Helping Victims of Fatal Accidents
Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, but the person or company responsible for your loss can be held accountable. We understand that no amount of financial compensation can make your loss any easier. Many of our clients do find closure more attainable when we have helped them investigate the circumstances of their loved one’s death and taken appropriate legal action against responsible negligent parties.
The Columbia injury attorneys at Proffitt & Cox have handled many cases involving serious injuries and fatalities. We invite you to review our past cases and the comments from our past clients to see if we might be the right firm for you. If you are ready to speak to us, please call (803) 834-7097 to schedule a confidential, no-obligation, free consultation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
In cases involving wrongful death, the damages recoverable by the beneficiaries can include funeral expenses, the lost financial support of the victim, loss of companionship and the grief and sorrow suffered by the family members left behind. If the decedent suffered conscious pain and suffering prior to his or her death, then the decedent’s estate also can bring a separate action, called a survival action, in which the estate is entitled to claim damages.Your family may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any negligent person or party whose carelessness caused the death of someone you love.This includes recovery for the decedent’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and the decedent’s financial losses, such as lost wages and expenses incurred for medical treatment, if applicable.
In either a wrongful death action or a survival action, the named plaintiff is the Personal Representative (executor) of the decedent’s estate, so it is necessary for the one of the family members to be appointed as the personal representative by the Probate Court before the wrongful death lawsuit and survival action can be filed. Opening of an estate and appointment of a personal representative is necessary even if the deceased family member had little or no assets. The good news is that opening an estate in the Probate Court is a very simple and inexpensive process. Often the client can open the estate with the assistance of the staff members at the Probate Court without any need for the assistance of an attorney. However, if you require or prefer to have our assistance in helping open or probate the estate, we are able to assist you in that regard.
Your family may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any negligent person or party whose carelessness caused the death of someone you love. Some examples of those who can have wrongful death claims filed against them are:
- A driver or employer at fault for a car accident – Speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving and other forms of negligent behavior on the road may cause an accident that contributes to the wrongful death of an individual. In truck accidents involving commercial vehicles, the families of those affected may be entitled to seek compensation from the company that employs the driver as well as other third parties.
- A manufacturer of a defective product – When a company designs a defective product, uses low quality materials when manufacturing or fails to warn the public of any potential dangers, that company may be liable for any damages caused by the product. If a defective product causes the wrongful death of an individual, their surviving family members may have the right to file a claim against the manufacturer.
- A physician who provided negligent medical care – If a medical provider is negligent in diagnosing or treating a medical condition and that negligence causes a wrongful death, the medical provider may liable for medical malpractice in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Someone who intentionally injured the victim – Not all actions that cause wrongful deaths are caused by accidental negligence. If someone purposely injures the victim and this injury leads to a wrongful death, even if the assailant did not intend to kill, families of wrongful death victims may seek to file suit again those responsible separately from any criminal charges.
How to Get Legal Representation For a Wrongful Death Case
Our attorneys pride themselves in providing help when you need it most. Effective legal representation is never more needed than when a loved one’s life has been lost due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another. Contact Proffitt & Cox today by calling our South Carolina injury attorneys at (803) 834-7097 or toll free at (877) 276-0533.