Wrongful Death Lawyer in South Dakota
Nothing causes more emotional and financial hardship for a family than the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one. Deaths that are caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of other parties can entitle certain family members to bring civil claims against those parties.
People who have recently loved ones are often much too overwhelmed with grief to be concerned with certain legal deadlines applicable to wrongful death cases. It is important to remember that South Dakota places a three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. If a plaintiff submits a claim after this period has expired, the court will not hear his or her case.
For this reason, it is critical to contact Need an Injury Lawyer South Dakota as soon as possible. Our firm can file all of the required paperwork on your behalf to meet all of the legal deadlines. We represent clients in Yankton, Pierre, Huron, Vermillion, Spearfish, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, Watertown, Mitchell, and many other surrounding communities.
Wrongful Death Laws in South Dakota
Under South Dakota Code § 21-5-5, a wrongful death action needs to be brought by a descendant’s representative. If the deceased does not name a personal representative in any estate planning document, a court can appoint one.
Wrongful death actions are for the exclusive benefit of the wife or husband and children of the deceased. When there is no spouse or children, the parents and next of kin of the deceased become the beneficiaries.
A wrongful death claim is essentially the legal action the deceased would have brought against the negligent party had he or she survived the accident. Instead, the action is brought by the family members of the deceased, and it can seek damages for many different kinds of costs incurred as the result of a family member’s death.
Economic damages in these cases might include the deceased’s medical bills as well as income the family has lost because of his or her death. Noneconomic damages might cover emotional distress, pain, and suffering, or loss of consortium claims.
When a person is killed as the result of a negligent party’s intentional or particularly egregious conduct, a family could be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded more to punish the negligent party and hopefully dissuade others from engaging in a similar manner.
Kinds of South Dakota Wrongful Death Cases
Some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths in South Dakota include, but are not limited to:
- Car Accidents
- Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DWI or DUI) Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Ridesharing (Uber or Lyft) Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace Accidents
Find a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Dakota
Was your loved one killed as the result of another party’s negligence in South Dakota? Do not delay in contacting Need an Injury Lawyer South Dakota. We will immediately begin conducting an exhaustive investigation of the circumstances relating to your loved one’s death and we will hold all negligent parties accountable.
Our firm represents families in communities throughout Brown County, Brookings County, Codington County, Meade County, Lawrence County, Yankton County, Minnehaha County, Pennington County, and Lincoln County. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to arrange a free consultation so our experienced personal injury attorneys can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.