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 for many years. 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:
Our car accident attorneys 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 the state'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 state 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 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 to 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, 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.
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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.
Our car accident attorneys 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 to demand the compensation you rightfully deserve. If necessary, we're prepared to take them to court on your behalf.
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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 Sioux Falls 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 car accident attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for many years. Find out how we can help you. Contact us right now.
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