Losing a loved one to an accident or an act of violence is a tragedy. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys know that money cannot repair the loss that has occurred in your family; however, compensation awarded in a wrongful death case can replace the financial losses and pay for the expenses that resulted from your loved one’s death. For a free consultation, please call the Columbia wrongful death lawyers of Whetstone Perkins & Fulda.
Common Causes of Fatal Injuries
The tragedy of a fatal accident has many potential causes. The question is whether someone else’s negligence or carelessness led to the fatality. A wrongful death case may have to do with a situation that caused death immediately, or a situation that caused injuries that ultimately proved fatal. The exact source could be virtually anything, and the most typical include:
- A fatal motor vehicle crash involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, Ubers or Lyfts, or any other type of motor vehicle
- A deadly boating accident
- Accidents that occur when the victim was traveling by bicycle or on foot
- Injuries caused by dangerous and defective products
- Unsafe properties or premises
- Occupational illness or workplace accidents
- Careless or negligent medical treatment, or medical errors
- Abuse, neglect, or errors occurring at a nursing home or long-term care facility
If the cause of your loved one’s death is not included in this list, you certainly may still have a claim. This list is not exhaustive. Please call our Columbia fatal accident attorneys for a free case review.
Negligence and Fatal Injuries
You may feel frustrated and angry knowing that someone else’s carelessness is to blame for the death in your family. No one deserves the unjust grief this brings. In other situations, the negligence may not be immediately recognizable. If you are unsure if you have a claim, simply call us for a free review.
Sometimes negligence is traced farther back, resulting in a domino effect that eventually led to a deadly accident. Here’s an example: someone is killed in a truck accident, but ultimate fault does not lie with the truck driver but with the trucking company requiring their drivers to operate beyond the hours of service. A fatigued, tired truck driver then causes a crash. This is just an example, and your situation could be very different. Rely on our skilled Columbia wrongful death attorneys for answers about your legal options after losing a loved one.
Wrongful Death Law in Columbia
These laws vary by state. But they tend to have the main goal in common: providing the family with the opportunity to pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one. Here are two main points in state law.
Statute of Limitations
Every wrongful death case must be filed within a certain timeframe following the death. Our experienced attorneys can determine if your claim is still eligible for compensation based on the date of your loved one’s passing.
Who Can File the Claim
In our state, the administrator of the deceased’s estate files the claim on behalf of the family. If there was no estate plan or an administrator was not named for some other reason, then the Court may designate one. But in a typical scenario, the estate administrator brings the claim, and the administrator distributes any money awarded in the case to the family.
Which family members? If money is recovered in the case, there are specific people who are eligible to receive all or a portion of it. Eligible family members vary by case and depend on their relationship to the deceased and the age of the deceased. Generally, priority is given to the spouse and children. If there are no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents may be awarded the compensation. If the parents are not alive or are not eligible for other reasons, heirs may be awarded the compensation.
Call our local lawyers if you have any questions about laws relevant to a wrongful death claim. We understand the laws that may affect your case.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
The best way to know if you have a wrongful death case in Columbia is to consult our experienced attorneys. During your free case evaluation, we can determine if the elements of such a claim are present, such as:
- Your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or by an intentional act
- You have experienced monetary losses and emotional suffering as a result of your loved one’s death
- You are an eligible spouse, child, family member, or other relation to the deceased
Wrongful death is a catastrophic event where someone pays the ultimate price as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Wrongful death may occur instantly, for example in a car wreck or construction accident. A death may also be the ultimate outcome when, for example, a doctor fails to timely diagnose cancer before the patient becomes terminal.
Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case
In a successful wrongful death case, a Columbia attorney may seek compensation awards, including for the following losses:
- Lost financial contributions
- Loss of loved one’s benefits and future retirement account contributions
- Loss of future inheritance contributions
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- End-of-life expenses
These types of expenses and burdens can weigh heavily upon your shoulders, especially when you’re experiencing deep grief at the same time.
Reach Out to a Columbia Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The Columbia wrongful death lawyers of Whetstone Perkins & Fulda understand that fatal accident cases are very emotionally difficult. We are committed to handling interactions with families like yours, who have lost loved ones, with respect and sympathy as we strive to obtain justice for you in the courtroom. Call today to discuss how we can help.