Helping Families Who Have Lost A Loved One In A Fatal Car Accident
If another driver’s negligence has resulted in the death of your loved one, it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney. You and your loved ones have the right to receive full justice for the losses you have experienced, and the assistance of an attorney can help to ensure a favorable outcome.
At Hoy Law, we represent spouses, children and other family members in wrongful death claims. From our office in Sioux Falls, we handle fatal car accident cases throughout South Dakota.
We know that there is no amount of money that could ever fill the void left by the loss of your loved one. While we can’t ease your sorrow, we can help you find justice with a fair settlement.
Seeking The Maximum Settlement For You And Your Family
Many of the clients we talk to are unaware of their rights under the law in wrongful death cases. We take the time to gain a complete understanding of the contributions that your loved one made to your family and explain the various benefits available to compensate for them. We prepare detailed documentation explaining our settlement proposal to the insurance company.
If a fair settlement cannot be negotiated, we will take the matter to trial.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for the following considerations:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income, including future income that your loved one would have earned
- Loss of future financial support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of household services provided by your loved one
In addition to compensatory damages, a court may also impose punitive damages. Punitive damages follow a person’s reckless behavior or grossly negligent actions that resulted in a death. These damages serve to punish the offending party and discourage others from similar behavior. We review every case for punitive damages and diligently pursue them when appropriate.
Answering Your Questions After A Loss
A wrongful death claim is one of the only ways you may have to recover anything after such a loss. At Hoy Law, we offer thoughtful, caring representation for families across South Dakota that have lost someone. We treat our clients like family, with care and respect. We take the time to speak with you and answer any questions you have, such as those below.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
South Dakota law limits the possible plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit to close family members of the deceased. This includes:
- Lawful heirs
However, these people may not bring a lawsuit directly. The wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by a “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate.
How Long After A Fatal Accident Can I File A Wrongful Death Claim In South Dakota?
In most cases, you have up to three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of South Dakota. To be more specific, it is three years from the date of the death. Three years feels like ample time, but it can pass faster than you imagine.
What Damages Are Awarded In A South Dakota Wrongful Death Claim?
There are primarily two types of damages awarded in any kind of negligence claim, and wrongful death claims are not different. The two types of damages are:
- Economic damages: Including lost wages, medical expenses, burial expenses and loss of household service
- Noneconomic damages: Including pain and suffering as well as loss of companionship
While economic damages are straightforward calculations of the potential for lost income, noneconomic damages are far more subjective. How do you calculate that side of a loss? It’s a tricky question to answer and may require the assistance of a skilled attorney.
What Legal Steps Should I Take After A Loved One Dies In A Fatal Accident?
While the wrongful death process requires many steps, it’s hard to know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a loss. That’s why turning to an attorney is an important step. A skilled wrongful death attorney can educate you on your rights and the steps that you need to take. South Dakota’s wrongful death laws are complex, but you can get your deserved compensation.
Discuss Your Wrongful Death Claim With An Attorney
If your loved one was killed in a car accident, we will be there to support you through this difficult time. While we can’t ease your sorrow, we can help you find justice.