You may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a loved one in South Carolina but have no idea about how to do so. At this point, you can meet with a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer. If you prepare a list of questions in advance, you can get the insights you need to decide whether to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.
At The Shelly Leeke Law Firm, we encourage you to consult with a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina from our team. We offer plenty of resources to individuals interested in filing wrongful death lawsuits. We offer a list of five questions to ask a wrongful death lawyer below, along with reasons why you should ask these questions.
1. Can You Tell Me About Your Experience in Wrongful Death Cases in South Carolina?
Find out how an attorney has handled wrongful death cases in the past. The best attorney can share information about prior case results. In addition, the lawyer can describe their approach to wrongful death cases.
Get details about how a wrongful death attorney will approach your case. You can provide the attorney with information about your claim and why you want to file a lawsuit. Next, listen to what the attorney has to say and if this legal professional has what it takes to represent your best interests.
Take a look at an attorney’s verdicts and settlements in wrongful death cases as well. Ideally, your attorney will have a track record of substantial wins in these cases. If a lawyer has shown time and time again that they can secure large settlements for their clients, this attorney is likely to be able to help you get fair compensation from any at-fault parties.
2. Do You Believe that I Have a Strong Case?
No two wrongful death cases are exactly the same, and each lawsuit should be treated as its own entity. A South Carolina wrongful death attorney should give your case the attention it deserves, which enables them to determine if you have a compelling argument. Your potential attorney can review your case and determine if you are in a strong position to request damages.
A qualified wrongful death attorney in South Carolina is honest and upfront with their clients. They understand South Carolina’s laws in wrongful death cases. If the lawyer believes you do not have a case for damages, they should let you know and explain why.
Meanwhile, if the attorney finds you have a strong case, they will do everything possible to help you secure economic and non-economic damages. The attorney will file your lawsuit, gather evidence, and look for witnesses that can testify during your trial. The lawyer will also make sure you receive ample support as your litigation moves forward.
3. How Much Money Do You Think I Can Get in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You can request both economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Economic damages can be awarded for lost wages and other quantifiable losses. Non-economic damages can be given for pain, suffering, and other subjective losses.
Your attorney can help you calculate damages to request in your wrongful death lawsuit. The amount of damages you request should account for the immediate and long-term impact of the loss of your loved one. It may total tens of thousands of dollars or more.
In South Carolina, there are no caps on economic damages you can request. The only cap in place on non-economic damages applies to medical malpractice cases. With these cases, there is a cap of $350,000 of non-economic damages that can be awarded.
4. What Needs to Be Done to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Your attorney files your wrongful death lawsuit in alignment with South Carolina’s statute of limitations. There is a three-year window for you to sue any at-fault parties for wrongful death. If you do not file a lawsuit within this period, you cannot do so at a later time.
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to identify any at-fault parties and how much you want to ask for in compensation from them. Then, your attorney will help you complete any paperwork for filing your lawsuit. Your lawyer will make sure your lawsuit is submitted within South Carolina’s statute of limitations.
After your wrongful death lawsuit is filed, you and your attorney can open negotiations with the defendant. You may be able to reach a settlement prior to your wrongful death case going to trial. If no settlement is reached prior to your trial date, you and the defendant appear before a judge or jury to decide your case.
5. How Much Does It Cost to Hire You?
The amount you need to pay an attorney to represent you in a South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit varies. Some attorneys require their clients to pay a retainer, followed by an hourly rate for any legal services they provide. There are also lawyers who work on contingency and bill clients only if their cases are successful.
A reputable lawyer will provide you with information about their pay structure before they agree to take on your wrongful death case. If a lawyer requires a retainer and hourly rate, the attorney will explain these costs to you and answer any questions you have about them. If a lawyer operates on a contingency basis, the attorney will explain what percentage of your settlement they will get if you win or resolve your case.
Do not hesitate to ask an attorney questions about their costs and what you will need to pay to hire them. Transparency is key since it may cost thousands of dollars to move through your litigation. If you choose to hire an attorney, select one that offers a cost structure that corresponds with your budget.
Where Can I Find an Attorney to Represent Me During My Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm offers legal representation in wrongful death lawsuits. To learn more or request a free consultation, please contact us today.