With 400,000 bikers visiting South Dakota every year for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the state is no stranger to road and car accidents, negligence issues and personal injury cases. Figuring out where to place blame and liability can be a puzzle in and of itself. Perhaps it was you who was injured; maybe it was a family member or friend. Whatever happens during your South Dakota journeys, if you need help for your personal injury case, Enjuris can offer guidance.
South Dakota Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
South Dakota statutes online
This is where you’ll find the South Dakota Code of Laws. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, monetary limits on personal injury cases (which are also known as damage caps), and other important information.
South Dakota's car accident statutes of limitation
In South Dakota, you have three years to bring both a personal injury and a property damage claim. That means you have three years to file your paperwork with the court, not that your case has to be completed in that time frame.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free of charge. (Note that other legal specialties, such as traffic law or domestic relations law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus whatever office expenses they incur along the way.
If your case proceeds to trial, that percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't determined by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal significance that came out of South Dakota's courts:
South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 2017 S.D. 56: This case is definitely going to the United States Supreme Court, or it's at least going to try. The question is whether online retailers should pay sales tax in the states in which they do business, even if they don't have a physical presence there (this was questioned in 1992's Quill v. North Dakota). As of now, no, online companies doing more than $100,000 worth of business in the state do not have to pay sales tax. States are obviously not happy about this because they want the revenue, which could potentially be worth billions.
South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364 (1976): This case discussed the "community caretaking" doctrine under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Opperman's car was illegally parked and impounded; during the police's search and inventory, they found marijuana. Opperman attempted to have the marijuana suppressed because of an expectation of privacy in the car, but because the police have a caretaking function in their role, the Supreme Court determined that the marijuana was admissible and the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987): Federal funding for highway transportation was withheld from South Dakota because it allowed 19 year olds to purchase alcohol, and a federal law had been passed that only allowed 21 year olds and up to purchase alcohol. This was the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, and it allowed federal funding to be withheld for states that did not comply. South Dakota named Elizabeth Dole, the transportation secretary, as defendant in its case. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law, because it upheld the general welfare of the states under the Spending Clause, was not in itself unconstitutional, was not coercive, was unambiguous, and was of federal interest in particular national projects and programs.
There are a number of issues you can solve without the help of a lawyer. If you don't know where to begin, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.