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(843) 238-5141
Mon–Thur 8:30AM–5:30PM | Fri 8:30AM–2PM
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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

At the Floyd Law Firm, we stand ready to help you with the many challenges of investigating and pursuing a wrongful death case. We have years of experience in guiding clients through the documentation and court process, and we will do whatever we can to assist you.

When someone has suffered injuries due to the negligence of someone else, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation. In instances that negligence causes the death of a family member or loved one, the surviving family members will have to file a wrongful death claim to secure compensation for their loss.

Any harm done to a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or any other loved one – is a most difficult situation for the victim as well as their family and friends. It is a time of sadness and frustration. Our firm will work with you to ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on those responsible for the negligence, the injury, or the untimely death in your family.

We understand how your life has changed since the death of your loved one, and we will tell your story. We work with a network of investigative experts and we will help you to explain how this wrongful death has affected your family emotionally and financially. While we will put our resources and experience to work for you, we can offer a contingency fee billing structure so that you legal fees are not immediately due unless we can secure recovery for you in your wrongful death claim. We carefully review the details of each case, identify all of the possible defendants, and help you to know what to expect from such a lawsuit each step of the way.

A wrongful death case can be stressful and tedious without having reliable legal representation. The victim’s family needs to act immediately and contact a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney to work on pursuing a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death law applies in situations where the defendant’s conduct resulted in the death of the victim, leaving behind survivors or dependents who must endure grief and hardship as a result. The laws associated with wrongful death claims have the purpose to compensate the survivors and help them carry on.

A fatality caused by the wrongful acts of another may result in a wrongful death claim. Wrongful deaths can happen due to several reasons, such as:

Vehicle Accidents

Auto accidents, car crashes, and other vehicular accidents account for thousands of deaths in the United States each year. When a driver causes a fatal accident due to their negligence, he or she should expect legal action from the victim’s surviving family. Other vehicle-related deaths can occur due to faulty vehicle manufacturing or malfunctioning parts.

Dangerous Roadways

Improper maintenance of roads and highways can lead to fatal accidents. Missing guardrails, deep potholes, or dangerous bridges can result in personal injury or wrongful death claims. The condition of any roadway could have a grave effect on those who travel on it.

Workplace Accidents

Some working environments are inherently more dangerous than others and accidental workplace fatalities are an unfortunate outcome. Industries that use certain sharp tools, heavy machinery, or strong electrical currents must have strict safety protocols in place. The construction business uses dangerous tools and often employs workers who must scale heights or use explosives. The oil drilling, gas pipeline, and mining sectors are also especially perilous.

Medical Malpractice

All doctors and other medical professionals have the moral and legal obligation to care for patients using acceptable treatments and proven methods. The medical industry can be an uncertain field in which unpredictable circumstances can arise, but if a physician or other medical practitioner fails to provide acceptable treatment or neglects their duties – it may be deemed as medical malpractice.

Deadly Slip-and-Fall Accidents

If the owners of grocery stores, restaurants, and other privately-owned public spaces fail to keep their property safe, a slip-and-fall accident could happen and may result in a deadly head injury. Those injured or killed in a slip-and-fall accident deserve to be compensated, or their loved ones cared for, due to the harm suffered.

Amusement or Vacation Accidents

When people are on vacation, they often engage in activities offered in the area that they may not be fully familiar with. Businesses that rent out items like jet skis, mopeds, bikes, or golf carts need to ensure they are well-maintained and that riders are informed of all safety precautions. Amusement ride parks and their operators must have detailed safety guidelines and perform regular equipment maintenance. Vacation accidents do unfortunately happen, and people can be seriously injured or killed.

Negligent Security

Owners of apartment buildings, motels, hotels, shopping centers, and other locations where security might be an issue – have the responsibility to take certain measures to protect people from harm, assaults, robberies, and other types of violence. It can be terrifying to be in a situation where one is not safe and injury or death results. Our understanding law firm will listen and help you get the care and compensation you deserve.

Intentional Violence

If a person intentionally kills another person, he or she will face criminal charges, but criminal charges do not compensate the victim’s family. The surviving family or loved ones must file for a wrongful death claim with an experienced attorney.

Four Elements of Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case:

Duty

The term “duty” in this regard means that the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the case circumstances, and the plaintiff has to be able to prove that the defendant owed a “duty of care” in the situation. Sometimes, the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant may create a legal duty, such as when a medical service provider owes their patient the legal duty to provide competent medical treatment. A defendant may owe the plaintiff a legal duty to act with reasonable care, such as how a motorist is expected to drive their vehicle safely with a level of due care or caution. In a wrongful death suit, the judge is empowered to decide whether or not the defendant had a duty of care under the circumstances.

Breach

A defendant that fails to exercise reasonable care while fulfilling a determined duty is considered to be in a breach of duty. A jury in court determines whether the established duty was not exercised. The plaintiff has to show how the defendant breached their duty of care, and it requires proving that the defendant engaged in a specific action during the circumstance – such as texting or speeding while operating a motor vehicle. A breach may also mean inaction by the defendant – their failure to take appropriate actions in order to prevent harming the plaintiff or victim.

The court will examine whether the defendant had breached their duty by doing, or failing to do, an action that a “reasonably prudent person” would do or not do under similar circumstances.

Causation

The plaintiff in a wrongful death case needs to prove that it was the defendant’s actions or lack of action that caused the death, and connect the defendant’s breach of duty. This means proving that the death would not have happened if not for the defendant’s actions. Also referred to as “cause in fact” and “proximate cause”, causation is the direct line showing how the defendant’s negligent act caused the injuries or death that lead to the legal action being taken.

Damage

In wrongful death claims, the plaintiff proves that the defendant’s negligence resulted in the injury, death, or measurable loss. The damage, or damages, is the proven legal harm suffered in the form of personal injury or property damage. When a defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in the situation, any actual damages to the person owed a “duty of care” has to be established for a negligence claim to have merit in court. The court decides the compensation to the plaintiff for his or her injury or loss via monetary award for the expenses such as medical bills, funeral services, and property damage. Some types of wrongful death cases will involve varying elements of negligence, such as medical malpractice claims.

Surviving family members not only suffer deeply from grief and sorrow, but they also often suffer monetary losses as a result of the victim’s death. Only a spouse, parent, child, legal guardian, or the representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring forth a wrongful death claim. Sadly, longtime companions or siblings may not have a wrongful death claim for any of the damages they have suffered.

Plaintiffs in wrongful death claims may secure economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, household services, property damage, funeral costs, and burial expenses. In the event that the court awards damages to the surviving family members, the family must either agree on how to split the award amicably, or agree to follow a court-ordered disbursement plan.

Non-economic damages, which are the intangible losses suffered by the victim and his or her family, may also be covered by a successful wrongful death lawsuit. Non-economic damages, also known as punitive damages, help to compensate the victims for the occurrences that are typically not of firm financial value. In South Carolina, one needs to meet the burden of persuasion before a court would consider to award for punitive damages. State law requires proof of convincing and clear evidence that the defendants’ actions were reckless or willful, and that the damages are real and deeply felt.

The non-financial damages can include:

  • future medical expenses
  • mental anguish
  • suffering, household services
  • loss of consortium
  • loss of enjoyment
  • and future lost wages that could have been earned if the situation did not occur.

Wrongful Death Attorneys serving Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina

The Floyd Law Firm team includes wrongful death attorneys who are devoted to helping the families of victims and those who have suffered serious personal injury. We will take the time to get to know you and your family. While there is no amount of money that can make up for the lost life of a loved one, our experienced and compassionate attorneys feel that the financial security from a wrongful death case may help a family cover debts incurred, and can help them begin to rebuild their own lives.

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