Who is eligible to file a wrongful death suit?

When someone is killed in a tragic accident caused by another person’s wrongful act or negligence, his death can have a significant emotional and financial impact on their surviving family members. A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members to pursue compensation for financial losses incurred as a result of their loved one’s untimely death, as well as for non-economicWho Can File a Wrongful Death Claim? damages such as loss of care, companionship, and protection.

However, in South Carolina, the only person eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit is the executor of the deceased’s estate. The executor—who may also be called a personal representative or estate administrator—must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind, and is often named in the deceased’s will or estate plan. The court may choose to appoint an executor in the event that there is no will or estate plan, the existing will or estate plan doesn’t name an executor, or the named executor is unable or unwilling to carry out his duties.

Statute of Limitation Laws in South Carolina

According to South Carolina’s statute of limitation laws, executors have three years from the date of the deceased’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Also, although the executor is the one who brings the wrongful death action, the lawsuit will pursue compensation on behalf of deceased’s surviving family members. In South Carolina, family members eligible to recover compensation in a wrongful death case include:

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse or children.
  • The deceased’s surviving parents, if the deceased had no surviving spouse or children.
  • The deceased’s heirs, if the deceased had no surviving spouse, children, or parents.

Knowledgeable Wrongful Death Attorneys

If your loved one died in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions or neglect, your family may be eligible for compensation for a wide range of damages, including funeral and burial or cremation expenses, lost wages and benefits, mental and emotional anguish, and more. Hite & Stone, Attorneys at Law, can help you explore your legal options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial analysis of your case.