The unexpected death of a loved one is enough to throw your family into a tailspin, especially if someone else’s negligent or willful actions were the cause. According to the South Dakota law, the at-fault party in a wrongful death is responsible for your family’s economic damages. However, at a time like this, the last thing you want to take on is a legal battle. Your best course of action is to contact a wrongful death lawyer to secure the compensation you are due.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
According to South Dakota codified law, wrongful death is a death due to someone’s neglect, default, or wrongful act. By this definition, it could be due to:
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous or toxic products
- Dangerous premises
- Work hazards
- Vehicle accident
Most of the time, a wrongful death results from the kind of incidents that cause personal injury, such as accidents due to driver inattention or unsafe conditions that a landlord should have repaired.
Who Can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?
Each state has slightly different rules governing a wrongful death lawsuit. In South Dakota, only the individual handling the decedent’s estate may seek legal compensation. The money then goes to the victim’s spouse and children.
Because wrongful death is an unexpected event, the decedent may not have designated a personal representative to handle the estate. In that case, you must ask the court to appoint one. Your wrongful death attorney can guide you through the legal process.
What Expenses Qualify for Compensation?
Your attorney can ask for financial compensation for those expenses incurred by the wrongful death. Legally, your losses fall into one of two categories. The first includes your expenses that result from the loss while the second encompasses the loss to the decedent’s estate.
You should discuss compensation with your wrongful death lawyer, but in general, damages may include:
- The loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance and love
- The value of those household tasks the decedent provided
- The loss of future financial support the decedent would have provided
- The medical expenses associated with the wrongful death suit
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits, such as retirement pay
The wrongful death of someone you love should not ruin your family’s financial future. Contact or call 605-338-9711 to speak to a wrongful death lawyer at Wilka & Welter, LLP in Sioux Falls, S.D., to get the legal representation you need today.