Experienced Lawyers in Sioux Falls Provide Expert Wrongful Death Representation

Wilka & Welter, LLP offers citizens in South Dakota, including Sioux Falls, expert representation in wrongful death cases. The unexpected death of a loved one, especially due to another’s negligent or willful actions, can put one’s world into disarray. When one has suffered such a dramatic loss, it’s important to quickly seek counsel from a personal injury law firm that offers experience in these cases, which are often complex. Securing just compensation can be best accomplished when one works with attorneys who know all of the roadblocks and complexities that can occur in a wrongful death case.

According to South Dakota law, the at-fault party in a wrongful death case is responsible for your family’s economic damages. One may wonder what constitutes wrongful death, and Wilka & Welter, LLP summarizes it as:

  • Murder
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dangerous or toxic products
  • Dangerous premises
  • Work hazards
  • Vehicle accidents

In the most common wrongful death cases, an individual or individuals may have had a problem with a landlord over unsafe conditions, or been involved in car or motorcycle accidents. The compensation that the estate can qualify for can include burial expenses; financial support the decedent would have provided; medical expenses and more. It is vital that families who are the victims in wrongful death cases seek the expertise of legal counsel so the best case can be made for the most compensation awarded by the court.

Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

In South Dakota, only the individual handling the decedent’s estate may seek legal compensation. Wrongful death cases often require the estate to appoint a personal representative. When working with our lawyers in Sioux Falls, we can help our clients through this legal process.

The wrongful death of a loved one should not ruin a family’s financial future. Call 605-338-9711 to speak to Wilka & Welter, LLP in Sioux Falls, S.D., and receive expert legal representation.

What is Hearsay?

Hearsay used in a courtroom is easily able to confuse one attempting to prove a case. While the definition may seem simple, the reality is a complicated matter. What is and is not allowed can be defined by a personal injury attorney in Sioux Falls. Hearsay is anything used as evidence in a courtroom based on something said by a third party outside of court. While this is generally not allowed, there are a number of exceptions to the rule which are allowed to be used.


Using Hearsay as Proof

The issue is not in the definition of the word, but in the exceptions which are allowed in a court of law. For one without legal representation, he or she may feel the evidence falls under one of these exceptions when in fact it does not. For these people, it is best to avoid it, especially if other evidence is available that fully proves the case. For those called to the witness stand, a statement made under oath may contain hearsay that is not allowed in court. If the party is planning on using the statement, it is best to go over it with a lawyer to determine if it will be allowed.


When Hearsay is Against the Person

If the person in court is facing hearsay as evidence against them, they may not know what to object to and what not to. If a lawyer is used, experienced counsel will have the ability to make sure any illegal uses are not considered as evidence. While hearsay could easily slip through with the complications of so many exceptions, the judgment of the lawyer can help prevent this from happening. This is only one of many reasons why experienced counsel is a bonus in court.


Types of Cases

Hearsay does not affect just one type of case. It can be part of criminal or civil cases and the laws remain the same. The type of case, however, may influence what exceptions are used. For example, state of mind exceptions may be proved to declare a person as an incompetent party or witness. This may be used in civil cases and divorce cases to show that the opposing party is unable to make positive decisions. This type can be used in a criminal case, to prove the intent of one to injure another.


The best way to prevent and use hearsay appropriately is knowing the law. Studying the possibilities and using them correctly will make court an easier process. As previously stated, legal counsel is a citizen’s best defense against this complex process. The experience will also create ease throughout the entire court proceedings. This makes the results much more favorable for the party involved, regardless of the type of case at hand.

Possible Complications After Neck Surgery

The neck is the location of the cervical spine, so neck surgery usually involves this spinal region. Surgery is most often performed to treat an unstable cervical spine or a pinched nerve in the cervical spine. This surgery is performed in hopes of alleviating any numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness that the patient may be experiencing. Other goals of cervical spine surgery are to prevent or stop any motion in the cervical spine that is abnormal and to fully restore normal nerve function to any affected nerves.


This surgical procedure can cause complications and complications may occur as a result of this surgery, especially if mistakes are made by the healthcare staff. With an injury lawyer, Sioux Falls residents who might experience complications due to a surgical mistake can learn if they may have legal options.




Those undergoing neck surgery are at risk of having damage done to their spinal cord, vocal cords, nerves, carotid artery, or esophagus during the surgery. This complication does not happen often, but if it does it can cause serious problems. If the vocal cords are injured the patient may lose their ability to speak. If the esophagus is injured the patient may have difficulty swallowing. If the carotid artery is damaged the patient is at risk for severe bleeding. If the nerves or spine itself is injured the patient may become paralyzed or experience further and more severe pain.


Improper Healing


Many neck surgeries use hardware to correct any damage or injury to the cervical spine. This hardware includes plates, screws, and other similar items. In some patients these hardware items may not form properly into the vertebrae often leading to the need for an additional surgery. In some cases, this hardware can break as well. Another related complication is a non-healing spinal fusion. A fusion is a procedure in which two vertebrae are fused together. In some cases, this fusion will not stick often resulting in the need for an additional surgery.




Infection is always a risk when surgery is performed. This complication can affect any incisions made to perform the surgery. Patients who do not practice proper hygiene and wound care are at the highest risk for developing this complication. If an infection occurs, it can often be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated it can cause life-threatening problems including death.


Bone Graft Pain


Bone graft pain is a potential complication. In some cervical spine surgeries bone grafts (pieces of bone taken from other areas of the patient’s body or from a donor) are used to repair certain spinal abnormalities. Some patients will experience pain at the site of the bone graft after surgery and in some cases the pain can be intense. If pain occurs due to a bone graft an additional surgery may be required to try and eliminate the pain.


Now you know more about the possible complications that might occur with neck surgery. If any of these are associated with a medical mistake, you might consider talking to an injury lawyer in Sioux Falls.

5 Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

“What is your experience in this field?”


When in need of a personal injury lawyer in Sioux Falls, it is crucial for an individual to do their research and equip themselves with the best possible lawyer. This is because, depending on the personal injury claim, one might not be in a position to win their case alone. When in the midst of hiring a lawyer, asking them about their experience in the field can be important. Since one wouldn’t want to work with someone who has never succeeded in a similar case, asking this question in advance is key. After speaking with a few lawyers, a plaintiff can be reunited with a lawyer who has fought and won many personal injury cases.


“What are your fees?”


When meeting a qualified lawyer, it can be important to ask about their fees well in advance. This can stop a person from setting their sights on a particular lawyer who is out of their budgetary reach. Most personal injury lawyers aren’t going to charge their clients until the case has been finalized. More often than not, a lawyer will collect their fees from their client’s winnings. However, should a case not be granted, paying these dues will still be required. Knowing how much money to keep aside in case one’s case results in a loss is crucial.


“What are the timelines for a personal injury case?”


Another very important question to ask a personal injury lawyer is how long the case will last once approved. Knowing this can give plaintiffs a timeline that they must live by. Should one’s injury have rendered them immobile, working will not be a possibility, and money can run tight. Having an idea of a personal injury case timeline can help a plaintiff budget in the meantime.


“How many cases are you handling besides mine?”


A very common question asked by plaintiffs is “Am I your only client at the moment?” Plaintiffs want to know that their lawyer is going to dedicate their time to their case, as winning can be an essential key to their survival. A lawyer who is swamped with cases might not be able to be at one’s service in times of need, which can scare off potential clients. However, not having any clients can cause a person to think their lawyer is unsuccessful.


“Can I contact anyone for references on your part?”


Individuals always feel better about hiring a professional after speaking to some of their past clients. By reading testimonials and emailing old clients for information, one can find a personal injury attorney that they can trust.

The Major Pitfalls of a Workman’s Comp Suit

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in the workplace, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of a workers compensation claim, and you main end up needing a Sioux Falls workers compensation attorney in order to have your claim taken seriously. The first thing you need to know is that your employer is likely insured against workers compensation claims, so you won’t necessarily be dealing with the company’s personal attorneys but rather the insurance company’s attorneys. While there may be penalties for the employer if the claim should be upheld, both the employer and the insurance company have a vested interest in making the problem your fault. Since there are some unscrupulous employees that abuse the process, there is going to be an in depth inquiry, and in all likelihood, a worker may have to submit to a drug test.


“Just because an injury happens on the job, doesn’t mean that you’re automatically entitled to collect against your employer’s insurance,” says one workers compensation attorney from Sioux Falls. “It’s important that when you see a doctor, if he says you have an illness and it’s likely related to your job, that you report that to Human Resources. If you were injured on the job, tell your doctors. They need to know that, and that information can be referenced later when you’re making the claim. Remember, your employer has insurance to cover these things and it’s there for a good reason. But sometimes the insurance companies can be a bit prickly about paying out a claim. Insurance is a business, and the fewer claims they pay out, the more lucrative the business is.”


“It’s generally when employees aren’t on the ball about telling their doctors about how they got the injury and being upfront with the HR department about what’s going on that insurance companies either get suspicious, or see an opportunity to deny a claim,” he continued. “Another thing that happens to employees injured on the job is that their employer tells them that the accident was their fault and so they’re not covered. That’s a lie. Worker’s compensation is no fault insurance so even if you slip on your own banana peel, you should be covered by the company’s insurance. There’s a limit to just how stupid you’re allowed to be and still make the claim, but you shouldn’t believe your employer if they tell you that it’s your fault for your not being covered.”


“And one instance where workers compensation insurance will not pay out is when an employee is found to be drunk or high on the job,” he said. “Most employees will require a drug test after a claim is made, so stay sober at work, because if you don’t, you’re not going to qualify for worker’s comp.”

Personal Injury: Just What Is It?

Personal injury is a legal term that refers to an injury inflicted upon the body, emotions, or mind. Personal injury does not refer to injury or damage caused to the property owned by an individual, that reflects other legal actions altogether.


Personal Injury Lawyers: All There Is To Know

Finding a good personal injury attorney in Sioux Falls can be a real pain, but it does not have to be. When faced with a personal injury case, the term negligence and neglect will come up over and over again. It is important to consider neglect and how someone might be accused of negligence, in either side of the case. For example, when it comes to dealing with a traffic accident, both drivers could be at fault, rendering them as sharing the same amount of neglect in that situation.When pursuing help form a personal injury attorney, it is important to understand the facts ahead of time.

“Negligence” as it is described above, is part of a larger legal umbrella term that can refer to negligence, gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or reckless conduct. A good personal injury attorney is there to make sure that compensation and settlements can be won, and that negligence is identified properly.


When someone is the victim of a negligent person, it can cause a lot of grief, time, and take a lot of money to get his or her lives back on track. The stress associated with dealing with this ordeal is already a lot to handle, to say the least. That’s why personal injury lawyers are there to help settle the score, and make it so that he or she is fully compensated, and receives the right services, treatment, and attention they require throughout the case.



Anything Could Be Around The Corner

At work, school, on the streets, at shopping centers, concert venues and elsewhere, the threats of a negligent person could come from anywhere. It is important to stay focused in order to avoid becoming the victim of a negligent person, but in the event that one could not prevent something happening to them, inflicted by a negligent person, then the personal injury attorney must step in to insure that he or she is treated properly in court.


If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a negligent person, then the next phone call you make could be directed towards a personal injury specialist. There are countless personal injury lawyers to choose from in the state of South Dakota, and the entire United States for that matter. Making the right choice has a lot to do with location, preference, cost, and expertise.


Can You Handle Yourself in Court If You’re Injured?

Life is hard enough. Triple that effect when you are injured or become disabled due to a:

  • Car or automobile accident
  • Work-related accident
  • Medical negligence
  • Slip or trip accident

If you are injured in any of these accidents that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. When considering a disability attorney in Sioux Falls, hire one with a reputation for helping people get compensated for their injuries. It is important that you hire an established law firm that tries to ensure that injured or disabled clients receive justice.

When searching for trial lawyers to represent you in Sioux Falls, make sure that they have experience dealing with clients who had:

  • Amputations
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Concussion and other brain injuries
  • Facial scars
  • Burn injuries
  • Spinal injuries and paralysis
  • Wrongful death

If you or a loved one has experienced any of these traumatic issues, don’t wait until the last minute to hire one. As of 2015, per the CDC, unintentional injury was either the leading or top 5 cause of death for all age groups in the United States. If the person wasn’t killed, the accident has likely left them permanently or temporarily disabled. This cause many victims to experience financial hardship due to mounting medical bills that they cannot pay due to the inability to work.

If that describes you, please do not allow insurance companies to just “handle it.” There are have been (and still are) plenty of cases where accident victims did not receive fair compensation for their injuries or disablement. Some insurance companies simply do not have your best interest at heart.

Hire an attorney who has fought hard for every client who was involved in an accident due to the negligence of others. Proper representation in a court of law increases your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries or disabilities. With that said, get with a law firm that has helped hundreds of disabled victims receive millions of dollars in awards and settlements.

Can You Take Care of Yourself in A Court of Law?


Ask yourself the above question. Well…can you? It can be quite daunting to represent yourself in court, especially in a disability case. No matter how at-fault the other party is, it will be tough for you to receive justice if not properly represented. That’s why it is imperative that you hire a disability attorney who has years of experience. They should be able to utilize their knowledge and expertise to help people like you receive financial justice.

Are You Ready to Receive Financial Justice?


Don’t let medical bills and other financial hardships get in your way of living a fulfilling life. Hire a disability attorney in Sioux Falls who’s ready to handle your case immediately.

Why You Need Legal Representation

Although personal injury attorneys have been trained to practice many kinds of law, they primarily are concerned with what is known as “tort” law. A tort is simply an action that wrongly causes harm to someone by another party, but is not necessarily a crime so is tried in a civil, not criminal, court.


The party claiming to have been wronged, the plaintiff, is said to have suffered an “injury.” It doesn’t have to be physical injury, though. It might be financial or psychological or some other type for which the plaintiff often seeks something to compensate them. The purpose of hiring a personal injury attorney, then, is to best represent the injured person and, through compensation, be made “whole” again.


Just as everyone arrested and charged with a crime (no matter their guilt or innocence) is entitled to legal representation — and their “day in court” as the saying goes — so are people who believe they have suffered wrongly by the action or inaction off others.


It has often been said that someone who chooses to represent his- or herself in court has a fool for a client. That may sound harsh, but the American legal system is a complex maze of rules and Latin phrases, and attorneys have trained and worked for years to learn how to navigate this system and speak its language.


As with medicine, there are different types of law. So just as one wouldn’t want a dermatologist to perform heart surgery, if someone feels they have been injured by another party, choosing a lawyer specializing in personal injury cases is probably a better bet than hiring real estate attorney.


It is true that we live in a litigious society in which everyone seems to be suing everyone else. This isn’t really true, of course. There may be more civil lawsuits today, but this is probably because modern citizens are more educated and aware of their rights under the law than people were decades earlier — not because there are more lawyers.


As any reputable personal injury attorney (in Sioux Falls or elsewhere) will tell a prospective client, they may have a case or they may not have a case. The job of this specialized lawyer is to use his or her training and experience to advise and, if they agree, to give the best representation possible.

Personal Injury? You are not alone.

            We all know that life is hectic and unpredictable, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. We read statistics online, in the newspaper, and elsewhere that talk about some of life’s most tragic events, but we never really think that these things can happen to us. Yet, when tragedy strikes, she is indiscriminant; in just the blink of an eye, life can dramatically change, and when it does, it is important to be prepared.

There are a number of personal injury lawyers in Sioux Falls to choose from, and if you are, in fact, in need of legal assistance, it is important to do your research. What you’ll want to find is a firm that is honest, open, and transparent with the way in which they handle your case. What you’ll also want to find is a firm that has had years of experience in the field. Personal injury cases typically have multiple moving pieces, all going at the same time, and these cases can be very complex; the more experience your firm of choice may have in this field, the more likely they will be able to anticipate the way in which your trial will play out.

What is comforting to know, as an individual and as a South Dakotan, is that no matter what happens, you can access some of the most hard-working, honest, and experienced legal teams available in the United States. In 2016, there were thousands of workers compensation cases mitigated in the US, and it is very likely that many of these victims never would have thought they would ever be in such a position—yet, with life’s dark sense of humor and rapid unpredictability, they were in sudden need of help. Without the efforts of their personal injury lawyers, they would have been immediately overwhelmed.

When an individual suffers from a personal injury—whether it is at work, at home, on the road, or elsewhere—the pain they experience is usually much more than simply physical. The psychological damages caused by traumatic events, the inconveniences they impose upon their families, and the extremely high costs of rapidly accumulating medical bills are all different sorts of pains that carry well beyond the accident itself. If you or a loved one has been injured at the expense of another, you don’t have to suffer in silence—you have options.

As our world continues to become more complicated in seemingly every way imaginable, there is at least one principle that will remain intact as long as we live: human beings have a fundamental need for choice. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Sioux Falls, you do indeed have choices, you do indeed have access to people who care about winning your case, and you are never alone, no matter what your struggle may be.

How Wilka & Welter can help you win your claim

If you’ve recently been in an accident—whether it is a car accident, slip-and-fall, or anything in between—there’s a good chance that you’re going to need to settle with the responsible party’s insurance company at some point. Unfortunately, insurance companies these days will do anything they can to avoid paying you what you’re truly owed. This is where having an experienced and hard-working personal injury lawyer from Sioux Falls on your side can make all the difference. Here at Wilka & Welter, we’ll work feverishly to make sure your best interests are represented throughout the process.

How Wilka & Welter Can Work for You

When you work with our team of dedicated and experienced attorneys, you’ll enjoy a number of invaluable benefits. For starters, you’ll receive a free initial consultation, where we can provide you with some important and sound legal advice. Furthermore, we’ll take care of working with the other party’s insurance company, which most likely has its own team of lawyers that you don’t want to deal with on your own.

If we’re unable to settle outside of court, rest assured that we’ll help you through every step of the legal process as well. From determining how much of a settlement you’re entitled to, to actually fighting for that amount, we’ve got your back and will make sure your rights are protected as well. And when it comes to all the paperwork that’s necessary throughout the legal process, we can also assist you with providing the paperwork and filing it for you, saving you a lot of time and stress.

Finally, when you’re injured in an accident, you need an objective voice of reason to look out for you. That’s where we come in. We can put emotions and frustration aside and give you the legal advice that you need to make the right decision and ensure the best possible outcome for your case as well.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in hiring a personal lawyer or disability attorney in the Sioux Falls area who will fight hard for you, we hope you’ll look no further than Wilka & Welter. If you’d like to set up your free initial consultation with us, we encourage you to give our office a call so we can set up an appointment at a time and date that works for you.

Photo credit: Portrait Of A Successful Businessman Stock Photo Photo by stockimages. Published on 19 November 2012 – www.freedigitalphotos.net