse, children and or parents of a loved one may file a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against any company and or person responsible for the death of a loved one. In specific cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against a government entity.
What am I entitled to as a survivor in a wrongful death case?
Damages is a legal term for a sum of money awarded by a Court and or an insurance company to compensate the loved ones for an injury or death in South Carolina. In South Carolina, wrongful death damages allows survivors to recover many different types of monetary damages, including the death of their deceased family member's income and financial support, the loss of the deceased family member's companionship, the loss of an expected inheritance, mental anguish and suffering. The surviving family members may be able to recover punitive damages to penalize or punish the at fault party (Defendant) for his or her reckless and or grossly negligent act.
Is there a time limit on filing a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, there is a rule of law known as a statute of limitations which requires that you file a lawsuit on the wrongful death claim within a certain period of time. Typically, family members must file a wrongful death lawsuit within three years of the date on which the accident occurred where their loved one passed away. In some cases, the period of time that family members have to file a lawsuit is only two years. It is important to contact a South Carolina wrongful death attorney quickly in order to get your wrongful death claim filed within the required amount of time.
What types of fatal accidents can be the cause of a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?
When the negligence of another kills your loved one, you may have the right to make a wrongful death claim on behalf of the survivors.
In a car accident, various factors contribute to fatal car accidents, but the most common we see in South Carolina are:
- Drunk driving - Having a blood alcohol level at 0.08% or higher may result in DUI and other severe consequences. If the driver that killed your loved one was cited with DUI as a result of the wreck, then you most likely will have a wrongful death claim for the loss of your loved one in South Carolina. In addition to a claim against the at-fault drunk driver, you may have a dram shop case against the bar who may have overserved the intoxicated driver that killed your loved one.
- Traffic Citations - When a negligent driver runs a stop sign, fails to yield right of way, drives through a red light or commits other traffic offense and kills your loved one, you may have a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You should consult with a South Carolina attorney as soon as possible to determine your rights as a survivor who lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver who committed a traffic offense.
- Reckless Driving - South Carolina recognizes reckless driving as a major traffic offense. An irresponsible and negligent driver can commit reckless driving in many different ways, such as excessive speed. If your loved one was killed by someone charged with reckless driving, you may have a wrongful death claim against that driver. It is important to contact a South Carolina lawyer quickly after the accident has occurred to learn your rights and get the claim started.
Contact the Myrtle Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys at Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers Today
Losing someone you love due to the careless actions of another is something no one should go through. You don't have to face it alone.
At Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers, our Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyers offer compassionate legal support. When you put your case in our hands, we'll fight for the justice your loved one deserves and the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (843) 232-0944 for your free case review.