Falling Debris From a Construction Site

A pedestrian is walking on a public sidewalk next to a construction site. A heavy load is improperly secured to an overhead crane and falls on them, killing them instantly. So how might this be a wrongful death? The owner and manager of the construction site were legally obligated to ensure public safety. They could have filed for a permit with city officials to close that section of sidewalk. Also, the construction crew may have been negligent in loading the crane materials. 

Child Drowning Accident in a Private Pool

In most cases of premises liability in South Carolina, property owners don’t owe a duty of care to trespassers. They’re not liable for injuries if a trespasser gets hurt on their property. The major exception to that is the legal liability for drowning in a private pool

South Carolina observes an attractive nuisance doctrine: if there’s a potentially dangerous situation that’s especially attractive to children, owners may be held liable if a trespassing minor is injured or dies. So, owners of private pools are legally obligated to provide effective fencing and warning signs to prevent trespassing children from entering the water and possibly drowning. 

Fatal Dog Attack at a Friend’s House

You’re invited to a friend’s or colleague’s house for a casual dinner party. As everyone is socializing in the living room, a dog suddenly bolts into the room and attacks one of the guests. Dog bites can quickly prove fatal, especially if the injuries involve the face, neck, and areas with vital organs. 

South Carolina law imposes a strict liability statute on pet owners. Even if they had no idea their dog might injure another person or were otherwise behaving responsibly, they might still be liable for personal injury and wrongful death claims

Commercial or Residential Building Fire

Fires break out for any number of reasons. Building owners and management are legally obligated to ensure they’ve taken appropriate measures to protect residents and visitors from harm. Negligence leading to wrongful death in building fires includes: 

  • Locked or blocked emergency exit routes
  • Inadequate maintenance of fire prevention systems 
  • Electrical fires caused by improper repairs and upkeep
  • Absence of working smoke and fire alarms
  • Lack of fire extinguishers available 
  • Negligence in addressing identified fire hazards

What to Do If a Loved One Dies on Someone’s Property

When a beloved family member passes away, someone must step in to speak on their behalf. In South Carolina wrongful death cases, this is typically the personal representative named in their last will and testament. Often, this may be a surviving spouse or adult child. You don’t need to take on this big responsibility on your own. At Pracht Injury Lawyers, we’ll guide you through the difficult process of seeking justice for your departed loved one. 

Report the Incident to the Relevant Authorities

Call 911 to report the fatal accident as soon as possible. The dispatcher may send police officers to file an official report, along with emergency medical personnel or the fire department, as appropriate. Law enforcement officials can inform you about what to do next. Request a copy of any incident reports, including from the police, property manager, or other relevant authority. 

Document the Accident Scene

If you’re still at the scene, do what you can to document the circumstances that led to your loved one’s death. Photos and videos of the area, particularly the hazardous conditions that led to the accident, can be invaluable. Look for any surveillance footage available that can serve as evidence. 

Consult a Wrongful Death Lawyer With Premises Liability Experience

The legal complexities of a South Carolina wrongful death case call for the insight of skilled premises liability legal counsel. Pracht Injury Attorneys have worked with many clients who’ve suffered unimaginable losses. We operate from a place of empathy to guide you through legal options and fight for the justice your loved one deserves. 

Collect Witness Statements and Other Valuable Evidence

Our team works closely with you to gather vital evidence to support your claim. This may involve getting in touch with eyewitnesses who saw the accident, as well as experts who can speak to the relevance of the case. You may also request an autopsy or other medical records to establish the cause of death. 

File a Wrongful Death Claim

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina can be complicated and time-consuming. Our attorneys prepare and submit the appropriate legal documents and advocate for a fair settlement. If necessary, we’ll represent your interests in court proceedings and offer a compelling argument to the judge and jury.

Seek Ongoing Emotional Support and Counseling

The grieving process can be especially difficult when your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. Bereaved family members are encouraged to seek the support and counseling they need to cope with these overwhelming emotions. 

Possible Wrongful Death Damages You May Recover

In many cases, the victim may succumb to their injuries days or even weeks after the accident. When seeking legal restitution from liable parties, families often file wrongful death and survival action cases at the same time.  

Possible recoverable damages from these combined civil actions may include: 

  • Medical expenses incurred after the accident and before death
  • Lost wages, as well as lost future earnings and benefits
  • Property damage repair or replacement
  • Physical pain and suffering endured before death
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Punitive damages 

Retain a South Carolina Premises Liability Attorney Now

The typical statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case in South Carolina is three years. While this may sound like a long time, it’s imperative to seek the help of our skilled premises liability attorneys as soon after the tragic accident as possible. This provides the best chance at preserving vital evidence and offers the most lead time in developing the strongest argument possible for full compensation.

Notably, the time limit changes if a government body is named as a liable party in a wrongful death claim. The South Carolina Tort Claims Act states that plaintiffs only have two years to file a claim. Our attorneys will explain how this may apply to your case.
Christopher Pracht
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Christopher Pracht is an experienced attorney at Pracht Injury Lawyers.