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A loved one’s passing is always difficult. It’s even harder to accept when they die prematurely. You might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a doctor if their negligent actions resulted in you losing a child, spouse or parent. The type and amount of monetary damages you may be eligible to receive may vary depending on your case’s circumstances.

What are “damages”?

The word “damages” is a legal term of art that refers to a monetary award that the court may order a negligent party to pay their victim for their injuries, diminished reputation or another type of harm. The goal of awarding damages is to help restore a person, or someone acting on their behalf, to their pre-incident status. 

A loved one may be able to sue a physician for negligence if they fail to diagnose a patient’s condition properly, make a surgical error, prescribe the wrong medication or wrong dosage of it and in various other instances. 

What types of damages exist, and what do they cover?

There are many different types of damages or economic penalties that a judge or jury can impose upon a person they find guilty of negligence. Some of the more common damages that victims’ relatives sue for following their loved ones’ premature death include compensatory or punitive damages. They often impose the latter in cases where they deem a defendant’s actions to have been either immoral or intentional.

Some of the most common compensatory damages that plaintiffs request are those associated with medical bills. There’s also the prospect of you demanding punitive damages, including those associated with pain and suffering, a loss of consortium or personal enjoyment and mental anguish. Special damages include a loss of income. 

The goal of ordering a negligent defendant to pay damages is to discourage them from committing future similar acts. 

What to do when a loved one dies due to another’s negligence

Many of us count on our loved ones for their emotional and financial support. While nothing will bring back your loved one who prematurely died, recovering damages can help you minimize the economic impact of your relative’s loss. Let a medical malpractice attorney advise you how South Carolina law allows you to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent member of your loved one’s Daniel Island medical team in your case.