Whenever someone dies as the result of the act of another person(s), two separate lawsuits are available to those loved ones left behind. Wrongful death is an action that is brought by the estate of the deceased, but the proceeds are paid to beneficiaries established by state law. Its purpose is to compensate those relatives who have lost the companionship and financial support they received from the deceased before his death. These monies do not go through probate and are not subject to the claims of the estate.
Conscious pain and suffering, on the other hand, is a claim that belongs to the estate of the deceased which is based on the medical bills and the trauma suffered before death occurs. Since the claim belongs to the estate, the proceeds from this action are distributed according to the will of the deceased. These monies are paid to the administrator of the estate for the benefit of those people who are the designated beneficiaries, and as a result, are subject to claims of third parties made against the estate.
Over his thirty-eight years as a trial attorney in Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach, Bill Hanna has handled numerous wrongful death/conscious pain and suffering cases, and knows how to maximize the net proceeds to his clients.