Have you lost a loved one?

When someone carelessly or intentionally causes another person’s death, the law often provides a right for the family of the deceased person to recover financial compensation from the wrongdoer. Whether the death was due to a car crash caused by careless driving, medical malpractice on the part of a doctor, nurse, or hospital, or negligence in some other form, the deceased’s next of kin may have a legal claim for their loved one’s wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims allow certain family members to claim compensation for what they lost when their loved one died. The claims belong to the family of the deceased person, not that person’s estate. Some of the losses family members are compensated for are financial losses resulting from the death, like funeral expenses or loss of future financial support. Often the largest damages in a wrongful death claim involve losses that are typically not thought of as financial, but are substantial. For example, wrongful death law allows financial compensation for the loss of comfort, companionship, emotional support, guidance, and other personal aspects of important family relationships.

While no amount of money can bring back a loved one or really begin to “compensate” for the loss, wrongful death claims are valid and important. First, they can provide at least some financial relief to those who struggle for years – sometimes an entire lifetime – to survive the untimely death of a parent, child, brother, sister, or spouse.

Second, verdicts or settlements for wrongful death are an important way to impose some of the consequences of poor choices on the person who caused the death. Just as parents teach their children responsibility by imposing on them the consequences of their actions, society teaches its members to be responsible by imposing on wrongdoers the consequences of their wrongful conduct. Ignoring or minimizing the wrongfulness of conduct that causes another’s death can appear to be condoning bad behavior, while imposing serious consequences not only teaches what is unacceptable, but may well save more lives in the future.

Finally, wrongful death claims are a way for society to acknowledge that the deceased person was precious to others, that the loss of that person’s life was no small matter – and that can be very valuable for those who seek healing after a loved one’s death. Turbak Law Office, PC has represented many families on wrongful death claims, and we have found without exception that obtaining a substantial verdict or settlement on a wrongful death claim brings surviving family members solace well beyond the financial recovery itself. Knowing that others – whether community members serving on a jury, or defendants and their lawyers and insurers – ultimately acknowledge the wrongfulness of the loved one’s death and the magnitude of the survivors’ loss helps surviving family members feel they stood up for their loved one and for themselves. Invariably, the satisfaction of doing so is an important step in dealing with a loved one’s wrongful death.


If your loved one’s death was caused by an accident or intentional act, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit claimand be awarded damages to help pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, and your pain and suffering. Common examples of wrongful death cases are those caused by someone’s negligence in a car accident or medical facility.

Medical Malpractice

When a doctor or medical professional causes your loved one’s death, filing a medical malpractice claim can help you seek justice. Any lack of quality care, whether intentional or unintentional, places your loved one’s medical care team at fault, and therefore, liable in the eyes of South Dakota law.