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Wrongful Death Claims: Essential after South Dakota Car Accidents

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult, but the loss is even harder to handle if it was caused by a preventable act, such as negligence or recklessness. In situations like this, the family of the deceased can pursue legal action to receive compensation for financial and emotional suffering by filing a South Dakota wrongful death claim against the wrongdoer. According to South Dakota statute, when the death of a person, including an unborn child, is caused by a wrongful act, the personal representative of the estate can pursue damages.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. In a South Dakota car accident, a wrongful death claim can be made based on:   

  • Driving under the influence;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Falling asleep at the wheel;
  • Distracted driving, including texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, or eating;
  • Failing to obey stop signs or signals.

In situations such as these, there is a basis for a civil action to be made on behalf of the decedent's family. This can compensate one or more surviving family members for the present and future economic loss and emotional distress, including loss of companionship or, essentially, a broken heart.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

If you are seeking to file a wrongful death claim based on a motor vehicle crash, it is important to contact a South Dakota car accident attorney so that the following information can be obtained:

  • Proof of death/death certificate;
  • Documents and witnesses to build a case showing that negligence, recklessness, or an intentional act caused the death;
  • Specific information regarding the wrongdoer/determining who caused the motor vehicle accident;
  • Specific information pertaining to the group of family members suffering financial and/or emotional trauma;
  • Financial information - financial consultants can be used to estimate the decedent's life expectancy and lifetime earnings, as well as other issues, such as insurance coverage.

An experienced attorney will review the details of the case to determine whether or not the death was caused by a wrongful act. A South Dakota car accident wrongful death claim must be brought within three years of the decedent's passing.

If the death of your beloved family member was caused by a negligent or reckless driver, you should file a wrongful death claim in order to recover financially and emotionally for your loss. Contact a South Dakota car accident lawyer at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your case. Call toll free at (888) 733-2992, or complete the contact form on this page. Our attorneys have been representing clients and their families involved in motor vehicle collisions throughout South Dakota for decades. Our caring and compassionate lawyers are here to work for you.

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