Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is a terrible situation. You may have no idea how to handle the situation, but you may feel the person should face some consequences. If there was an auto accident, the state of South Carolina may step in and pursue criminal charges. However, you may also be able to take advantage of the state’s wrongful death laws to file a lawsuit against the person and make a claim for damages in court. 

The South Carolina Legislature cautions, though, that you must meet certain criteria to be able to bring a wrongful death claim to court. You have the right to bring a claim first if you are the spouse or child of the person who died. If there is no spouse or children, then you can bring the case to court if you are his or her parent. Keep in mind that the spouse and children have the first right to make a claim. If there is a husband, wife or child, then the parents cannot make a claim without their support. A spouse and children may bring the suit together. 

In general, the court distributes damages based on the person’s estate. If the person is a minor and you are the parent, the court may deny damage payments to you if you do not show your provided support for him or her. 

It is important if you wish to take the time to bring a wrongful death lawsuit that you make sure you have a right to bring such a suit and collect damages. This information is for education and is not legal advice.