South Dakota Personal Injury Overview
Every state has unique personal injury laws which will affect your case. Some of the finer details in South Dakota are a little more unusual than in most states.
Because of these distinct differences it is important that you choose an attorney who has personal injury experience in your state.
Modified comparative negligence
Each state has rules regarding whether or not and how much you can be responsible for your own injuries and still receive compensation. In some states you have no allowance; you must be completely free of blame. Many states allow you to claim compensation if you are almost entirely to blame. Modified comparative negligence, in South Dakota allows you to claim compensation for your losses if you are slightly to blame.
In many states modified comparative negligence is strictly defines as allowing you to be 49% or less at fault, but in South Dakota “slightly” is not defined as a certain percentage. If you are partly at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your portion of the blame. This is one of those very tricky areas that require the help of an experience personal injury attorney.
Joint and several liability
When there are multiple defendants, in South Dakota, and modified form of joint and several liability applies. Typically joint and several liability means that you can collect the entire award from any of the responsible parties. In South Dakota this is limited. A defendant who is found less than 50% at fault cannot be held liable for more than twice the portion equal to their share of the blame.
Damages and caps
Compensatory damages include compensation for you economic and non-economic losses. In South Dakota, non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases can be no more than $500,000. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses which are not directly financial. If you were injured in South Dakota you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Statute of limitations
Every state has a time limit, called the statute of limitations, for filing you lawsuit. Different types of lawsuits have different time limits. In South Dakota, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury cases is three years. However, certain types of cases have shorter time limits. For instance, if your case is a medical malpractice case, you only have two years to file.
Calculating your deadline can be more complicated than it appears. You may have more or less time than you think, and you may even have a different type of case than you believe you have. Some injuries are deceptive or confusing. What at first appears to be a medical malpractice case may actually be a pharmaceutical injury, which falls under product liability.
If you have been injured or lost a loved on in South Dakota, don’t wait until your time runs out. Please contact one of our South Dakota personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation today.