There may be no more traumatic experience than losing a loved one in an accident. In the span of that one event, your entire life can be turned upside down. At such a difficult time, the last thing you may be thinking of is money.
But the fact is that you may be eligible for compensation should you choose to file a wrongful death claim. Doing so will not bring a loved one back, nor will it fully repair the damage suffered by an untimely death. However, it can help you gain some closure and hold the negligent or reckless party accountable for your loss. It can also make the road ahead a little easier on you and your family.
In any wrongful death claim in South Carolina, there are a few different types of damages that can be awarded.
Often referred to as economical or pecuniary losses, these are damages that can be calculated or estimated and include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of wages
Non-economical damages are ones that cannot be tangibly calculated. Some types include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and support
- Emotional distress
Also known as punitive damages, South Carolina law allows courts to award or approve exemplary damages-damages given when a party's wrongful act leading to a death was reckless, malicious and/or willful. These damages are not available in every case, but they can prove to be quite substantial as they are intended to punish a negligent party and dissuade others from engaging in similar behaviors.
What types of damages available in your situation will depend on the facts of the case. Speaking with an attorney who can help you determine the potential damages available in your situation and help you build a strong case is the first step.