What kind of damages can be awarded in wrongful death lawsuits?

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Posted on December 21, 2015

No amount of money can ever be enough when it comes to losing a loved one. There are penalties a person or company must pay in cases of wrongful deaths.

When death comes unnaturally, and another party is at fault, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the executor of the estate belonging to the deceased individual. The statute of limitations for this lawsuit is three years after the time of death. In the event that there is not an executor to the deceased’s estate, the court would then name one.

A wrongful death claim can benefit family members such as surviving children, spouses, parents or those named as heirs. In cases where the deceased is an adult, parents can still recover damages with the help of a Columbia wrongful death attorney.

There is an array of damages that can be awarded, which could include funeral expenses, medical bills related to injuries incurred before death, and lost benefits or wages. Damages can also be awarded because of other financial losses that were the result of a wrongful death.

Pain and suffering of family members can also translate into payouts as the court considers the loss of the deceased’s life experience, knowledge and companionship. On top of that, the court may also choose to award exemplary damages, which is more prevalent in deaths that were the result of a reckless or deliberate action. This kind of measure is often viewed as a type of punishment to the guilty party.

In cases where a father or mother is the victim of a wrongful death, his or her children could be entitled to compensation. The financial support that children would have received from their deceased parent, usually, factors in the final amount awarded by the court.

A wrongful death charge is not classified as a criminal charge in the state of South Carolina. But even if a defendant beats a charge such as vehicular homicide, the person can still be tried in a civil court for wrongful death. The two proceedings are separate, and one has no impact on the other. In South Carolina, wrongful death is a sub category of tort law.

If anyone close to you has suffered a wrongful death, it’s time to turn to the professionals at Popowski, Callas & Shirley, P.A. During your time of need, we will assign you a Columbia wrongful death attorney who will work to bring justice to you and your family.


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