The surviving spouse, children, parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters of the deceased can sue for damages when a person is killed due to the negligence of another.
The loss of a primary income earner can leave a family in a dire financial state. A deceased person’s spouse and dependents can receive modest death benefits and funeral expenses if they were killed in an accident.
If you fail to submit the required forms in a wrongful death case, the insurer can refuse to pay for expenses you incur before you submit the proper forms.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
The most common reason for wrongful death is negligence, which frequently occurs in:
Surgery and hospital mistakes
Care facilities such as nursing homes
A South Dakota wrongful death lawyer will determine whether an individual or company is responsible for the death. Wrongful death lawyers need to prove that an individual’s actions directly caused the accident. Courts can also hold corporations, organizations, and businesses liable as entities.
What Does a Wrongful Death Law Attorney Do?
Wrongful death attorneys in South Dakota can assist you in determining what caused your relative’s death, review your case, determine liability, explain your legal rights, and possibly file a lawsuit on your behalf to recover damages.
When to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in South Dakota?
Expenses and losses arising from a wrongful death for you and your family can be devastating. Paying for the funeral and settling your loved one’s affairs are necessary. Your family member’s absence may also affect your ability to generate income. A death also causes a long-term loss of love, companionship, and support.
An adequate life insurance policy would cover much of this. It is possible that your insurance company might reject your claim on a technicality or that the person responsible for the death refuses to take responsibility or provide compensation.
Compensation may be difficult if the responsible party is a major corporation. Despite being directly responsible for the death, they might seek to avoid any legal action, leaving you without justice, closure, or compensation.
Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to find out what compensation is due. When someone files an insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer can ensure your documents are in order, determine whether the settlement proposal is reasonable after filing a lawsuit, and, if needed, represent you in the courts to get the justice you deserve.
How Do I Choose a Wrongful Death Attorney in South Dakota?
Having to deal with an inexperienced wrongful death attorney may be a double tragedy when a loved one dies unexpectedly due to a wrongful act. A knowledgeable attorney can help. Find the right lawyer for your family and yourself with these tips.
1. Conduct background research on the lawyer
Research wrongful death lawyers to find the best one near you. Find out about local law firms and attorneys. Make sure they are licensed and have handled cases like yours. If possible, hire a wrongful death attorney to ensure they handle your claim properly.
2. Be inquisitive
Before hiring a lawyer, ask about their expertise. Pay attention to these areas:
Number of years of service in your area
Settlements and verdicts
Cases of wrongful death they handle each year
3. Membership in associations
Check a lawyer’s standing before hiring him or her. Go to the website of your local bar association. Lawyers with leadership roles are the best choice for wrongful death cases. People respect lawyers who hold leadership positions.
How Much Does the Wrongful Death Lawyer Charge on Average in South Dakota?
Wrongful death attorneys often charge contingency fees. When they work on your case, they are not paid. Instead, your lawyer receives a percentage of the award if they win the case. Attorney fees for wrongful death cases are expensive. On average, wrongful death attorneys receive 33 to 40 percent of a settlement.
There are many clients who cannot afford massive upfront costs. Potential clients often hesitate to file a lawsuit because they do not believe they can afford it.
For legal advice regarding wrongful death claims, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney.
Do Wrongful Death Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?
A South Dakota wrongful death law attorney who represents wrongful death victims charges fees for their services. Depending on the kind of case, attorneys charge different fees. Some lawyers require a deposit or retainer, depending on how many hours they spend on your case. Others take contingency fees.
If you are considering a possible case, you should discuss fees with your attorney. A candid discussion can help you understand what to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do After a Wrongful Death?
You should take the following steps after a loved one’s wrongful death:
Document the cause and circumstances of death, including whether it was intentional or unintentional. Photograph the accident scene, contact any witnesses and fellow victims (if appropriate), and get a police report. Preserving and documenting any objects involved in an accident caused by a defective product is essential if a death occurs.
Make sure you have all medical documentation, including medical bills, regarding the injury or incident that led to the wrongful death.
Prior to your loved one’s death, verify their wages or medical care. Your loved one may have provided emotional support to your family in their interactions with you. Document their interactions and the impact their loss has on your family.
Your family and you should document the effects of the wrongful death. Add any additional expenses and any impact on your family life.
Do civil and criminal cases differ when someone dies?
The government can charge individuals with a crime if it wants to punish them. On the other hand, a civil case relates to the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organizations. The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case, and there is a criminal sanction, such as imprisonment. In a civil action, the defendant usually wins monetary damages. In either case, you should have a good legal representative by your side.
Do all states have the same wrongful death laws?
There are different laws regarding wrongful death in different states. In wrongful death actions, choosing the right state is important since some states don’t allow certain types of damages and/or have different statutes of limitations.