If you have lost somebody you love due to the actions of another person or entity in South Carolina, there may be various types of compensation you are entitled to. However, wrongful death cases in this state can be complicated, and you should seek assistance from an attorney for any civil lawsuit you file against an alleged negligent party. If you are successful with your case, and damages are awarded, you need to know whether or not there are limitations on how much money you will receive. At The Jeffcoat Firm, our wrongful death lawyers have a track record of success helping clients in Richland and Lexington Counties, as well as the surrounding areas, so let us get to work on your case today.
Are there limitations on the amount of money available in these cases?
Many states around the country place various limitations, also called damage caps, on the amount of money that plaintiffs can receive through a successful civil lawsuit. In general, South Carolina does not have caps on the amount of money that family members can receive in wrongful death cases. However, there are some exceptions.
The first cap on damages for wrongful death cases involve wrongful death lawsuits based on medical malpractice. In these cases, if it is determined that the wrongful death occurred due to a medical mistake, then South Carolina law limits the total amount of non-economic damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc.) awarded in these cases to a total of $350,000 against a single medical provider. If the plaintiff successfully sues multiple medical providers, they can receive up to $1.05 million in total non-economic damages, but no more than $350,000 from any single provider.
The other limitation that applies to South Carolina’s wrongful death cases is a cap on punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded if the defendant’s actions that led to the wrongful death were grossly negligent or considered particularly egregious. These damages are meant to serve as a punishment to the defendant. If they are awarded, then the total amount of punitive damages can be no greater than three times the amount of “actual” damages awarded, or up to $500,000, whichever amount is greater. The punitive damage cap applies to wrongful death cases whether or not they involve medical malpractice.
It is important to note that South Carolina does not apply a cap to economic damages. This includes compensation such as pre-death medical expenses, loss of future income, and benefits of the deceased, etc.
Contact us for a free consultation
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, business, or entity in South Carolina, contact The Jeffcoat Firm today. We will conduct a full investigation into your case and do what it takes to secure the compensation we mentioned above. You do not have to go through this alone. Our Columbia wrongful death lawyers serve all counties in South Carolina, as well as the surrounding areas. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at 803-373-1302.