What Should You Do if Your Loved One Was Involved in a Fatal Accident on I-95 Today in South Carolina?
Statistics show that more than 540 people died in motor vehicle accidents across the state of South Carolina in 2020. This number continues to increase each year, despite the laws that we have in place to protect drivers and passengers who utilize our roads. Regrettably, there are thousands of accidents reported on Interstate 95 that contribute to many fatalities across our state.
The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one due to a traffic accident on Interstate 95 is devastating, to say the least. We know if this has happened to your family recently, you are probably feeling overwhelming emotions including sadness, anger, frustration, grief and confusion. While you may not be sure where to turn, know that you have rights. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party, particularly when negligence was involved. This will both hold the liable person accountable and help your family get the financial support needed to begin to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Reporting Fatal Accidents on Interstate 95
According to the Official Code of South Carolina Annotated (OCSA) § 56-5-1260, a fatal accident must be reported to area police or the South Carolina Highway Patrol immediately after the crash occurs. The police or highway patrol in South Carolina will respond to the scene and assist with clearing the roadway. They will interview any involved people and anyone who witnessed the accident. They will use available evidence at the scene to create a report outlining what occurred. The South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper or local law enforcement officer will then submit the crash report to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 24 hours.
Determining Liability in Fatal Car Crashes
If your loved one was fatally injured in an accident on Interstate 95 today in South Carolina, you may be able to take legal action. It is important to prove liability in the accident. This is done by providing adequate evidence that shows that the defendant owed the duty of care to your deceased loved one, the defendant breached their duty, the breach of the duty caused the crash, and the crash claimed your loved one’s life and caused damages for your family. In most instances, some form of negligence can be attributed to fatal accidents on Interstate 95 in our state.
South Carolina Negligence Laws
The state of South Carolina is one of many that follow the modified comparative negligence doctrine with regard to motor vehicle accidents. This law, which is listed under section 15-38-15 of the Code of Laws, states that a claimant is able to recover compensation for their losses and damages so long as they are less than 51% responsible for the accident. When it comes to filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the loved one who died in an accident, you will be required to show that they were less than 51% responsible for the crash taking place.
An attorney on your side will be able to investigate the accident and work with experts who can re-create the scene to uncover various details. Your attorney will be invaluable when it comes to proving your case against the defendant and demonstrating that your loved one share no or the minority of fault for the accident.
Identify the Negligent Action that Caused Your Loved One’s Death
There are several negligent actions that we see leading to crashes on this busy roadway here in South Carolina. Leading factors include:
- Lack of road maintenance
- Failure to yield
- Switching lanes without checking for nearby vehicles
After a fatal accident takes the life of your lived one, law enforcement will create a police report. Once that is available, get a copy and then contact a South Carolina wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Protect Your Legal Rights by Pursuing a Wrongful Death Case
When people lose their lives in fatal car accidents, surviving family members are often afforded the opportunity to pursue legal action. In South Carolina, entitled parties should file wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible driver. In South Carolina, a wrongful death lawsuit is designed to provide entitled parties with the ability to recover financial compensation for losses that they face. This can include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle repair expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services
- Any resulting medical costs
Seeking timely legal services from a knowledgeable South Carolina wrongful death lawyer will ensure your family can get justice.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?
In most states, the beneficiaries and surviving family of the deceased individual can file a wrongful death claim. However, in South Carolina, the process is different as the state mandates that the executor of the deceased’s estate must initiate the wrongful death lawsuit. Executors are usually designated in wills, but in cases where there is no will, the courts appoint an executor on behalf of the deceased.
Despite the executor being responsible for filing the wrongful death claim, any settlement resulting from the lawsuit is meant for the family members left behind by the deceased party. The distribution of the compensation recovered depends on the number of family members the deceased had. Those eligible to recover damages for a wrongful death claim include:
- The children of the decedent
- The spouse of the deceased person
- The parents of the deceased party in cases where there is no spouse or children
- any heirs of the deceased if none of the aforementioned people are identified
Don’t wait to contact an attorney, because a wrongful death claim must be initiated against the responsible driver within three years of the date that your loved one passed away. Evidence fades over time, so the sooner your lawyer begins an investigation, the better.
Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Interstate 95 Wrongful Death Case
There are several factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right attorney after losing a loved one in a fatal car accident on Interstate 95 in South Carolina. First, it is important that you look for an attorney that specializes in handling complex wrongful death claims. Finding an attorney that has experience handling cases similar to yours will help to ensure that they understand the complex laws, rules, and regulations that are in place surrounding these accidents. It will also help to ensure that they know how to navigate the legal system to ensure they are able to protect your rights.
Researching an attorney can help to provide you with peace of mind in knowing that you have selected the right person. Doing research on a potential attorney can involve checking out their track record of success, reading online reviews, or even asking for recommendations from friends or family members who have dealt with similar situations. A strong reputation can indicate a lawyer’s professionalism and their ability to represent your case effectively.
Select an attorney that places a key emphasis on communication. It is important that you have an attorney that will keep you informed at every step of the legal process. They should be available to answer your questions in a timely manner and provide you with regular updates surrounding your case. Clear communication between you and your attorney will ensure that you understand what is happening with your claim at every step. It also provides you with the ability to make informed decisions for your case.
Finding an attorney that you feel comfortable working with personally can help ease some of the stress that you feel throughout the legal process. You should find an attorney that listens attentively and shows empathy for your situation. Your attorney should be respectful to you throughout the legal process.
Affordability can be another factor when it comes to selecting a wrongful death lawyer to represent you after losing a loved one in a fatal crash on Interstate 95 today in South Carolina. Thankfully, many wrongful death claims are handled on a contingency fee basis. Handling legal claims in this manner ensures that families of those who have lost their lives in fatal accidents on Interstate 95 are able to protect their legal rights without having to worry about spending tens of thousands of dollars for legal representation upfront.
If you need assistance in finding an attorney that will represent your wrongful death claim, feel free to reach out to our team today.
Get Justice For Your Loved One
Losing a loved one as a result of an accident on Interstate 95 is devastating beyond words, and seeking financial compensation can help lessen the burden of all associated costs that you face, as well as provide some level of justice in such difficult times.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal accident on Interstate 95 today in South Carolina, it is important that you reach out to our team at i95accidentalerts.com today. We have extensive resources to help guide you during this very difficult time. We understand what you are going through, and we will do everything in our power to ensure you are able to protect your rights. Our team can help you get in touch with a skilled legal team that can help you with a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Do not delay to take legal action. Contact us today to get started.