Personal Injury Law in Rapid City, SD

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Rapid City? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Rapid City, SD can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Rapid City relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Rapid City, SD

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Rapid City 

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, the leading causes of accidental injury in Rapid City are falls and auto accidents. More than 16,000 South Dakota residents go to the hospital each year for fall-related injuries. The severity of these injuries can range from minor to very serious. Unfortunately, injury is the leading cause of death for Rapid City residents aged 1 to 44.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Rapid City, SD

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in South Dakota

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

Civil cases in South Dakota are under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts. Rapid City actions are heard in the 7th Circuit Court for Pennington County.

South Dakota Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

Multiple factors are used to determine the settlement amount for a personal injury case in Rapid City. Actual costs of medical bills and lost wages generally make up the majority of a personal injury settlement. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a non-fatal injury ranges from $9,000 to $40,000. Your Rapid City settlement may also include compensation for pain and suffering, damage compensation, or even punitive damages.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in SD, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in South Dakota

If your South Dakota personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

There are no damage caps for most Rapid City personal injury claims. However, there are some exceptions for medical malpractice, product liability, and claims against the government. In addition, South Dakota law gives a jury full discretion in awarding punitive damages, with no statutory limits.

Statute of Limitations in Rapid City, SD Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

South Dakota has a 3 year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Rapid City. If you do not file your claim within 3 years of the date of injury, it will likely be barred.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Rapid City, SD Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Rapid City against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim. We can even help you connect with an attorney across South Dakota state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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