Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents, Insurance And More
What should I do after a car accident?
- If someone is hurt, call 911. Get prompt medical attention for the injured.
- Gather any evidence you can about the circumstances of the accident, such as photos of the scene, photos of the wrecked vehicle(s) and names and photo numbers of eyewitnesses.
- Answer basic questions that the police might ask, but do not make statements about fault and do not converse at length with an officer or investigator without legal representation.
- Inform your insurer of the accident if:
- Anyone was hurt or killed
- Damages are likely worth more than $1000 for any person or more than $2000 total for the accident
- Contact an attorney to request a free initial consultation.
How can I get my expenses and losses compensated for?
You can pursue compensation in one of three ways:
- File a claim with your own insurance.
- File a third-party claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance.
- File a lawsuit against a negligent party.
Get timely advice from a lawyer who can help you discern which path applies in your case and help you recover all compensation you are eligible for.
What if a court finds that I was partially at fault?
South Dakota has “comparative negligence” laws. Your recovery of compensation may be reduced if you are determined to be at fault, slightly, as compared with the negligence of the tortfeasor.
What kinds of insurance might pay my medical bills after a car accident in South Dakota?
- An at-fault driver’s liability insurance
- Your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
What if an insurance claims adjuster offers me a settlement?
Beware of accepting any offer before consulting with an attorney and before you have a clear prognosis about your long-term physical recovery. To protect your rights, consult with a lawyer before proceeding to seek or accept compensation.
What if I was driving as part of my employment when the accident happened?
- You may be able to get some or all medical bills paid (and some benefits for time off work) through workers’ compensation.
- In addition, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party.
- Your workers’ compensation and personal injury claims will be separate legal actions.
How can I get personalized answers about my situation?
At The Shultz Law Firm, Prof. LLC, initial consultations are free. You will discover that I am knowledgeable and truly care about helping you maximize compensation after an injury. If I represent you, I will do so on a contingency basis.