Nothing can prepare you for the pain that comes from learning a loved one was killed in an accident. Along with impossible grief, family members often find that they are left with significant financial hardships as a result of the loss. In South Carolina, wrongful death compensation is possible to offset these demands. However, only certain people can file a wrongful death claim.
Did you recently lose a family member in an accident? An experienced wrongful death attorney from Stewart Law Offices can answer your questions in a free consultation. Call or contact us today.
South Carolina Wrongful Death Settlements
South Carolina law states that when another person’s negligence causes the death of someone else, they can be held liable for paying damages the family incurred as a result. These claims, known as wrongful death settlements, can include damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, care, and protection of family members, and pain and suffering. Only specific people are allowed to file these claims, and it is important that all surviving loved ones understand who is eligible.
Can Siblings Sue for Wrongful Death?
In many states, only spouses and children of the deceased can file wrongful death claims. In other areas, the parties eligible to file wrongful death claims extend to siblings, grandparents, and more. In South Carolina, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is allowed to file a claim.
The personal representative of the deceased’s estate is often outlined in the person’s will or other documents within their estate plan. When the estate plan does not outline a personal representative, the probate court will name one. Although siblings can file a claim for wrongful death, they can only do so if they are the personal representative of the estate.
How are Settlements Divided for Wrongful Death in South Carolina?
Wrongful death settlements are divided among the surviving family members that the deceased left behind.
- If the deceased has a surviving spouse, he or she will receive half of the settlement if there are children. The other half is divided among the children.
If the deceased did not have children, the surviving spouse will receive the whole settlement.
- If the deceased did not have a surviving spouse, the children will receive the whole settlement. Children cannot receive their portion of the settlement until they have reached the age of adulthood.
- In the event that the deceased did not have a spouse or any children, the parents of the deceased can receive the settlement. However, if the court finds that the parent did not support the deceased during childhood, the judge has the authority to deny the parents a settlement or reduce their share.
How Stewart Law Offices Can Help Me
If you have lost a loved one, a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer at Stewart Law Offices can help you navigate the civil justice system and ensure you secure the full amount of damages you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.