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Wrongful Death

The Columbia Wrongful Death Lawyers of Hart Law Will Fight for Justice for Your Loved One

While no legal remedy can bring back a loved one, when a death is caused by the negligent, purposeful, or reckless actions of others, the Columbia wrongful death lawyers at Hart Law can help you secure compensation from those responsible.

If you’ve lost a loved one, call us for a free consultation at 803-771-7701

No one can prepare for the tragedy of losing a loved one unexpectedly. An event like this can affect all aspects of your life. In addition to the emotional pain, the financial burden can be overwhelming. 
A wrongful death case often causes families to suffer a great deal of financial loss, both immediately and in the long-term. Losses resulting from the death of a loved one may include medical care, burial costs, and loss of future income. The pain and suffering the surviving family members endure is immeasurable.

What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Columbia, South Carolina?

Regardless of the specifics of each case, there are generally at least three elements that are common to all:

  • Negligence or other misconduct. Someone else’s negligence or other wrongful act must have caused the death. For example, a company that sells a defective product; a driver who operates his vehicle recklessly; or a doctor who treats a patient negligently.
  • The person’s actions must be strongly related to the victim’s death.
  • As a result of the negligence, some type of damage must have occurred. This can include medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of income and future earnings, and loss of love, companionship, and society.

If you think you might have a case, don’t delay in seeking legal help.

Wrongful Death Based on Negligence

Negligence is the failure to exercise ordinary or reasonable care. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act with reasonable care or does something that a reasonably prudent person would not do under similar circumstances. Our wrongful death attorneys will fight tirelessly to bring justice to your family if someone or a company failed to act with reasonable care, leading to the death of a loved one. 

Even though the word “accident” is commonly used to describe fatal incidents, when a death was caused by negligence and the fatal outcome could have been avoided if only the wrongdoer had acted in a reasonably prudent manner – it is not an accident and demands retribution.

Wrongful Death Based on Intentional Misconduct

In some wrongful death cases, actual intentional violence is the underlying misconduct. Often, such cases involve separate criminal prosecutions for murder or involuntary manslaughter, which are handled by the relevant authorities. However, a wrongful death lawyer may be able to use the criminal action in your civil case to maximize your chances of recovery.

Wrongful Death Based on Strict Liability

Typical examples of strict liability cases involve fatalities caused by products with defects. Consumers have certain rights when purchasing products. Among the most basic rights is the right for the product to work as advertised and be safe to use as intended. If a death occurred as a result of a defective product, your wrongful death attorney would pursue a strict liability action.

Types of Compensation Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You Obtain

In the wake of a tragic death, the thought of pursuing monetary compensation may be furthest from your mind. However, it is important to consider the financial impact of your loss, and what it will mean for the future of your family.

The most common form of compensation is economic damages to cover direct costs such as hospital and medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages. When determining financial damages, several factors are considered, including:

  • If a family has lost its sole source of income, the court may award a greater amount than to a single person without dependents
  • Loss of future earnings that their loved one would have contributed 
  • Non-economic damages including loss of companionship or loss of parental guidance. 

You can bring a wrongful death claim against an individual, company, organization, or even a government agency.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Columbia, SC?

A number of other factors are involved in determining who can file a wrongful death claim. Typically a wrongful death claim can be filed by:

  • A surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving children
  • Anyone entitled to the property by intestate succession
  • Putative spouse
  • Children of a putative spouse
  • Stepchildren or minor children
  • Parents

Regardless of the circumstances, it is crucial to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney. They can help you determine if you have grounds to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages that survivors may be awarded include the amount of financial support the deceased person would have provided, loss of care and companionship, the cost of pre-death medical treatment, and funeral expenses.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Lawyer

A qualified wrongful death attorney has a team of experts to help build a strong case. The attorney will hire consultants to conduct an independent investigation into the accident to determine the exact details and collect any necessary evidence for the victim’s family.

The attorney will evaluate all the evidence from the police and the private investigation to begin to build a wrongful death case. It is the job of the attorney to show the court exactly who the victim was and the extent of the damage this loss caused for those whose lives were intertwined with the victim. 

Through videos, statements, pictures, and other pieces of evidence, a good attorney can show how much value the victim had in the lives of the family members left behind after a tragic loss. 

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Losing a loved one is devastating. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of pursuing the compensation you deserve on top of that. Our wrongful death attorneys will help you with the following:

Filing the Lawsuit

The first step is to file the lawsuit and get a trial date set in the court system. Many requirements must be met in the filing process, and a top-notch wrongful death attorney understands how to be persuasive enough to present your case, even against a strong defense. 

Evidence Gathering

Through investigations, depositions, information requests, police reports, and other forms, your attorney will use this evidence to prepare a complete case on your behalf.

Defending your Claim

It is the job of the defense to try to counter any evidence you might present, and to provide evidence on their behalf. A qualified attorney will be able to challenge the defense and protect your rights to fair compensation. 

Negotiate your Settlement

Your attorney will negotiate the best possible settlement on your behalf. Many wrongful death cases are settled out of court, and a professional attorney will make sure the settlement offer you receive is fair and equitable.

Litigation

If your lawsuit needs to go to trial, your attorney will be there representing your interests every step of the way. A reasonable attorney will present your case thoroughly and aggressively to ensure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve. 

Our Wrongful Death Lawyers at Hart Law Are Here for You

Few things are more painful than the unexpected death of a loved one, especially when negligence or wrongdoing is involved. This can leave surviving family members with many unanswered questions, including how to take legal action to help cover medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and other losses.

Although nothing can bring back your loved one, the people who hurt you and your family should be held accountable. When a loved one suddenly and wrongfully dies due to negligent or reckless action or inaction, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer at Hart Law at (803) 771-7701.