The loss of a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, business, or entity can be incredibly distressing. When these traumatic events occur, most family members are focused on arranging a proper funeral and burial of their loved one and grieving for their loss. However, family members who lose a loved one due to the actions of another person may be entitled to compensation through a civil wrongful death lawsuit. At The Jeffcoat Firm, our wrongful death attorneys in Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina, want to discuss the time limit for wrongful death claims to be filed.
The time limit for a South Carolina wrongful death claim
Every state is responsible for setting a time limit for how long family members in wrongful death cases have to file civil lawsuits against an alleged negligent party. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three (3) years from the date of the deceased person’s death. Any wrongful death claim that is not filed within this three-year window will almost certainly not be heard by the court, and the family will lose the ability to recover any compensation for their loss.
The law is going to be slightly different for wrongful death cases arising due to medical malpractice. These cases must be filed within three (3) years from the date that the injury occurs or within three (3) years from when the injury was “discovered.” No medical malpractice case can be filed more than six (6) years after the alleged mistake occurred.
In order to best comply with the statute of limitation requirements for these cases, you will need to speak to a skilled attorney with a thorough understanding of all SC wrongful death laws as soon as possible after your loss.
Who is able to file an SC wrongful death claim?
South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-51-10 specifies that wrongful death claims must be filed by the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased. This person may be named in the estate plan or may be appointed by the court. However, while the administrator or executor is the person who will bring a wrongful death claim to court, any damages recovered in the lawsuit will be distributed to the following family members of the deceased:
- The surviving spouse and children
- The surviving parents of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse or child
- Any heirs of the deceased if there are no surviving parents, spouse, or children
Contact us for a free consultation today
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, contact The Jeffcoat Firm as soon as possible. We have extensive experience helping clients in Richland and Lexington counties through these difficult times. Our team will thoroughly investigate your case and work to secure the following compensation on your behalf:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Cost of any pre-death medical care
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of consortium or companionship damages
- Possible punitive damages against the negligent party
When you need a wrongful death attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at 803-373-1302.