Personal Injury Cases in South Dakota to Avoid
People are vulnerable to injury wherever they are or whatever they are doing. However, some injuries are severe and can inflict lasting pain. The medical bills from these injuries can also be life altering. Lawsuits are often necessary for patients to recover, not only physically, but also financially, mentally, and emotionally. Below are the most common personal injury lawsuits filed in South Dakota:
Many personal injury cases are based on a claim for negligence, meaning that a defendant failed to behave with a certain level of care that another person would have used under similar circumstances. A defendant is negligent if he, she, or it had a responsibility to a plaintiff, the defendant failed to act in accordance with that responsibility, and that breach of responsibility caused the injuries of a plaintiff.
For instance, a water spill occurs in a store. The employees in the store ignore the spill for several hours even though they are aware of it. The employees could clean up the spill or at least put up warning signs, but they fail to do anything. Eventually, a customer walks on the spill and slips and falls. The customer breaks his or her tailbone. The store would be liable for the customer’s tailbone injury.
Similarly, a store leaves a box unattended for several hours next to the store exit. The employees are aware of the box, but fail to move it or put up warning signs. An elderly man trips over the box and hits his head as he falls down. The store would be liable for the man’s head injuries as a result of that fall.
Motor Vehicle Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are similar to fall injuries in that they typically occur because someone else was negligent. A driver might be looking down at her phone and fails to stop her car in time before hitting the vehicle ahead. A property owner might leave a tree in the middle of a street leading to a driver running into the tree. However, motor vehicle accidents might also be caused by a defective car, especially since many vehicles today have advanced computers inside them or even drive themselves. If a car was defectively designed or manufactured, the car dealer or car manufacturer might also be liable for the defective vehicle.
An intentional injury occurs when the defendant deliberately and intentionally causes harm to another individual or property. Unlike negligence claims, intentional injury claims can lead to both civil and criminal penalties. Unlike a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant intended to harm him or her. An intentional injury claim can also lead to punitive damages in a civil case. Punitive damages mean that the defendant is also punished for intentionally harming others, such that punitive damages are more akin to a criminal fine, though still entirely separate from the criminal system. Intentional injuries can result from assault, battery, fraud, or trespass to land, among many others.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in South Dakota?
A skilled South Dakota personal injury lawyer will be familiar with the relevant laws and legal issues that can arise in your case. An attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and can determine whether you have a viable claim or not. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, then you should consider contacting a South Dakota personal injury lawyer for further legal advice.