Wrongful Death Laws in South Dakota
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Losing a loved one from a wrongful death accident is a tragedy. Especially if the accident was caused by another party’s negligence. While no amount of compensation will bring back a loved one, we at Zinda Law Group help people who have lost a loved one seek damages in the event of wrongful death.
Wrongful death laws may differ in every state, if you or your loved one seeks to file a wrongful death claim, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 314-6671 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, wrongful death is known as a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or neglect. A loved one may bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit in certain cases. For example, had the deceased person survived the accident and been entitled to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. However, as with wrongful death claims, the deceased cannot ring forward a claim themselves and another person may file in his or her place.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Dakota?
A representative of the deceased person may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had a will, they may have appointed their representative there.
However, if there is no will upon death, a court may appoint a representative to manage the deceased estate and that person may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
A personal representative may file the wrongful death lawsuit, however, any recovered damages will belong to the deceased relative. For example, if there is a spouse or children, they may receive any recovered compensation. In cases where there is no spouse and no children, compensation may be awarded to the deceased’s next of kin or parents.
What Damages Are Available in a South Dakota Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages can be grouped into the following two categories:
- damages suffered by family members
- damages suffered by the deceased’s estate.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the deceased’s death was a result of the intentional or reckless conduct of another party.
The first category includes compensation for;
- loss of companionship;
- cost of financial support family members would have received if the deceased was still alive, and;
- cost of household services the deceased would have contributed to if he or she was still alive.
The second category includes monetary compensation for
- the medical expenses related to the deceased’s death;
- funeral and burial expenses, and;
- lost wages and benefits.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Dakota?
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time a person has to file an accident claim. In South Dakota, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the deceased person’s death. Note: You may still file wrongful death lawsuit even if there is a criminal proceeding based on deceased’s death,
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with wrongful death claims. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and seek the maximum amount of damages.
We at Zinda Law Group sympathize with our clients who have lost loved ones due to the wrongful acts or neglect of another. No amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, but you can be sure that Zinda Law Group will help you seek the maximum amount of damages from your wrongful death claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.