Are Wrongful Death Settlements Public Record?

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If you have lost somebody you love due to the negligent or intentional actions of somebody else in SC, you may be entitled compensation for your losses. At The Jeffcoat Firm, we have a track record of success in helping clients get through these difficult situations. We understand this can be a confusing time for everybody involved, and you need to know whether or not you will owe taxes on any settlement or jury verdict you are awarded in a wrongful death claim. 

Are settlement in South Carolina wrongful death claims taxable?

We understand that no amount of money can erase the pain you and your family are going through after losing a loved one. However, the law does give you the right to file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina, and you may be entitled to significant compensation. In many cases, a wrongful death lawyer is able to help family members recover compensation through:

  • A negotiated settlement with the alleged negligent parties 
  • A jury verdict after the case is heard in trial 

Regardless of how surviving family members receive compensation for the loss of their loved one, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will generally not tax any compensatory damages awarded in the settlement or verdict. This can include compensation for pain and suffering damages, funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income the deceased would have provided, and more. 

However, there are times when punitive damages may also be awarded in a wrongful death case. These damages are intended to punish a defendant when the actions that caused the death of your loved one were particularly egregious or grossly negligent. If punitive damages are awarded in these cases, the IRS will tax them. In general, punitive damages are rarely awarded. If you do receive punitive damages in your wrongful death claim, please speak to a tax professional.

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If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else in SC, contact The Jeffcoat Firm today. Our knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death team in South Carolina, are ready to get to work on your case. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling us at 803-373-1302.

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