Christian & Christian - Wrongful Death Brand

South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers

With offices in Greenville

Do you need legal help?

    South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers

    With offices in Greenville

    Do you need legal help?

      Client
      Reviews

      See what our past clients have to say about us.

      Everyone there was very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. My car was totaled, and I was a little intimidated talking with a couple of other lawyers in Greenville. But with Christian and Christian, not only did they answer my questions, but they did so in a way that made what could have been a hectic situation, easy. Overall, an excellent experience with high quality lawyers who truly go above and beyond and really try to get you the results or answers you need.

      —Rob Young

      I met Josh like 4 years ago when my Son was injured at Daycare. He was very concerned about the well being of my Child and Me. Very Understanding Professional and Just a great Staff. If You need a Lawyer that’s all about YOU this is the Place. I just closed a Case on 6/23/2021 from a injury on a Property. They handled everything because no one else would help Me. I’m forever grateful for Your hard Work and Time. Once again Thank You Josh and Sally.

      —Rezillai Henderson

      My husband was referred to this law firm from another lawyer after his mother passed away while residing in a nursing home. Matt took on his case and we are pleased with how everything turned out. It took a long, long time to finally settle, but it was worth the wait. The staff here is friendly and I’d be happy to recommend them to anyone needing legal assistance.

      — Jen

      I was referred to Harold by a family friend, and I couldn’t be happier. He took the time to listen to my case, answered all my questions and truly treated me like a friend not a client. His knowledge of medical malpractice is priceless he actually successfully won, one of the first medical malpractice cases in Greenville County.

      — Lindsey

      Only Serving People, Never Companies

      About Our Firm

      Founded in 1975, Christian & Christian has deep roots in the community. Our lawyers have worked hard to build a strong, caring legacy of legal advocacy and protection for injured people. We stand up to injustice and help injury victims in their fight against well-funded insurance companies.

      Learn more about our attorneys

      Only Serving People, Never Companies

      About Our Firm

      Founded in 1975, Christian & Christian has deep roots in the community. Our lawyers have worked hard to build a strong, caring legacy of legal advocacy and protection for injured people. We stand up to injustice and help injury victims in their fight against well-funded insurance companies.

      Learn more about our attorneys

      9 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Personal Injury Claim

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      South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers

      Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences people endure. But when that loss is caused by someone’s carelessness or negligence, it’s even harder because the loss could have been prevented. If you’ve lost someone to a wrongful death, you deserve to seek compensation for your pain.

      If you’re on this page, you’ve probably lost someone to negligence. You are probably devastated by grief. You may have had your financial security ripped out from beneath you. You are most likely seeking someone trustworthy who can give you answers about a wrongful death claim.

      Our firm is here to help. We offer free legal advice. Call our South Carolina wrongful death lawyers today.

      Please don’t put off seeking answers out of concern that you’ll need money up front. Reach out to us as soon as you can to set up a free legal consultation. There is no obligation, and we want to help.

      What Is Wrongful Death?

      The State of South Carolina defines wrongful death as one caused by the ‘wrongful act, neglect, or default’ of another person. The act or neglect in question must be something for which the victim could have filed a personal injury claim had they survived. In a way, a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim filed on behalf of the victim, who cannot file for their claim because they were killed.

      There are many situations which may qualify for a wrongful death claim. These include but are not limited to negligence resulting in accidents (such as motor vehicle accidents or workplace accidents), medical malpractice, defective devices, and even intentional acts, including crimes.

      How Is a Wrongful Death Case Different from a Criminal Homicide Case?

      Wrongful death claims fall into the civil law realm rather than the criminal realm. With civil claims, the liability of the defendant is expressed in financial terms, called “damages,” instead of jail time, prison, or probation. In a wrongful death claim, the defendant pays these damages to the decedent’s survivors.

      The Burden of Proof Is Different

      Wrongful death claims have a lower burden of proof than criminal homicide cases. Instead of proving the at-fault party is responsible beyond a reasonable doubt, as with a criminal case, a wrongful death case requires a “preponderance of evidence” that points to the guilt of the responsible party. It means showing that it is more likely than unlikely that the defendant caused the death.

      Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

      The executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate must file this claim. If no one has been elected as executor of the estate or there is no estate plan, the court may appoint someone to bring the claim.

      Who Can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?

      While the executor or estate administrator is the only person allowed to pursue a wrongful death claim in South Carolina, damages that are recovered go to the deceased person’s surviving family. These family members may include:

      • Surviving spouse and children
      • Surviving parents (in the absence of a spouse or child)
      • The heirs of the deceased person (in the absence of parents, spouse, or children)

      What Kinds of Damages Are Possible in a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

      Upon winning a wrongful death claim, the court orders the defendant to pay for the damages (the losses claimed on behalf of the plaintiff). These damages get paid to the survivors of the deceased person. The types of losses that can be covered include:

      • The expense of a funeral and burial
      • Medical expenses related to the deceased person’s illness or injury that resulted in their death
      • Lost financial benefits and support the person would have provided to the family
      • Loss of the deceased person’s knowledge, guidance, experience, and judgement
      • Loss of the deceased person’s companionship, protection, and care
      • The pain and suffering of the surviving family members

      In addition to these damages, there is the potential for punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages. These are not intended to compensate the family or the estate of the deceased person for losses due to the death. They are, instead, meant to punish those who have engaged in egregious wrongdoing, to make an example of them, and discourage anyone who may otherwise consider similar actions in the future.

      What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in South Carolina?

      In South Carolina, wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the person’s death. If this deadline is missed, the court will most likely refuse to hear the case.

      If you have any questions about a wrongful death claim you are considering, please reach out to the Law Offices of Christian & Christian to get your questions answered in a free legal consultation.

      How Can a Lawyer Make a Difference in My Wrongful Death Claim?

      All too often, people considering claims think the best way to save money is to skip the attorney. In most cases, however, those who take on their claims without the help of a lawyer receive far less in compensation than those with legal representation.

      There are two over-arching benefits of hiring a lawyer:

      • Being able to turn over the hassle, complexity, and stress of your claim to a legal professional who can bring you maximum compensation while you focus on recovery
      • Getting maximum possible compensation through all the ways a lawyer can protect the value of your claim

      There are several ways an experienced wrongful death lawyer can protect your claim’s value:

      • An experienced wrongful death lawyer knows how to investigate the death of your loved one to provide evidence of what happened that resulted in the death and identify all responsible parties. In doing this, they establish causation, which means connection between what happened, who caused it to happen, and the harm that resulted. Making these connections is necessary for success in a wrongful death claim.
      • The right attorney will know how to correctly arrive at a claim’s value. They accomplish this by factoring in damages and the facts from the investigation. This ensures enough is requested in compensation on behalf of the family.
      • A lawyer can avoid the pitfalls that damage many claims. An attorney will be ready for the tricks used by the insurance company to try and lower the amount that can be awarded. One of the ways a lawyer can do this is by taking on the communications with the insurance company on behalf of their clients, preventing costly miscommunications.
      • An attorney can provide guidance about settlement offers, so the plaintiff knows whether an offer is worth considering or if it should be passed up. Making this decision can be very stressful if you don’t have any idea what your claim is worth. It is additionally stressful if you are afraid you won’t get another offer if you turn the first offer down. Your attorney knows how this game is played and will help you navigate settlement offers. You get the benefit of professional guidance, while having the final say in whether to accept or reject an offer.
      • When you retain a wrongful death trial attorney, the insurance company will take you seriously, because they will know that failure to offer an adequate settlement will very likely get them sued. This saves you from being ignored and abused by the insurance company. They can’t outright deny a claim that has merit if you’ve got a good lawyer. The insurance company also won’t be able to easily drop the value of your claim because your lawyer will fight to protect that value.
      • If all else fails, you will have the ability to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, this is the only recourse left when an insurance company refuses to work out a settlement in good faith. If this happens and you’ve got a skilled trial attorney, they will fight to get you what you deserve.

      Related Videos

      Ways You Help to Protect the Value of Your Wrongful Death Claim

      We’ve listed the many ways hiring a wrongful death lawyer can help you protect the value of your claim. Let’s look at some ways you can help protect your claim.

      Don’t Speak to the Insurance Company

      We’ve briefly mentioned the benefits of letting your South Carolina wrongful death lawyer step in and communicate with the insurance company for you. This is extremely important in protecting the value of your claim because the insurance company is calling you in a targeted effort to find ways to lower how much they must pay.

      During these calls, the adjuster will ask you the same questions in numerous ways, trying to get you to vary your responses. This is manipulative and sometimes causes enough confusion to be successful. If you think you’ve answered a question already, you may believe they are looking for some other information. The trouble is, what they are hoping for are discrepancies in your answers, to make it appear as though you are either lying or confused.

      There is no benefit to you to taking these calls yourself. You are allowed to wait until you have the guidance of your attorney before communicating with the insurance company, so don’t let them twist your words against you. Let your lawyer handle all insurance company communications about your claim.

      Don’t Wait Too Long to Retain a Lawyer

      After the loss of a loved one, it’s understandable that finding a lawyer may not be at the top of your “To Do” list. Those struggling with grief are often just putting one foot in front of the other immediately after their loss. This is a time when you may benefit from asking for the help of a close friend or loved one to look into finding an attorney for you.

      Succeeding with a wrongful death claim will involve more than just making the filing deadline. You’ll need to prove with a preponderance of evidence that the defendant is to blame. You’ll also need to show how the death resulted in damages to the deceased person’s survivors. The sooner your attorney can get started with an investigation into the death to find supporting evidence for your claim, the stronger your claim will be.

      Your attorney will need as much time as possible to gather evidence and witness statements. The sooner witnesses can be interviewed, the easier those witnesses will be to find and the stronger their memories will be. Build your strongest claim by getting started as soon as you can. Your close friends or family members will probably be more than happy to help you locate an attorney to help you with a wrongful death claim.

      Make Sure You Hire the Right Lawyer for Your Wrongful Death Claim

      When you do look for an attorney, look for a personal injury trial attorney with experience winning wrongful death claims. This is very important because not all attorneys are equally experienced in handling this type of claim.

      Just as you would select the right surgeon for the type of operation you need, make sure you retain the attorney who can bring you the best results in your wrongful death claim. They should spend much of their focus in personal injury claims, have a record of success in wrongful death cases, and be a trial attorney.

      Though many claims are settled through negotiation, some must go to trial to bring the plaintiff just compensation. If you hire an attorney who doesn’t have the skill or desire to take your claim to trial, you may end up with far less than you deserve.

      Some attorneys are showy and claim all kinds of results, yet they work for what is commonly referred to as “settlement mills.” These are firms who crank out as many cases as possible every year. To move quickly, they steer their clients toward lower settlements instead of trials if the insurance company refuses to pay them what they request. Make sure you receive the compensation you are owed by hiring an attorney who can take your claim to court if necessary.

      Related Blogs

      South Carolina Wrongful Death Client Story

      We are sharing the client story below to help you get a better idea of what to expect in a wrongful death claim. The names and details have been edited to protect the privacy of our clients, but we urge you to read it through just the same to gain helpful information.

      On a Friday evening in Greenville not very long ago, Ellen Dixon dropped off her eight-year-old daughter Chloe at her parents’ house for the evening and headed south to meet her husband Greg for their 10th anniversary dinner at Chophouse 47. They were both worn out from a long work week and looking forward to a night out. It was hard to believe, but they hadn’t had a fancy sit-down dinner date in years.

      Ellen was driving down Old Boiling Springs Road when a drunk driver speeding in the wrong direction without its headlights on struck her head on. Emergency Medical Services were unable to save Ellen and she died at the scene of the accident.

      Three weeks later, Greg Dixon and his father-in-law Jack went to the Law Offices of Christian & Christian to ask questions about a wrongful death claim.

      How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a wrongful death claim?

      Greg and Jack sat down opposite wrongful death lawyer Matthew Christian, filled with grief and confusion. Greg shifted in his seat and opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. His eyes were red, and it was clear he was exhausted. Jack put a supportive hand on Greg’s shoulder and spoke up.

      “How much would it cost for Greg to pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver who killed my daughter?” Jack asked.

      Greg nodded, confirming that was what he’d wanted to say as he wiped angry tears on his sleeve.

      “Our firm works on a contingency-fee model, which means we cover the costs of your case from start to finish. This removes the obstacle of our clients needing money up front. In the end, we only get paid when we successfully resolve your claim,” Attorney Christian said.

      “And you can tell us whether you believe we’ve got a claim worth pursuing?” Greg managed.

      “Yes, we’ll let you know if we don’t believe pursuing a claim is in your best interest. Our contingency model works well for everyone, as it is only in both of our best interests to open claims we believe are likely to succeed,” said Christian.

      “We start with a thorough accident investigation,” Attorney Christian continued, “but from what I already know about this accident from the news, it sounds as if the driver was under the influence, in addition to breaking more than one traffic law. If these things are true, yes, you’ve got something here to pursue. But again, we’ll be thorough at every stage of the investigation.”

      What if the responsible party is facing criminal charges?

      Jack nodded. “Yes, the driver has been arrested and is facing several criminal charges. Am I correct that we can proceed with a civil claim anyway?”

      “Yes, you can. In fact, the criminal charges support the probability of wrongdoing that caused the accident,” said Christian. “But whatever the actual outcome of the criminal case, you can pursue civil charges in your claim. This is what Ron Goldman’s parents did, even after O. J. Simpson was acquitted of double murder.

      “One of the things that sets criminal and civil cases apart is that the burden of proof is lower in a civil case. This makes it easier to pursue compensation for damages through a wrongful death claim.”

      What can I expect to happen in a wrongful death claim?

      “How does this work?” Greg asked.

      “We’d begin with the accident investigation to firmly identify all at-fault parties,” said Christian. “In the case of your wife’s claim, there may be a social host or restaurant establishment who should not have served alcohol to the driver who caused the accident. If we establish this, that party will be liable to pay damages as well, under dram shop laws.

      As to the damages we can pursue, there are the economic damages involved in the cost of any treatment, funeral, or burial for the person who has died. There is also the lost income factor, including future lost retirement contributions, things of that nature.

      “Then, there are the non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship and your daughter’s loss of her mother’s love and guidance. These losses may be less concrete to quantify, but are no less devastating, and there are many non-economic losses to be considered in a wrongful death claim. Our firm takes great care in the determination of damages for each claim to ensure our clients receive maximum compensation for their losses.

      “In addition, the state of South Carolina allows for punitive damages for egregious acts of negligence. Your claim may well qualify for this type of damages as well, which are intended to punish the defendant and make an example of them. Punitive awards are determined by the court.”

      Jack and Greg wrapped up their meeting and rose to leave, promising to call Attorney Christian with Greg’s decision about pursuing a claim. Halfway to the door, Greg turned and pulled a small photo from his wallet, placing it on Attorney Christian’s desk.

      A photograph of Ellen holding Chloe in her lap with Greg by their side and smiles all around looked up at him. Greg said quietly, “It’s the photo we had taken for our ten-year anniversary. I just wanted to put a face…” Unable to finish, he nodded curtly, and Jack led him out.

      Greg and Jack were satisfied with the information they received in their free legal consultation. Greg retained Christian & Christian Law, and Attorney Matthew Christian won the wrongful death claim in court. Greg was stunned by the amount the jury awarded his case.

      Call Our South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

      We hope sharing this story has given you additional insight into wrongful death claims. No two claims are exactly alike, so please reach out to our South Carolina wrongful death lawyers to schedule your free legal consultation. We are here to fight for your rights.

      Client Reviews

      Everyone there was very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. My car was totaled, and I was a little intimidated talking with a couple of other lawyers in Greenville. But with Christian and Christian, not only did they answer my questions, but they did so in a way that made what could have been a hectic situation, easy. Overall, an excellent experience with high quality lawyers who truly go above and beyond and really try to get you the results or answers you need.

      Rob Young

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