Have you lost a family member in a fatal accident in Aiken County, SC? You may be entitled to significant compensation from those responsible. The experienced Aiken County wrongful death lawyers at Hawk Law Group can help you fight for justice and accountability during this difficult time.
When you choose our law firm, you’ll benefit from a team of award-winning lawyers with more than 71 years of combined experience. We’ve won hundreds of millions of dollars for families like yours. Our attorneys are ready to stand up and fight to get the results you deserve, too.
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How Our Aiken County Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Fatal Accident
Money won’t turn back time or bring your loved one back. However, it can help limit the financial burden your family experiences in the wake of a tragic loss. A successful wrongful death action can also provide a bit of closure as the person responsible for your loss is held accountable.
Now is the time to grieve, not navigate the complexities of a legal challenge for damages. That’s where Hawk Law Group and our top-rated Aiken County personal injury lawyers can help.
We’ll be there to handle every aspect of your case from start to finish:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s fatal accident
- Work closely with leading accident and injury experts as we analyze evidence, build a claim, and determine its value
- Handle conversations and negotiations with other parties, including the at-fault party and their insurance company
- Bring your case to a compassionate jury in Aiken County, South Carolina, if necessary
Get 71+ years of experience and a team that’s won hundreds of millions of dollars in your corner. Give yourself the proper opportunity to grieve and move forward. Leave the litigation to our trusted wrongful death lawyers in Aiken County. Contact our law office today to learn more.
What is Wrongful Death?
In South Carolina, wrongful death is defined as a death resulting from another person’s “wrongful act, neglect or default.”
Families have the right to initiate a wrongful death action if the victim would have had grounds to file a lawsuit if they had survived.
Often, wrongful death actions are filed after avoidable accidents in Aiken County, such as:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Negligent security, and more
Whenever a death could have been avoided, a wrongful death lawsuit might be an option for surviving family members.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?
Under South Carolina state law, the administrator of the victim’s estate has the right to file a lawsuit after a fatal accident.
Here’s who can benefit from that legal action:
- Spouses and children;
- Parent(s), if the victim is unmarried and has no children; or
- Other heirs, if there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent.
While the administrator takes care of filing the wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving beneficiaries are the ones to receive the financial award.
What is My Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
Every case is different. That’s because every situation is unique. The death of a family member can have drastically different impacts from one person (and family) to the next.
According to the National Safety Council, the average comprehensive cost of a fatal car accident injury in 2019 equaled more than $11,148,000. Economic costs of a fatal car crash alone totaled more than $1.7 million.
Ultimately, however, many factors will influence the value of a wrongful death case in South Carolina:
- Medical bills and expenses related to the fatal accident, especially if the victim survived their injuries for a period of time
- The financial impact of the victim’s death on surviving family members
- The family’s expected loss of inheritance
- The type and value of benefits the family will lose out on as a result of the victim’s untimely death
- How the victim’s death has affected surviving family members emotionally and psychologically
Don’t underestimate the impact of a family member’s death – now and in the future. Don’t trust an insurance company to tell you what your case is worth. Hire an Aiken County wrongful death attorney who is willing to stand up and fight to ensure that your case is valued properly and that you’re awarded just compensation for your tragic loss.
What Damages Are Available in South Carolina Wrongful Death Cases?
Both economic and non-economic damages can be awarded in Aiken County wrongful death actions. In limited instances, punitive damages may also be available.
Economic damages are paid to offset the financial cost and impact of a fatal accident, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills arising from the victim’s accident and injury
- Lost wages
- Loss of financial support, including future income and benefits
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for the consequences of a fatal accident that aren’t easily valued in terms of dollars and cents.
These can include money for:
- Loss of the victim’s knowledge, experience, and judgment
- Loss of companionship, care, and protection
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are reserved for situations where the defendant’s conduct is so outrageous that punishment is warranted. These damages are awarded in addition to any economic and non-economic damages.
When Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Aiken County, South Carolina?
Typically, you’ll have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of South Carolina. The clock on the statute of limitations begins to run when the victim dies. This may or may not be the same date as the fatal accident.
Some circumstances might cause the statute of limitations to be different. That could mean having more or less time to act. However, this tends to be the exception, not the rule. And, if you miss the deadline that applies to your case, you’ll give up the right to demand the compensation you deserve.
What Happens If My Loved One is Blamed For Their Fatal Accident?
You can still recover compensation as long as they’re not mostly to blame. South Carolina operates under a modified comparative fault system. Once one’s liability exceeds 50%, you lose the right to file a claim for damages.
Sharing some but not most of the blame won’t bar recovery, but it will affect how much money your family can get. Damages will be reduced to reflect the victim’s share of the blame.
Let’s say your family member is killed in a fatal truck accident in Aiken County, SC. They were struck by a truck driver who was texting behind the wheel. However, your loved one was speeding at the time of the crash. It’s determined that the trucker is 80% at fault. The remaining 20% of liability is assigned to the victim. When a wrongful death action is filed, your family’s financial award will be reduced by 20%.
Do I Have to Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Action?
Negligence means that someone didn’t act with reasonable care and, as a result, caused another person’s death.
To establish negligence and win your wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll have to prove each of the following things:
- Duty: the defendant owed the victim a duty of care
- Breach: the defendant didn’t act reasonably under the circumstances and breached this duty
- Causation: the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) were the direct and proximate cause of the victim’s death
- Damages: the defendant’s surviving beneficiaries have experienced identifiable harm as a result.
If you’ve experienced the tragic loss of someone you love in a fatal Aiken County accident, you shouldn’t be worrying about the nuances of legal action. Instead, you should be focused on grieving, remembering your family member, and finding a way to move forward. That’s where our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Aiken County Wrongful Death Lawyer
The Aiken County wrongful death lawyers at Hawk Law Group are here to help you fight for financial justice. If you’ve lost a family member, trust our law firm to help you make things right. We’ll put decades of experience and a recognized track record of success behind your pursuit of compensation.
Contact our law offices in Aiken County, South Carolina to get started. Your first consultation is free, so call now.