An unexpected loss of a loved one devastates families. In addition to the pain and grief that comes with coping with a great loss, surviving family members might also face financial hardship from losing a breadwinner, a pile of medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and more. Further, learning that your loved one might still be alive if it weren’t for the willful or negligent act of another creates mental anguish on top of the other struggles that come with losing a family member.

Money cannot bring your loved one back, but someone needs to hold at fault parties liable for their actions to prevent future wrongful deaths. Additionally, seeking compensation for a wrongful death will help take care of any losses related to your loved one’s death, putting you back on solid financial footing if you have been facing economic difficulties. If your loved one died because of another party’s careless actions or their intent to cause harm in Florence, you might be able recover damages in civil court. Contact Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your wrongful death case.

Hughey Law Firm’s Results in Wrongful Death Cases

The empathetic and skilled personal injury attorneys at Hughey Law Firm have represented dozens of personal injury clients recovering more than $100 million dollars in damages. Past verdicts and settlements in wrongful death cases include $225,000 for family members after their loved one died in a car accident because the Department of Transportation failed to install guardrails on bridge and $3,375,000 for family members whose loved one escaped from a group home and was hit by a drunk driver. These past case results do not guarantee results in any particular case, but the legal team at Hughey Law Firm will aggressively pursue the best outcome for your family.

How Does South Carolina Define Wrongful Death?

Unfortunately, sometimes we lose family members before they have the opportunity to live out their life. Yet, not all of these situations constitute wrongful death. South Carolina law (Section 15-51-10) legally defines wrongful death as occurring when “the wrongful act, neglect or default of another” leads to a person’s death. Additionally, an attorney may only file a suit on behalf of surviving family members if the deceased would have been able to seek damages in a personal injury suit had he or she survived their injury. Keep in mind that not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit. Under South Carolina law, the following family members may bring suit if they lose a loved one because of another party’s negligence or intent to harm:

  • A surviving spouse;
  • An unmarried partner who has a child with the deceased;
  • Children, regardless of whether they were born out of wedlock;
  • A parent if the deceased has no spouse or children; and
  • Heir(s) at law when there isn’t a spouse, child, or parent.s

Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Many different scenarios might give rise to a wrongful death claim, including:

Workplace Accidents

Each year, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that occupational injuries take the life of thousands across the United States. The most common causes of death at the workplace include falls, exposure to toxic chemicals, malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment, and dangerous working conditions.

Auto Accidents

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates over 1,000 traffic fatalities on South Carolina roads in 2017. When careless drivers make poor decisions, violate traffic regulations, and act negligently, they might cause fatal car crashes. Car crashes killed 30 persons in Florence in one recent year, about half of which involved alcohol. The number of DUI-related fatalities has steadily risen in Florence during the last five years.

Slips and Falls

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of accident on another party’s property. South Carolina law obligates property owners to maintain a safe environment and warn visitors of hazards on their property. When property owners fail to meet their duty, visitors might slip and fall. Unintentional falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which may lead to death in severe cases. Slip and fall accidents might occur on poorly maintained stairways with loose steps or handrails, or on slippery floors because of wet or dry product usage or spillage, or from falling or uncleared debris.

Medical Malpractice

Society relies on doctors and medical professional to diagnose, treat, and cure illness and disease; they also have a legal obligation to uphold a standard of care. When those who we trust fail or intentionally harm patients, and it results in death, the aftermath devastates victims and their families. Actions that constitute medical malpractice that might lead to a wrongful death claim include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, failure to diagnose a terminal condition, prescribing the wrong medicine, emotional or physical abuse of patients, and failure to prescribe and carry out adequate aftercare.

Product Defects

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates several million injuries each year because of defective products. In severe cases, a defective product might lead to death. Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and any other party in a product’s chain of distribution might be responsible for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The CPSC collects data and warns consumers of dangers about chemical products, toys, children’s products, all-terrain vehicles, lighters, fireworks, and more. Consumers must also beware of defective automobiles, auto parts, and prescription medications, especially those fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Florence

If you have lost a loved one in Florence, you and your family are going through a difficult time; you deserve compensation for the losses that you may face because of death of a family member. Concentrate on coping with your grief and loss and let one of the compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Hughey Law Firm advocate for your family, so you get full and fair compensation for damages. In addition to burial and funeral expenses and other economic losses, you might also be eligible for non-economic damages. Contact Hughey Law Firm online or call at (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation to learn about the ways that we can help you after the loss of a family member.