Charleston, SC – Some accidents are so severe that they result in fatal injuries to one or more of the people involved. From a legal standpoint, these situations need to be handled a little differently from standard injury cases, as the plaintiff is no longer available to bring their own lawsuit. However, when someone passes away in a car accident, due to a work injury, or in many other types of similar situations, it is possible for the family to get financial help.
Wrongful death lawsuits
The type of lawsuit that is available after fatal accidents is similar to a standard negligence case. The plaintiff must prove that the wrongful act, neglect, or default of the defendant caused the fatal accident according to the statute. As a general rule, these kinds of cases function much like standard personal injury lawsuits with a few crucial differences.
The statute of limitations
All civil cases have a time limit in which the lawsuit must initially be filed, otherwise the case can never be brought. Under South Carolina law, this time limit for a wrongful death lawsuit is three years. This tends to be a shorter time limit than most other civil cases.
The rights of the family to bring the case
Family members can receive the victim’s damages for things like medical treatment and expenses, funeral and burial services, and the victim’s lost income and services. The people who can bring this action under South Carolina law are immediate family members including the spouse and children, the victim’s parents if they do not have a spouse of at least one child, and finally the person’s legal heirs if none of these other parties are available. The administrator of the victim’s estate needs to actually bring the action, as they will hold any money won as damages at the conclusion of the case for the family.
The specifics of bringing the case
Legal advice is always necessary to get specific information about things like the timeframe for the case to be resolved, the potential value of the case, and the chances of success. Any victim can schedule a consultation with a law firm to discuss these matters. If the client and lawyer agree on representation, the attorney can start the process by filing the initial pleadings in the appropriate local court. As both sides exchange information, they can choose to settle or go to trial.
Determining if a civil injury lawsuit is necessary
Anyone who has experienced an injury in the Charleston area has the option of consulting with a reputable law firm. The Clekis Law Firm is available to speak to people about their accidents and provide solutions.
Firm contact info:
171 Church St., Charleston SC, 29401