Who Pays for Car Accident Compensation in South Dakota?

Trusted attorneys explain how the legal system works

Car accidents should be simple. Someone causes your crash. You get paid for your accident. But most accidents end up being far more complicated. The other driver might deny doing anything wrong. Or the insurance company might do everything they can to dismiss your claim.

That's why it's critical that you know as much as possible about South Dakota's legal system and how it applies to your auto accident. That's why you need Zimmer, Duncan & Cole, LLP, on your side, standing up for your rights.

Free Case Consultation

Our Sioux Falls car accident attorneys thoroughly understand our state's unique accident insurance system. That's because we have worked with accident victims throughout the state since 1948. There's no substitute for such experience. And we're eager to share our knowledge and expertise with you after your crash.

South Dakota is a 'fault' insurance state

There are two main types of car insurance in the country - "no fault" and "fault." South Dakota has a "fault" insurance system. That means the driver responsible for your accident must compensate you for your accident-related expenses in most cases.

Under this insurance system, you have three choices for getting the compensation you deserve for your auto accident:

We can help you decide which approach works best for your particular accident. That's why we want to meet with you as soon as possible. We can also explain how South Dakota's comparative fault system works.

How does South Dakota's comparative fault insurance system work?

This is one of the most complicated parts of South Dakota's unique car insurance system. Outlined in South Dakota law 20-9-2, the amount of money you can receive for your motor vehicle accident can be reduced if you contributed to your accident in some way.

But unlike many states, South Dakota's laws do not require officials to specify a precise percentage for who was at fault. Instead, you can receive compensation provided your contribution to causing your accident was "slight in comparison with the negligence" of the at-fault driver, according to South Dakota's laws.

Defining what constitutes "slight" can often spark a lot of debate, especially since the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for providing compensation for your accident. That's why it's important that you have us on your side, speaking out on your behalf.

South Dakota's car insurance requirements

All drivers in South Dakota must have car insurance. The minimum amount of insurance drivers must have includes:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injuries
  • $50,000 per accident for injuries if two or more people are hurt
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

In addition, drivers in South Dakota must have insurance coverage for accidents involving uninsured drivers. Drivers in South Dakota are not required to have the following insurance:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

Again, these forms of car insurance are not mandatory. But you should consider getting such optional car insurance coverage. That's because many car accidents turn out to be much more expensive than the minimum amount of insurance coverage.

Below, you will find more information about the three different ways you can pursue compensation for your car accident. We can discuss all three options in detail with you during your free case evaluation. Simply contact us and schedule an appointment.

File an accident claim with your own insurance company

Many accident victims choose to file an accident claim with their own insurance company in South Dakota, even if the other driver was at fault. Known as a first-party claim, this approach sounds simple. But it can be very complicated in many circumstances.

In particular, your own insurance company might not have your best interests at heart. This is especially true if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or an accident involving a driver without car insurance. In such cases, your own insurance company would be responsible for compensating you for your crash.

And no matter which insurance company you're dealing with, you will quickly realize that most insurance companies only care about one thing - paying injury victims as little as possible. And that's true for your own insurance company as well. That's why it's critical that you have us on your side, fighting for the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Return to Top

File a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company

Many people injured in a car accident caused by another driver choose to file a claim against the at-fault driver. This type of claim is known as a third-party claim. If you decide to file this type of claim, you will need to notify the at-fault driver's insurance company that you want to pursue a third-party claim.

In most cases, the best way to tell the at-fault driver's insurance company that you want to pursue a third-party claim is to send a letter to the insurance company. That way, you have a written record of your request.

We can help you write that letter and work with you every step of the way after your accident. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and demand the compensation you rightfully deserve. If necessary, we're prepared to take them to court on your behalf.

Return to Top

Take legal action against the at-fault driver

Sometimes, the best way to get the money you rightfully deserve for your car accident is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver's insurance company. We often take this approach after negotiations with the insurance company fail to produce a fair settlement offer.

Taking legal action against an insurance company can be a very complicated process. It's also important to understand that many insurance companies often hire entire teams of attorneys and investigators to defend their best interests.

That's why it's important that you contact our law firm as soon as possible. We know how the legal system works in South Dakota and what it takes to win. That's because our law firm has been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1948. Find out how we can help you. Contact us right now.

Return to Top

Tea WeeklyAlcester Union and Hudsonite OnlineThe New Era OnlineSuper LawyersThe Yankton County ObserverThe Lennox Independent

Sioux Falls

5000 S. Broadband Lane, Suite 119
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Phone: 605-361-9840
Fax: 605-271-7872
Toll Free: 888-733-2992
Location Details

Parker

120 N. Main Street
Parker, SD 57053

Phone: 605-297-4446
Fax: 605-297-4488
Toll Free: 888-733-2992
Location Details