South Dakota Car Accident
Known for its wide-open prairies, winding roads, iconic monuments, and uninterrupted sky views, nothing feels good like driving in South Dakota. The state’s variety of amazing landscapes portrays why South Dakota prides itself as the home of Great Faces and Great Places.
Unfortunately, driving in South Dakota comes with its own set of risks. Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in South Dakota car accidents.
According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, at least 13.6% of all drivers in the state were injured in 2021, and another 0.6% were killed. Minnehaha and Pennington counties were the two most dangerous counties in terms of car accidents in the state.
If you or your loved one were involved in a car accident in South Dakota, you already know the devasting impact it has had on your life. What you may not know is that you could be entitled to financial compensation for your vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, medical bills, and other losses.
Be sure to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to find out if you are entitled to a claim.
Current South Dakota Road Report
Two main interstate roads highways cut across the state of South Dakota. Interstate 90 runs east-west through the state providing access to rapid city, Mitchell, Sioux falls, and Spearfish.
There is also Interstate 29 that runs north-south through the eastern parts of the state from the border of North Dakota through to Brookings, Watertown, North Sioux City, and Sioux Falls.
If you are looking for some good time in the state, these interstates will help you fulfil your desires. You can expand upon your experience by exploring alternate scenic byways and routes whenever possible.
You can always get information regarding current road conditions, including construction and closures, from the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Feel free to dial 511 from any mobile phone to receive up-to-date and location-specific road restrictions, closures, conditions and up-to-date weather information.
What Are the South Dakota Auto Insurance Laws?
South Dakota insurance laws require all drivers to carry minimum liability coverage and show proof of coverage at all times while driving in the state. The proof must be shown upon request by a law enforcement officer.
The minimum liability coverage allowed in the state is as follows:
- At least $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- At least $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- At least 25,000 for property damage per accident.
The primary purpose of mandatory liability coverage is to pay for bodily injuries and property damage that you may cause in a car accident. It also pays for the injured party’s pain and suffering and lost wages.
However, you should be aware that liability coverage doesn’t cover damage to your own car or medical bills for injuries you may sustain in the accident. You need to carry collision coverage and a personal injury policy for additional protection.
Underinsured/uninsured coverage is also a mandatory requirement in South Dakota. This coverage helps you if you are involved in an accident with another motorist who doesn’t have sufficient insurance or none at all.
What Are the Common Types of Auto Accidents in South Dakota?
There are many different types of car accidents that happen in South Dakota. Some of them include:
- Hit-and-Run Accidents: Hit-and-run car accidents can be quite frustrating because the driver who caused the accident fled from the scene. In this case, you are left to deal with your insurance company without a clear picture of how to handle things.
- Rear-end Collisions: If you are hit from behind, you almost certainly were not responsible for the accident. The other motorist might have been distracted or not simply paying attention to the road ahead. Rear-end collisions can result in extensive damage to your car plus severe bodily injuries such as broken bones, sprains, neck injuries, and brain injuries.
- T-bone collisions: T-bone is a phrase that is commonly used to describe a side-impact or broadside collision. These types of accidents usually involve one car’s front end slamming into the side of another vehicle. You might have been stuck in an intersection by a motorist who ignored a stop sign, red light, or failed to yield.
- Sideswipe collisions: Sideswipe accidents are similar to T-bone collisions, but occur when cars collide while traveling in the same direction. These accidents often happen when a driver changes lanes and fails to check their blind spot.
- Rollover accidents: Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents. They often occur when a driver loses control of their car, especially on curves or hills. A rollover accident can lead to severe injuries or death.
- Drunk driving accidents: Drunk driving accidents are unfortunately common in South Dakota. If you are involved in a collision with an impaired driver, you might be able to file a lawsuit against that individual.
Common Car Accident Injuries in South Dakota
When you are involved in a South Dakota accident, you may suffer a number of injuries. The most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: This is a type of damage to the brain that can be caused by a fall, a car accident, or a violent blow to your head. TBIs often result in long-term complications and can lead to death.
- Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can cause paralysis, weakness, and loss of sensation in the arms and legs. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can lead to lifelong disability.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are a common result of car accidents. They often require surgery to fix and can take months or even years to heal completely.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a type of injury to the neck that often occurs in car accidents. It can cause pain, stiffness, and headaches.
If you are injured in a car accident in South Dakota, it is essential to seek medical treatment right away. You may also want to speak with experienced South Dakota car accident lawyers about your options for filing a lawsuit.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in South Dakota
Several South Dakota car accident laws govern the process of filing a car accident claim in the state.
First, you need to be aware of the state’s Statute of Limitations which define the amount of time within which you can file your claim. In South Dakota, you only have three years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If your loved one dies as a result of the accident, then you have three years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim.
You should also keep in mind that South Dakota is a fault/tort state when it comes to determining fault in car accidents. Unlike in no-fault states, it means you will not be able to recover compensation from your own car insurance company after the accident.
Instead, you will be required to pursue a claim from the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. To do this, you must be able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they were to blame for the accident.
What Damages Can You Recover in South Dakota Car Accident Claim?
If you have been involved in a car accident in South Dakota, you may be eligible to recover damages for your injuries. The types of damages that you can recover will depend on your case’s specific facts and circumstances.
However, some of the most common damages recovered in car accident cases include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
1. Medical Expenses
Medical expenses are one of the most common types of damages that are recovered in car accident cases. If you have been injured in a South Dakota car accident, you may be entitled to recover the cost of your medical bills, including the cost of surgery, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation.
2. Lost Wages
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover the wages you have lost due to your injuries. This includes both the wages you have lost since the accident occurred and the wages you will lose in the future.
3. Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a general term that refers to the physical and emotional pain and anguish you have suffered due to your injuries. You may be able to recover damages for both the past and future pain and suffering.
4. Loss of Consortium
These damages are designed to compensate you for the loss of enjoyment of life you may have suffered due to your injuries. This includes the loss of companionship, the loss of sexual relations, and the loss of support.
Talk to an Experienced South Dakota car Accident Lawyer Today!
At Legal Giant, we understand the complexities of car accident cases. That is why we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible legal representation.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We will review your case and let you know your legal options.