The loss of a loved one is a devastating experience regardless of the cause, but when your loved one was seriously injured due to another person’s negligent or reckless actions, grounds may exist to pursue a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action claim. These are not the same kind of claim, although both involve an attempt to recover compensation as a result of someone’s death in an accident.
Just as a victim may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries and expenses from those conditions, the estate of that deceased person may attempt to recover damages, too.
Survival action claims can be difficult to understand, which is why anyone in the position to file one should contact a lawyer. Hiring a Charleston survival action claims attorney positions an executor to discover what compensation may be recovered due to injuries a person sustained prior to a death caused by an accident.
What Is South Carolina’s Survival Action Statute?
South Carolina’s survival action statute is outlined under Section 5-5-90. This allows someone who was hurt but doesn’t pass away immediately to recover damages incurred between the time of the accident and the person’s death.
Although the person may have passed away, medical bills, pain and suffering, or other expenses may have accrued between the accident and the resulting death. These funds are then distributed in accordance with estate law. The expenses generated from the time someone was hurt until they pass away can be substantial, and Charleston survival action claims can ensure that other estate assets are not diminished in order to pay out these costs.
Who Can File a Survival Action?
Survival actions can only be filed by the executor for the deceased individual. They may be brought with a wrongful death claim. An executor is appointed through a will created by the deceased or is named through the courts if no will exists. This person has the responsibility of managing all aspects of estate administration, such as gathering assets and debts, using assets to pay liabilities, and then distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries.
If any benefits may be owed to the deceased or their estate due to a wrongful action, the executor handles the filing of those suits.
Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action Claims in SC
Wrongful death claims are filed for the benefit of surviving family members, but survival actions are made for the benefit of the recently deceased. Survival actions are not brought for the benefit of the surviving family members of the person .
Survival action damages won in a lawsuit are then divided for the benefit of the spouse, the children, any parents, or any heirs in line to the portion of the estate they would receive if the person passed away with no will.
South Carolina’s wrongful death statute, on the other hand, is outlined under section 15-51-10-60. This allows for a lawsuit filed for the benefit of a deceased party’s spouse as well as any children. If a loved one passes away due to negligent, deliberate, or reckless actions of someone else. The suit is to protect the rights of the deceased’s parents if no spouse or children exist. If the deceased did not have any children, a spouse, or any parents at the time they passed away, then the legal claim is to help the heirs of the deceased.
How to Prove a Survival Action Claim
In order to succeed with a survival action claim in South Carolina, you must be able to show that your loved one suffered additional injuries and damages between the time of the accident or incident and their death. It is essential to hire a qualified Charleston lawyer to assist you with this. Your attorney will sit down with you to meet with all involved family members to learn about the circumstances of the loss.
If grounds for a lawsuit exist, it is then time to gather as much evidence as possible including witness statements, medical records, medical bills, or police or accident reports. Your South Carolina Survival Claim lawyer will also assist you to identify all potentially responsible parties and sources of compensation.
Calculating your damages will allow you to look at the various legal strategies associated with the facts and circumstances of your loved one’s passing, and to determine the next steps. From there, filing a lawsuit and communicating and negotiating with insurance parties falls to your experienced lawyer. In the event that your attorney is unsuccessful in recovering compensation through a settlement, the case moves forward to trial.
What Damages Can be Recovered in a Survival Action Claim?
Under a survival action claim, there are no damages recovered for issues after a person’s death, except for funeral costs. In survival actions, the deceased estate may recover expenses for medical costs, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Funeral expenses may also be recovered in a survival action unless they were previously included in a wrongful death action.
Wrongful death claim damages include mental anguish, loss of benefits, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages including future earnings, punitive damages, and loss of support or companionship.
Hire a Charleston Lawyer to Manage Your Survival Action Claim
An unexpected loss may shake up your family significantly, but there may be damages both due to the death of the loved one and the additional injuries incurred between the time of the accident and their death.
Communicating with an attorney who understands wrongful death and survival action claims is important to identify which one applies in your situation and whether both may be filed. Losing a loved one can cause financial and emotional devastation for your family. Set aside a time to meet with a qualified lawyer to help you through this process.
Reach out to our skilled lawyer in Charleston to determine if a lawsuit can be filed for damages incurred between the time of someone’s accident and their death. Schedule time to meet us at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney for more information about how this process works.