South Carolina Code § 15-51-10 – Wrongful Death

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When a personal injury results in death, the party that caused the death may be held liable. A personal injury claim based on a fatality is called a wrongful death claim. Our lawyers explain the South Carolina wrongful death statute and the rights of families when they lose a loved one after an accident.

What is the South Carolina wrongful death law?

South Carolina Code § 15-51-10 is the wrongful death law. It states that when a death occurs because of:

  • A wrongful act
  • Neglect

of a person or party, the responsible party is liable in an action for damages. The standard is whether the victim could have brought a claim under South Carolina personal injury law if death had not ensued. 

What is wrongful death in South Carolina?

Wrongful death in South Carolina is a type of personal injury claim. It occurs when a personal injury results in a fatality. A wrongful death claim is like other personal injury claims – the party legally responsible for the death must pay damages. However, there are some key differences:

  • Beneficiaries of the action are the surviving spouse, children, or parents
  • The executor or administrator of the deceased brings the claim
  • Damages are based on losses resulting from the death for the beneficiaries
  • The settlement must be approved by a probate court, circuit court, or United States District Court

A wrongful death case is like other personal injury claims in that the plaintiff must prove the wrongdoing of the defendant and the right to compensation. Unlike other claims, there are costs and losses when a death occurs that do not exist in other claims. For example, funeral and burial costs may be claimed. Surviving family members experience a loss of companionship, love, and guidance, as well as lost financial support and personal contributions to the household. 

Bringing a successful claim under South Carolina Code § 15-51-10 requires identifying these losses and claiming them in the case. When you work with our lawyers, we ensure no damages are missed, seeking maximum compensation for surviving family members.

What are the various laws relating to wrongful death in South Carolina?

  • § 15-51-10 – Creates the legal cause of action for wrongful death; states the circumstances where survivors can bring a claim for wrongful death
  • § 15-51-20 – Outlines the beneficiaries of the claim; states that the executor or administrator of the deceased bring the claim on behalf of victims
  • § 15-51-30 – Clarifies that illegitimacy of a child does not impact their right to bring a wrongful death claim
  • § 15-51-40 – Authorizes the jury to award damages resulting from the injury and death; approves of exemplary damages in qualifying cases; limits damages for a surviving parent that did not provide support to the decedent during minority
  • § 15-51-41 – Requires court approval for any wrongful death settlement
  • § 15-51-42 – States the personal representative’s authority to settle a wrongful death action; lists the process for having a settlement approved
  • § 15-51-50 – Creates liability for costs to the executor in the event of a verdict for the defendant, nonsuit or discontinuance, to be paid out of the state
  • § 15-51-60 – Prohibits a wrongful death claim where the victim already brought a personal injury claim and received a final judgment before death

Claiming wrongful death compensation under § 15-51-10

To receive compensation through wrongful death law in South Carolina, families of the victim must follow the procedures and requirements outlined in § 15-51-10. At Bobby Jones Law, we have experience helping victims and their families. We can bring your case, complying with the technical requirements, to ensure that you properly assert your claim.

Lawyers for § 15-51-10 compensation

If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, contact Bobby Jones Law for a consultation regarding your claim. You may deserve financial compensation under South Carolina law, but you must take the proper steps to receive it. 

Because of the severity of the loss and the impact on the family, damages in a wrongful death are usually high. Please work with the law firm that has recovered more than $40 million for their clients. Robert “Bobby” Jones works tirelessly to be a trusted advocate for the Greenville community and throughout South Carolina. Contact us at (864) 432-1669 for your case review.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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