The so-called justice system is very difficult for many and leaves people wondering what rights they really have after they experience a tragedy. The loss of a loved one in a car crash caused by someone else’s bad driving decisions, like drunk driving or texting at the wheel, can feel incredibly unjust, especially if the state doesn’t bring charges against the other person or they face charges but avoid jail time.
If you feel like the justice system abandoned you and your loved one in favor of protecting the person who caused the crash, don’t let despair control how you react to the situation. Regardless of the status of criminal charges against the driver who caused the crash, your family may have the right to hold them accountable in civil court.
Sometimes justice looks like pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit
When someone hasn’t faced criminal penalties for causing a crash or when the consequences set by the state fall woefully short of remedying the harm done to your family, a civil lawsuit may be an option for your family.
Under South Carolina law, surviving family members like children and spouses can bring a wrongful death claim seeking compensation in situations where one person’s intentional actions, negligence or recklessness directly contributes to another person’s death. A victory in civil court will result in the person being found officially responsible for your loss and possibly ordered to compensate your family.
Even in scenarios where there isn’t enough evidence to secure a criminal conviction, it may be possible to bring a successful wrongful death claim, as the standard for evidence is lower in civil court.
Wrongful death claims give families closure
When someone drastically hurt you by causing the death of someone you love, it’s natural to want to hold that person accountable. While a civil suit won’t result in criminal penalties, it can carry significant financial consequences that can be a long-term reminder for the responsible party about the impact their decisions have had on your life.
Wrongful death claims can also help your family by giving you access to financial compensation. Any compensation you secure in a wrongful death lawsuit can help you offset the long-term financial impacts of a loss, like lost wages, medical costs and burial expenses for your loved one.