South Dakota teenagers killed on highway by oncoming truck

Whenever someone is injured in an accident, contacting a lawyer who focuses on motor vehicle related injuries and similar kinds of cases is the best way to try to get medical bills and other expenses paid. Negligence lawsuits are one of the most common types of civil cases, and lawyers file these kinds of claims frequently for a variety of reasons..

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to an accident that caused multiple injuries in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area.

Crash seriously injures one driver and cuts off power to an intersection

Police believe the crash happened when a driver, who was going northbound on Cliff Ave, attempted to turn left onto 271st Street at about 7 am. During the turn, a car travelling southbound collided with the vehicle.

One of the drivers who was involved was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained serious injuries. Rescue crews had to use extraction equipment to  remove him from the vehicle, but they are hopeful that he will survive, as he was alert and talking as he was transported to a local hospital. The other driver had only minor injuries and chose to leave the scene on his own. When police interviewed the people involved, both drivers claimed they had a green light in the moments before the accident.

Photos from the scene showed two cars with significant front end damage all the way up to their engine blocks. One of the vehicles involved also hit a nearby traffic light pole and power lines. Workers with the highway department needed to turn off power going to the area while repairs were made. Local police told drivers to avoid the area, as there would be significant traffic delays due to the accident debris and repairs crews on the scene to deal with the traffic lights and power lines. Police were conducting an initial accident investigation, but there was no word on whether traffic citations or criminal charges would be brought against anyone involved.

The intersection where the accident happened is just south of Sioux Falls near the borders of Springdale Township and Harrisburg.

Negligence lawsuits

When one driver injures someone else, it is often because they were not exercising a proper level of care expected of all drivers. This breach of the relevant standard of care is defined as  negligence by the law.   When negligence  results in injuries and losses to others the law allows for a financial recovery in an attempt to make the injured person whole. For a plaintiff’s lawyer to win in a negligence case, they must establish that a relevant duty of care existed, the defendant failed to meet this standard, and their actions harmed the plaintiff. In automobile accident cases, this is normally done by establishing fault related to some kind of mistake while driving.

Fault is an important concept in accidents because insurance companies and legal professionals use this term to attach responsibility to one party. Once one driver is found to be at fault, they may have to pay for all of the damages associated with an accident. These amounts can be very large, especially if the victim is seriously hurt or killed. Fatal accidents are usually followed by a wrongful death case rather than a negligence case, but many of the same rules apply, even when the victim is not around to personally file the case.

Calculating damages when fault is not clear

The two main issues that an accident lawyer will have to sort out after this kind of collision  are determining fault and arguing for the largest amount of damages allowed by law for their client. This is important because a higher degree of fault allocated to the defendant can result in more financial gain  for the plaintiff.

Damages are determined by finding the total amount of harm caused to the plaintiff by the defendant and adding up all associated costs. This can include amounts related to a hospital stay, repeated doctor visits, medications, and other forms of treatment. Other economic damages may be related to the person’s lost wages, missed time from work, and property losses or repairs. Personal injury attorneys are also able to make an argument to the jury regarding compensation for their client’s emotional pain and suffering. These are commonly referred to as non-economic damages. Finally, if the plaintiff suffers any permanent impairment there may also be a recovery for those injuries.

Most jurisdictions now use negligence laws that allow fault to be divided between all drivers involved. This will ensure that a driver who is at least partially at fault can still receive payment for their injuries. South Dakota does follow a similar standard, however the plaintiff cannot be mostly at fault for the accident if they expect to receive money from the defendant.

Get more information from a local lawyer

To get help from a lawyer who focuses on automobile accidents, serious injuries, and wrongful death cases in the Sioux Falls area, contact Ogborn, Mihm, and Quaintance Prof. LLC. Their attorneys will give advice based on the circumstances surrounding your accident and the possibility of winning a lawsuit against the person or business responsible.