What kind of compensation can your car accident generate?

What kind of compensation can your car accident generate?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the results can be devastating.  In addition to your injuries, you’ll incur medical and hospital bills, loss of income, repair bills, and, if your injuries are serious, bills for rehab and in-home care.  You may also suffer from significant pain and suffering as a result of the trauma from the accident.

What types of compensation can accident victims in South Dakota ask for when they make an accident claim? In most cases, there are two types of damages to take into consideration:  economic and non-economic.

Economic damages usually include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage ( car repairs or replacemet)

Non-economic damages are more subjective and may include:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

To be entitled to receive compensation, you have to be able to prove that negligence on the part of the other driver was the cause of your accident.  

Therefore, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide advice with respect to the legal process involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Proving fault

South Dakota is an “at-fault” state which means that the burden of proof that the other driver was at fault lies with you. When it comes to proving negligence and liability, you need to have sufficient evidence which can include witness statements, police reports, medical records, photographs, and a record of how your injuries have had a negative effect on your daily life in order to recover damages.

Some examples of negligence on the part of a driver that often results in serious car accidents and subsequent injuries include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving due to alcohol or drugs
  • Tailgating
  • Driving at an excessive speed
  • Failing to yield or obey traffic signals
  • Failing to signal at turns or for lane changes

According to South Dakota law, any type of compensation that you may be awarded will be reduced in proportion to the degree that you were found to be at fault.  Additionally, South Dakota follows the “slight-gross negligence” rule which means that you may recover damages as long as any negligence on your part was slight vs. that of the other driver.

Getting your settlement

Because of South Dakota’s unique laws when it comes to determining negligence and recovering damages in a car accident case, it’s important that you contact an attorney for car accident victims.

In addition, after a car accident, insurance companies are anxious to reach a settlement with you as soon as possible. Their initial offers are rarely enough to provide you with fair compensation which is another reason that you should consult with a personal injury attorney before settling a car accident claim.

Rapid City attorneys, Greg Yates and Michael Shubeck, provide personalized, compassionate advice and counsel to accident victims in Rapid City and the surrounding communities.  Contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation at which time we’ll discuss the particulars of your case and the types of compensation to which you’re entitled.