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What Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina?

At the Law Office of Tyler Rody, lead attorney Tyler Rody is dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to families seeking justice for the wrongful death of their loved ones.

May 9, 2024

Losing a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another can make an already sad situation even more heartbreaking. In these cases, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to seek justice and compensation for their loss. Understanding the types of damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina is crucial for those navigating the legal process. 

Under South Carolina law, damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit aim to provide financial compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased. These damages can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the impact of the loss on the surviving individuals.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible losses that can be measured in monetary terms. This category of damages typically includes:

  • Medical Expenses: Any medical bills incurred as a result of the injury or illness leading to the wrongful death may be compensated.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: The costs associated with arranging a funeral and burial for the deceased are often included in the damages awarded.
  • Loss of Income: If the deceased was a primary breadwinner, the family may be entitled to compensation for the income they would have earned over their expected lifetime.
  • Loss of Benefits: Surviving family members may also be eligible for compensation for the loss of benefits such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and pension plans.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective and aim to compensate for intangible losses that are not easily measured. These may include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain endured by the deceased prior to their death.
  • Loss of Companionship: The emotional support, guidance, and companionship provided by the deceased to their family members.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the loss of the marital relationship, including companionship, affection, and intimacy.
  • Emotional Distress: The psychological impact of losing a loved one, including depression, anxiety, and grief.

Punitive Damages

In some cases involving particularly poor conduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant. However, punitive damages are relatively rare and typically reserved for cases involving recklessness, intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

It's important to note that the distribution of wrongful death damages in South Carolina is governed by state law. Typically, damages are distributed among the surviving family members in accordance with South Carolina intestacy statutes. The spouse and children have the first right of recovery, and if there are no surviving spouses or children, then the parents would recover, and if there are no surviving parents, it continues down the line of other heirs.

Contact The Law Office of Tyler Rody Today 

Navigating a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and emotionally challenging. At the Law Office of Tyler Rody, lead attorney Tyler Rody is dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to families seeking justice for the wrongful death of their loved ones. If you have lost a family member due to someone else's negligence, he is here to help you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact Tyler Rody today for a free consultation.

Tyler Rody

Tyler Rody


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