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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Wrongful Death Claims: What You Should Know

Wrongful Death Claims: What You Should Know


Negligence or a defective product causes most of the unintentional deaths in the United States. These incidents claim about a quarter million lives per year. Negligence, which is basically a lack of care, causes most of these incidents. Car crashes, falls, and assaults are the most common examples. Defective products, such as drugs with dangerous side-effects, also injure or kill many people.

The same basic legal procedure, which is outlined below, applies in all wrongful death claims. These claims are very complex, and insurance companies almost never voluntarily do the right thing. So, if a wrongful death has broken your circle of friends and family, a Columbia personal injury attorney must stand up for your legal and financial rights in court. Otherwise, survivors probably won’t get the compensation and justice they need and deserve.

Evaluating the Case

After a Columbia personal injury attorney takes a wrongful death case, evidence collection and damage assessment are usually the two first priorities.

Evidence in an accident claim, like the aforementioned car crashes, usually includes witness statements, the police accident report, and medical bills. Electronic evidence, such as a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder and footage from nearby surveillance cameras, effectively supplements this evidence.

Vehicle EDRs resemble commercial jet black box flight recorders. EDRs measure and record operational data, like steering angle and vehicle speed, that helps attorneys reconstruct car accidents. Video cameras are like eyewitnesses who are never wrong or biased. Even if the camera didn’t record the whole accident, the information it provides might still be vital.

Attorneys often rely on expert testimony in dangerous drug or other defective product matters. Sometimes, the expert establishes the standard of care and explains to jurors how the tortfeasor’s (negligent actor’s) conduct fell short of that care. Other times, the expert uses scientific studies linking a certain product, like talcum powder, with a certain side-effect, like ovarian cancer.

In terms of damages, wrongful death survivors in South Carolina are usually entitled to pecuniary losses, such as:

  • Funeral, burial, and other final expenses,
  • Lost future emotional support,
  • Decedent’s final medical bills,
  • Lost future financial support, and
  • Decedent’s pain and suffering.

Attorneys often work with psychologists, accountants, and other such professionals to determine a fair amount of compensation for things like pain and suffering and lost future financial support.

Filing a Legal Action

When the case goes to court, before meaningful settlement negotiations begin, a case usually goes through the pretrial motion phase and the discovery phase.

Pretrial motions usually claim the survivor doesn’t have enough evidence to make a case or a procedural hurdle, like the statute of limitations, bars the action. Much like high school students, if attorneys do their homework, they usually ace these tests.

Defendants often conceal “smoking gun” evidence until discovery, when they must turn it over. Therefore, if a case settles before discovery, the best evidence, and maximum compensation, may be unavailable.

Resolving a Claim

Once these pretrial processes conclude, judges usually appoint mediators to supervise settlement negotiations. Since mediators enforce a duty to negotiate in good faith, medication often succeeds even if informal talks stalled or broke down altogether.

Essentially, a good-faith negotiation duty means parties cannot go through the motions and then say “I’ll see you in court.” Instead, they must compromise to reach an agreement if at all possible. Good negotiation skills are very important in mediation. Attorneys must know when to give in and when to stand firm.

Connect with a Dedicated Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


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Wrongful Death

Experiencing the death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time. It can also be financially devastating. Let us help!

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Marc Brown is an experienced slip and fall attorney that serves the entire states of South Carolina and Georgia.

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If you need legal help with a dog bite injury, reach out to a South Carolina dog bite lawyer at the Marc Brown Law Firm.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win*

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award