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Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota

Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota 

South Dakota  is a “comparative fault” state. In South Dakota , every auto driver is financially liable for any accident in which they are deemed to be more than 50% at fault. Drivers are required under South Dakota  State Law to purchase Auto Accident Insurance Liability Insurance to offset this risk.

South Dakota  has the highest rate of road death fatalities in the United States. With Auto Insurance premiums at an all-time high and no end to the road chaos, there is plenty of work for the estimated 1,265 Auto Accident Attorneys in South Dakota .

Minimum South Dakota  Car Insurance Cover

South Dakota  auto drivers are required by State Law to hold the following auto insurance cover as a minimum: Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Property Damage Liability: $25,000. Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.

These are the minimum amounts required under South Dakota  State Law and most auto insurance policy holders opt to increase their level of Auto Accident Insurance cover with the following optional South Dakota  insurance extras

  • Liability Coverage
  • Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
  • Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage
  • Mexico Coverage
  • Rental Reimbursement and Towing Coverage
  • Negligence Law

Who Pays in a Car Accident in South Dakota 

South Dakota  is a “comparative fault” State. This means you are financially liable for any accident in which you are deemed to have caused by being more than 50% at fault. If the other party is deemed to be more than 50% at fault it is their insurance policy that must pay compensation.

Depending on your level of cover you can be sued personally if an award is made against you that’s above your auto insurance policy limits

Who does an Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota  Sue?

South Dakota  is a highly litigious state with the worst accident injury rates in the whole of the United States. An auto accident attorney can be hired to sue:

  • another party if you believe they have caused you injury
  • your own insurance company to maximize a direct compensation payout
  • an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  can also defend you against criminal charges

How many Auto Accidents in South Dakota 

Over 3,700 people are killed in auto accidents in South Dakota  each year, with an average year on year increase of 7.3% in motor vehicle traffic fatalities, according to the South Dakota  State Government

The fatality rate on South Dakota  roadways for 2018 was 1.44 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. Representing a 2.12% decrease from 2017.

254,415 persons were injured in motor vehicle accidents in South Dakota  last year. Pedestrian fatalities totaled 699 in 2018. This is a 8.11% year on year decrease.

Road Deaths in South Dakota  2019

  • 1 person is killed every 2 hours and 28 minutes
  • 1 person is injured every 2 hours and 11 minutes
  • 1 auto accident occurs every 42 seconds in South Dakota 
  • 568 motorcyclists killed in 2017. 52% were not wearing helmets
  • South Dakota  saw 565 people killed in head-on collisions in 2018.
  • There were no deathless days in South Dakota  roads last year.
  • July was the deadliest month with 388 persons killed in Auto Accidents in South Dakota 

What do you do after a car accident in South Dakota ?

Experiencing an auto accident is a stressful time. Thoughts become irrational as the adrenaline kicks in, helping accident victims deal with these hugely stressful incidents. These are the 8 things to do immediately following an auto accident in South Dakota .

  1. Check for injuries and stay calm
  2. Dial 911 for the emergency services
  3. Do not leave the scene of the accident
  4. Follow police instructions but do not admit guilt or answer questions
  5. Gather information, shoot video and take photos
  6. Call your insurance company
  7. Follow medical instruction
  8. Contact an auto accident attorney in South Dakota 

Is South Dakota  a Litigious State for Auto Accidents

Court Cases involving an Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota  made up the largest share of the South Dakota  Court system costs, according to the State Government.

There are over 1,200 Auto Accident Attorneys in South Dakota  with specializations including

  • Small vehicle accident attorney
  • Truck Accident Attorney in South Dakota 
  • South Dakota  Auto Accident Attorney Generalist
  • South Dakota  Insurance Auto Accident Attorney
  • Personal Injury Attorney in South Dakota 
  • Commercial Vehicle Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota 
  • Uber Auto Attorney in South Dakota 
  • Lyft Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota 

South Dakota  Statute of Limitations in Auto Accidents

The statute of limitations for a car accident in South Dakota  is two years from the date of the car accident (Sec. 16.003). The South Dakota  two-year statute of limitations applies to all claims made by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, truck drivers and motorcyclists. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident and not the day you consult an auto accident attorney in South Dakota .

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in South Dakota ?

  1. Your insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 15 working days
  2. Within this 15 day they should request any further information from you
  3. Insurance companies in South Dakota  may extend this 15 days by a further 45 days and inform you of their reason
  4. Generally, if an insurance company extends the 15-day time frame clients will consult an auto accident attorney in South Dakota .
  5. There is no time frame for your insurance company to settle the claim. On average it takes between 3 and six months.
  6. Once approved, your claim must be paid within 5 days
  7. If the claim involves a weather event or natural disaster a South Dakota  insurance company may take 45 additional days to approve or deny your claim and 15 additional days to pay your claim.
  8. An auto accident Attorney in South Dakota  may help speed up your compensation payout, or may delay proceedings to maximize your payout.

How much car insurance do I need in South Dakota ?

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability: $25,000
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.

These are not high minimums. In a more severe auto wreck accident, the South Dakota  Statutory minimum insurance levels may prove to be inadequate.

If you are judged to be more than 50% at fault in a South Dakota  car accident the other side may hire an attorney to personally sue you for any difference between their financial compensation award and the insurance policy limits.

Is South Dakota  a no-fault state

South Dakota  is not a no-fault state. Some states in the USA require a no-fault insurance policy, often known in South Dakota  as PIP.  Every driver in South Dakota  is required to hold auto insurance to cover expenses for the other driver in the event of an accident.

Insurance Payout Limits in South Dakota  for Personal Injury

South Dakota  uses 50 percent modified comparative negligence laws, so the court decides how much each party in an accident is at fault. You can claim damages from the other party if your level of fault does not exceed theirs.

However, your damages will be also be reduced according to your apportioned level of fault.

South Dakota  Auto Attorney Insurance Claims Rights

According to the South Dakota  Bill of Consumer Rights (Order No. 12-0862), you have the right to be treated fairly, honesty and with respect when you make a claim. If you believe you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, make a complaint to the TDI in South Dakota  and consult an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  with immediate effect.

Over 72% of Auto Accident Attorneys in South Dakota  are hired to fight an individual’s own insurance company for a better deal.

South Dakota  State Auto Accident Demographics

South Dakota (/- dəˈkoʊtə/ (listen)) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota’s largest city.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as “East River” and “West River”.

Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state’s population, and the area’s fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, are in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state’s ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome.

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.

While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota’s history and rural character still strongly influence the state’s culture.

Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance in South Dakota ?

If your insurance policy does not cover the amount awarded to the other party you may find yourself in a lawsuit regardless of whether you held car insurance. For this reason many auto accident attorneys advocate the purchase of premium cover and under-insurance ‘gap’ policies.

Do I call my insurance if it’s not my fault?

You must report any damage to your vehicle or personal injuries to yourself or others to your insurance provider immediately. Your insurance company will help file a claim against the other party and start the process of compensation.

Also contact an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  for a Free Consultation and Claim Evaluation

How long do you have to file an accident report in South Dakota ?

You must file an accident report with the South Dakota  Department of Transport within 10 days of the auto accident. The report should be on form CR-2 available here and can be filed by you, your insurance company or your auto accident attorney in South Dakota 

Do I need an Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota ?

An Auto Accident Attorney is not required for every case. For example, cases with minor injuries, soft tissue damage or ‘fender benders’ may not require a specialist auto accident attorney in South Dakota .  In more severe personal injury cases you need an expert specialist attorney to protect your interests, regardless of whether you have one appointed for you by your insurance company.

Average Auto Accident Payout in South Dakota 

The average car accident compensation settlement in South Dakota  is $22,887 in 2018, according to the South Dakota  bureau of Statistics. The average auto accident payout by using an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  was $44,887.

Hit by a Drunk Driver in South Dakota 

In the United States 32 people die every day from vehicle accidents that involve a drunk driver. A drunk driver could face criminal charges from the state of South Dakota  and civil charges from the injured parties.

Convictions for criminal charges can result in fines, jail, rehab and community service. A civil Court case could force the drunk driver to financially compensate victims.

If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in the State of South Dakota  check out our list of Auto Accident Attorneys in your area who are experts at DUI auto accidents.

South Dakota  is a pure negligence state and you are free to lodge a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused you or a loved one personal injury.

Filing a civil lawsuit in South Dakota  against a drunk driver will require that you prove them responsible for your injuries. An experienced auto accident attorney in South Dakota  will need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. The other driver owed you a duty of safe travel as you shared the road.
  2. The driver breached his or her duty by an act of negligence (e.g. drunk driving).
  3. The driver’s negligent act caused injury to you in the form of a car accident
  4. The injuries caused you to suffer specific, quantifiable damages.

Take our online Compensation Checker to find out from an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  how much compensation you could expect if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver.

Car Accident Lawyer in South Dakota

What Damages can I claim for after a South Dakota  Car Accident?

  • Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Diminished Earning Capacity
  • Non-economic Damages

How do I calculate Pain and Suffering in South Dakota 

South Dakota  uses a multiplier to work out the amount of compensation to be paid as a result of pain and suffering. For example, if your case is worth $40,000 in specific damages, but your pain and suffering has a multiplier of five for temporary brain damage, the total amount payable will be $200,000 in non-economic damages.

Will an Auto Accident Attorney in South Dakota  increase my Pain and Suffering Payout

An experienced auto accident attorney in South Dakota  will be instrumental in pushing up both specific damages and the pain & suffering multiplier. As can be seen in the example, both elements are key to securing the financial compensation package you deserve.

Average Whiplash Settlement in South Dakota 

South Dakota  does not have whiplash settlement guidelines though mild to moderate whiplash claims can result in a compensation payout from $2,500 to $10,000 worth of compensation. For severe whiplash claims in South Dakota , expect this figure to rise over the $22,000 level.

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft in South Dakota 

If you’ve sustained injuries in an Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing accident you may be entitled to financial compensation from the “at-fault” driver and their insurance company.

If your accident involved an Uber, Lyft or ride share driver who was “on-the-clock” when the accident occurred, you likely won’t make a claim on the driver’s own insurance policy. Instead, the insurance policies of the ride share companies should cover your personal injuries and damages.

Take the following steps if you’ve been involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft or Ride share Driver either as a passenger or other road user.

  1. Report your Accident Immediately to Police and Uber. File an insurance claim directly with Uber.
  2. Seek Medical Attention. Some injuries can take days or weeks to become fully apparent and a proper diagnosis will help to strengthen your compensation case.
  3. Speak to an auto accident Attorney in South Dakota  for a free consultation

Where do most Auto Accidents happen in South Dakota 

According to the South Dakota  Department of Transport most recorded car incidents requiring the use of an auto accident attorney in South Dakota  happen in the following places:

(List of all areas in South Dakota  with more than 40,000 people)

Get an Auto Accident Lawyer in South Dakota  because the State Legal System is Complex

The South Dakota  legal system is complex and navigating South Dakota  personal injury law is not something which can be mastered while focusing on your own rest, recovery and rehabilitation. Using an auto accident Attorney in South Dakota  should help reduce stress and maximize your financial compensation payout.