Protecting The Interests Of South Dakota Car Accident Victims
Nobody plans to suffer a serious injury in an auto accident. Your life can be turned upside down without warning, and the future is suddenly very uncertain. If your injuries occurred due to another driver’s negligence, an experienced Sioux Falls car accident attorney can help ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.
At Hoy Law, we represent South Dakota clients who have suffered serious injuries in auto accidents. We understand the injuries that can happen in a particular type of accident and know the best approach to getting you the settlement and justice you deserve.
Talk To A Lawyer Before You Talk To Anyone At The Insurance Company
We have firsthand experience with the intentional and insensitive steps that insurance companies take to minimize the amount they pay in an accident claim.
Adjusters and other insurance company representatives are specifically trained to ask questions in a way that tricks you into saying things that diminish the strength of your claim.
By having one of our attorneys represent you from the start, you can defer any questions from the insurance company to our office. We know how adjusters operate, and we can give them the information they need while protecting your interests.
What Steps Should You Take After A Car Accident?
If you or anyone else has been injured, seeking medical care is the highest priority. Call 911 or ask someone else at the scene to do so. Here are other steps to take, if your injuries allow you to do so:
- Move everyone off the road and out of traffic
- Contact the police and report the accident (this step is only necessary if you didn’t already call for emergency medical services)
- As you wait for help to arrive, take pictures of the accident scene and/or jot down notes. Document anything that may be considered evidence later, including skid marks on the road, vehicle damage, accident location, license plates, etc. Do not forget to take pictures of yourself, specifically areas that have been injured. This should be done after the accident and throughout your recover.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver
- Look for witnesses to the crash and ask for their contact information
- Write down the name of the police officer at the scene and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report
- Report the accident to your insurance company, but don’t provide any more information than necessary. Avoid discussing fault at this time.
Once you leave the scene and take some time to calm down, you should then reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of the next steps.
Do I Need To Seek Medical Care, Even If I Don’t Seem Hurt?
After an accident, you should seek medical care. Some injuries are not plainly visible but can be highly serious, like internal bleeding. Other injuries don’t manifest immediately. Plus, you will need medical records of your injuries in order to file an insurance claim later or when pursuing compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
How Is Fault Determined After A South Dakota Car Accident?
South Dakota is a fault state, meaning that the person who caused the car accident (and their insurance company by extension) is responsible for paying the costs. When it comes to seeking compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, South Dakota’s negligence doctrine is the only one of its kind in the United States.
If one driver was entirely at fault, there is no issue for the other party. However, if both drivers shared some fault for the crash, the more innocent driver may be barred from seeking damages unless their amount of negligence is considered “slight.” This is a legal gray area because there is no fixed definition of slight versus gross negligence. For this reason and many others, it is critical to seek the help of an experienced injury attorney.
What Happens If The Other Driver Is Uninsured?
South Dakota insurance policies are required to include a certain amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver has no insurance, you could file a claim on your own policy related to your injuries. For severe accidents, the minimum coverage on your own policy may not cover all your costs. You would have the option of suing the uninsured driver, who could be held personally liable for the costs of the crash.
What If I Can’t Afford Your Medical Bills, Legal Fees And Other Expenses?
We will work to maximize your compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other costs related to the accident. Paying for legal bills isn’t something you will need to worry about, as our firm offers free initial consultations and takes cases on contingency. That means you pay no legal fees until and unless we help you recover money. Our fees would be deducted as a portion of whatever your settlement or jury award is.
At What Point Should I Contact An Attorney?
After an accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as reasonably possible. In addition to investigating the crash and preparing your case, our attorneys can also talk to your own insurance company on your behalf. You won’t need to worry about saying something that could compromise the value of your case. In short, the sooner you contact us, the more legal options you may have.
Talk To One Of Our Attorneys About Your Car Accident Claim
If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact Hoy Law to schedule a free initial consultation. Let our office level the playing field between you and the corporate insurance companies.