Wrongful death generally refers to a situation where someone has died as the result of the negligence or misconduct of another person or organization. Wrongful death can devastate families and loved ones, who are often left to cope with the loss of a loved one while also dealing with the financial and emotional consequences of the accident or incident.
If you’ve lost a loved one and believe their death was due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, it’s essential to take legal action as soon as possible. You may be able to file a wrongful death claim and recover compensation for your losses. Contact our Columbia wrongful death attorneys for a free case evaluation to get started on your case.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken when someone dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. The claim is brought by the deceased person’s estate or by the survivors of the deceased. A wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover damages for your loss. There are many situations where a wrongful death claim might be filed, including car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and workplace accidents.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence in Columbia, it is crucial to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. A Columbia wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you file a claim for damages. Contact our Columbia wrongful death lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C., to discuss your legal options.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Columbia
Wrongful death frequently occurs in Columbia. Some of the common causes of wrongful death in Columbia include:
Product defects are one of the leading causes of wrongful death in Columbia. Defective products can cause serious injuries or even death. Some common product defects include design flaws, manufacturing errors, and labeling mistakes.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, car accidents are the most common cause of wrongful death in Columbia. The leading cause of car accidents is driver error, which can be attributed to things like speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving.
One of the most common causes of wrongful death in Columbia is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can be defined as any act or omission by a healthcare provider that results in injury or death to a patient. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, or surgery.
Work-related accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death in Columbia. Lax safety regulations and a lack of training or enforcement can lead to tragic accidents in the workplace. In addition, many workers are unaware of their rights and may be afraid to speak up about dangerous working conditions. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed at work, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you seek justice.
Another cause of wrongful death in Columbia is truck accidents. Due to the size of trucks, they can cause so much damage when they are involved in an accident. The results of truck accidents can be catastrophic. Truck drivers must operate their vehicles safely and keep the roads clear, but unfortunately, this does not always happen. When a truck driver negligently operates his vehicle, it can cause an accident that leads to severe injuries or death.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a common cause of wrongful death in Columbia. Nursing homes are meant to be a safe and comfortable place for elderly patients, but they are often the site of horrific abuse and neglect. Some common forms of nursing home abuse include physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and financial exploitation. If you have a loved one who is being mistreated in a nursing home, it is crucial to speak up and get them help. You can contact the police or go to a local advocacy group for further assistance.
Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability accidents occur when a person is injured on someone else’s property. This can include anything from a slip and fall to an animal attack. There are a few things that need to be in place for a premises liability claim to be successful. The property needs to be in a state of disrepair, the owner or employee of the property needs to be aware of the hazard, and the victim needs to have been injured as a result of the hazard. If you or a loved one has been injured in a premises liability accident, it’s essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. These cases can be complicated, and it’s important to have someone fighting for your rights.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. have years of experience fighting for the rights of the wrongfully deceased. Contact our Columbia wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you get justice for your loved one.
What are the Damages that You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken by the family of a person who has died due to the negligence or intentional act of another person or company. The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim vary depending on your case. However, some damages are available in almost every case. Some of these damages include:
Medical costs are one of the most common damages recovered in wrongful death claims. When someone dies due to the negligence or carelessness of another person, their family can seek financial compensation for the medical costs incurred before the person’s death. This includes the costs of treating the person’s injuries and the costs of any long-term care or ongoing treatment that was necessary.
Funeral and Burial Costs
The estate can also recover the costs associated with the death, such as the funeral and burial expenses. This compensation helps to cover the deceased’s funeral costs.
Loss of Companionship From the Deceased
One of the damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit is the loss of companionship from the deceased. This includes any physical and emotional loss that the survivor experiences as a result of losing their loved one. This can be a significant loss for the survivors, who may feel like they have lost a part of themselves. The damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit can help to offset these costs and help the survivors move on with their lives.
Loss of the Victim’s Expected Earnings
If the person who died was the primary breadwinner in the family, their loved ones could also seek damages for the loss of income and support they will now face. This includes both future earnings that the victim would have earned had they not died and income that the victim had already earned but which was not yet paid. This type of damage can be extremely difficult to calculate, as it requires an estimate of what the victim would have earned over their lifetime. Working with a qualified wrongful death lawyer who can help you compile the necessary evidence and make a strong case for this type of damage is essential.
Loss of Inheritance
This includes the loss of assets that the family of the deceased would have inherited. This damage can be especially devastating for families who are left behind, as it can impact their financial stability for years to come.
Loss of Benefits
One of the damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim is the loss of benefits. This includes the decedent’s income, health insurance, pension, and other benefits.
Punitive damages are a type of damage that is awarded in a wrongful death claim when the defendant is found to be especially negligent or harmful. This damage is meant to punish the defendant for their actions and discourage them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages can be an essential part of a wrongful death claim, as they can help to ensure that the defendant is held accountable for their actions.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Columbia, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to understand the specific damages you may be able to recover in your case. Contact our skilled Columbia wrongful death lawyers to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.
Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Missouri
The process of filing a wrongful death claim can be long and arduous. Here are some of the steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim in Columbia:
Contact a Lawyer
The first step in filing a wrongful death claim is to contact a lawyer. Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary information and evidence to support your case. They will also guide you through the process, explaining everything you need to know along the way. Having a lawyer represent you in a wrongful death case is essential. They will help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
The next step is to gather evidence to support your case. This includes any police reports, witness statements, and medical records related to the incident. You may also need an attorney to help you sift through the evidence and build a strong case. It’s important to note that you only have a certain amount of time to file a wrongful death claim in Columbia. The clock starts ticking as soon as the person has died, so don’t delay gathering evidence and seeking legal assistance.
Issue a Demand Letter
After you’ve gathered evidence, the next step is to issue a demand letter. This letter is sent to the person or company you believe is responsible for your loved one’s death, and it outlines the details of your case as well as your compensation demands. It’s important to note that you should never send this letter without first consulting an attorney. The demands outlined in the letter can significantly impact the outcome of your case, so it’s crucial to have legal guidance. If the person or company responsible for your loved one’s death agrees to resolve the matter outside of court, your attorney will work to negotiate a fair settlement. If they don’t agree to a settlement, your case will proceed to court.
Negotiate with the Defendant
In any wrongful death claim, one of the most critical aspects of the negotiation process is finding the right balance between seeking justice for the victim and ensuring that the defendant can still live a normal life. It’s important to remember that while a wrongful death claim can help provide some closure for the victim’s loved ones, it’s not about punishing the defendant. The ultimate goal is to get compensation for the victim’s loved ones that can help them move on with their lives. This negotiation process can be complex, but our team of experienced attorneys will work with you every step of the way to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
File a Lawsuit
This formal document lays out your case and explains why you believe the other person is responsible for your loved one’s death. It’s essential to have a strong case if you want to win your lawsuit and receive compensation for your loss. You may need to go to trial and argue your case before a judge or jury. This can be a long and challenging process, but if you’re successful, you’ll be awarded compensation for your loss.
A wrongful death claim is a way to seek justice for someone who died due to the negligence of another person or party. The process of filing a wrongful death claim in Columbia can be complex, so it’s essential to have a Columbia wrongful death attorney representing you. A personal injury lawyer will work with you to build a case and seek the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Elements of a Wrongful Death Case in Columbia?
Three elements must be present for a wrongful death case to be successful in Columbia. These elements include:
- The death must have been caused by another person or entity’s negligence or intentional act.
- The plaintiff (the person bringing the case) must have suffered damages due to the death.
- There must be a surviving spouse, parent, or child of the deceased.
If all three of these elements can be established, a wrongful death case can proceed in court.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Columbia?
In order to file a wrongful death case in Columbia, you must be able to prove that you are an immediate family member of the deceased. This means that you must be the victim’s spouse, child, parent, or sibling. Other relatives, such as grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, may not file a wrongful death case.
If you are not an immediate family member of the victim, you may still file a wrongful death case if you were financially dependent on the victim. This could include cases where the victim was the primary provider for your family.
If you are not an immediate family member nor were financially dependent on the victim, you may still file a wrongful death case if you were in a close personal relationship with the victim. This could include cases where you and the victim were dating or married.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Case in Columbia?
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Columbia is three years from the date of the victim’s death. However, if the victim’s death was due to the negligence of a government agency or employee, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Each case is unique, so you must contact a professional wrongful death lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim.
Contact Our Columbia Wrongful Death Attorneys
Losing a loved one is hard enough, but it’s even harder to cope when their death could have been prevented. If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, it is vital to seek legal help immediately. The attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. are experienced in handling wrongful death cases and can help you get the justice you deserve. We will review the facts of your case and help you determine the best course of action. Contact our wrongful death lawyers in Columbia or call 816-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case now.