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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Your Legal Questions Answered.

Answering Your Questions. Protecting Your Legal Rights.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you probably have many questions. Below are the answers to many questions faced by accident victims in South Carolina. If you do not see the answer to your question, just call our office or email Shelly directly - [email protected].

Research Your Case. Expand Your Knowledge.

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  • What is a pecuniary loss?

    As it relates to a wrongful death lawsuit, a pecuniary loss is defined as the financial loss you may experience as a family member of a person who has died due to someone else's negligence. This can include the loss of emotional support, loss of financial support, and travel, medical, and funeral expenses. In addition, it will also include interest from the time of the loved one's passing. When determing what the family members will recover, the jury will look at what income the person made before their death and calculate what the person would be making in the future. With all of these things into consideration, the amount of compensation that will be given to family members for pecuniary losses is determined.

  • What do I need to prove in order to file a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?

    In order to file a South Carolina wrongful death claim, you will need to prove several important points. A Georgetown wrongful death attorney can evaluate your case to determine if you have a valid claim worth pursuing.

    The first thing that must be proven is that someone has died. Then you must be able to prove their death was the result of someone else's negligence.

    Negligence is the key factor in a South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit. This means someone else must have acted in a manner that was negligent or reckless and as a result caused your loved one's death. 

    For instance, if you're loved one was involved in a fatal truck accident that was the result of the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel, it would be a case of negligence. Or if the driver of another vehicle ran a red light and struck your loved one, this is also a case of negligence.

    Next, you must be able to prove the deceased is survived by immediate family members such as a spouse, parents, siblings or children.
    The South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the surviving family members.

    The last thing you need to prove is that the immediate family members have suffered a monetary loss as a result of your loved one's death.
    This could include the expenses to bury your loved one, the loss of support in caring for surviving children and so on. 

    When your loved one has been tragically killed as a result of someone's negligence, a Georgetown wrongful death attorney can help you decide if you should file a South Carolina wrongful death claim and if so, how to proceed.

    Seeking the Help of a Georgetown Wrongful Death Attorney

    The South Carolina wrongful death attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a wrongful death. Our firm's focus on wrongful death cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina wrongful death claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your wrongful death claim, contact a Georgetown wrongful death attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • What is a "survival action" in the context of a South Carolina wrongful death claim?

    After a deadly South Carolina accident where you lost a family member, you may be considering filing a South Carolina wrongful death claim and have heard the term ‘survival action' regarding this process. The survival action is a specific part of a wrongful death claim that benefits the deceased's estate. The basic premise is that this claim covers the damages that would have been involved in a personal injury claim had the deceased lived. 

    Therefore, the types of compensation covered in a survival action
    include: 

    • bills for any medical treatment of the deceased prior to passing;
    • the pain and suffering the deceased sustained prior to death; and
    • any potential punitive damages if the defendant was particularly reckless or intentionally caused the fatal accident. 


    It's extremely important to note that only a duly appointed personal representative of the deceased's estate has the authority to file a survival action. What is a duly appointed personal representative? Typically this is the executor of the estate, though there are a few other roles that qualify as a personal representative for the purpose of a South Carolina wrongful death claim. If no personal representative was appointed in the will, or the deceased failed to leave a will, a representative can be appointed through the courts. 

    Working with a Charleston wrongful death attorney can help you understand all of your legal options during this difficult time. Your attorney can explain if you are eligible to file a survival action or how a personal representative can be appointed in order to do so.

    Seeking the Help of a Charleston Wrongful Death Attorney

    The South Carolina wrongful death attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a wrongful death.

    Before you file a South Carolina wrongful death claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Charleston personal injury attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • Who can receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit?

    In South Carolina the immediate family members are the beneficiaries. If there are no surviving family members, the heirs of the deceased are the beneficiaries. The executor or administrator of the estate will be the person who files for wrongful death on their behalf.


    For more information on wrongful death cases:
    Visit Our Wrongful Death Article Library
    Order One Of The Shelly Leeke Law Firm's FREE Reports!
    Contact The Shelly Leeke Law Firm Today For a FREE Consultation!

  • Does a person need to be found guilty on a criminal charge for me to file for wrongful death?

    No, a person does not need to be found guilty on a criminal charge for you to file and receive wrongful death compensation. Wrongful death is a civil action, which is a separate type of lawsuit. Criminal charges are not necessary for a civil lawsuit to be filed against the person responsible for the death of a loved one.


    For more information on wrongful death cases:
    Visit The Wrongful Death Article Library
    Order One of The Shelly Leeke Law Firm's Free Reports!
    Contact The Shelly Leeke Law Firm For a FREE Consultation!

  • How long after the death of a loved one, must a wrongful death claim be filed?

    In South Carolina, the family has three years from the death of the deceased to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This time is known as the Statute of Limitations.

  • What is a wrongful death?

    A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of the negligent act of another. When someone dies because of someone else’s fault, the family members of the person who was killed may be entitled to recover on behalf of their loved one for the claims their loved one or they personally may have for damages caused by the accident. A wrongful death case may be brought against an individual, a group of individuals, a business, an entity, or several different parties.

  • Who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in South Carolina?

    A wrongful death case may be brought by the spouse or child(ren) of the deceased victim or if there is no surviving spouse or child, then the parents or next of kin of the accident victim.

  • What recovery is available for the family of a loved one was killed in an accident?

    In a wrongful death action, the spouse, children or next of kin may bring an action to recover damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and/or loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and emotional distress on behalf of the person who was killed in an accident.

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