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Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina: Legal Considerations

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Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina: Legal Considerations

Hugh McAngus, Attorney, Carolina Law Group, Greenville, SC

Hugh McAngus. | Attorney

A wrongful death claim is a legal action seeking compensation for the death of an individual due to another person’s or party’s negligence or intentional misconduct. Here at The Carolina Law Group, we handle wrongful death claims to help surviving family members get the justice and closure they need, as well as hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. Wrongful death claims can help surviving family members deal with financial burdens such as medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of future income, as well as compensate for the pain of losing a loved one.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident and are thinking about bringing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party, here are some legal aspects of wrongful death suits to consider.

Is the death a wrongful death?

Not all accident-related deaths are considered wrongful deaths under the law. The deceased’s death must have been caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another person or party, according to South Carolina Code 15-51-10. You must be able to clearly show that the death was the result of the plaintiff’s negligence or misconduct and that it was not simply a tragic accident.

Here’s one way to help determine whether a loved one’s death could be considered a wrongful death for legal purposes: had they survived, would they have had cause to bring a personal injury claim? If yes, you may have the basis for a wrongful death suit.

Who can bring a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?

Only the deceased’s personal representative (aka executor or administrator) may bring a wrongful death claim in South Carolina. They do this on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, parents, or other heirs of the deceased.  

How long do I have to bring a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in South Carolina is three years from the date of death, with rare exceptions.

What if the wrongdoer is deceased?

In South Carolina, a wrongful death claim can go ahead despite the death of the wrongdoer (the party purportedly responsible for the victim’s death). The claim would proceed against the wrongdoer’s personal representative.

How much does it cost to bring a wrongful death suit in South Carolina?

Typically, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis when handling wrongful death claims, which is what we do here at The Carolina Law Firm. This means that there’s no money to pay out of pocket, no retainer, and no hourly fees. Legal fees are paid only if the claim is successful, when the fees are paid as a percentage from the settlement or jury award.

Get Legal Help with a Wrongful Death Claim at The Carolina Law Group

For help or questions about a possible wrongful death claim, call us here at The Carolina Law Group. We’ve helped many South Carolina families get the justice, closure, and compensation they deserve after a tragic and senseless loss. Call us at one of the numbers below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Hugh received his BA magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina – Columbia in 2001 and his JD magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 2006. Hugh brings with him fifteen years of litigation experience in the Carolinas with a focus on ​trucking collisions, serious motor vehicle collisions, and complex litigation. His clients come to him after experiencing a traumatic and often life-changing event, which he’s able to help them through while pursuing a fair and just outcome in their case.

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