Sioux Falls teenager dies after crash on icy interstate roads

As ice begins to appear on the roads in Sioux Falls and the state of South Dakota each fall and winter, many accidents are caused by the extreme cold weather and its effects on drivers. Local news reported on several accidents, including one fatal crash on an interstate highway in the area.

Interstate in Sioux Falls area becomes the scene of multiple accidents

The South Dakota Highway Patrol responded to Interstate 229 and found a  rollover crash at about 9 pm on a Tuesday night. One 15 year old male in the car was pronounced dead at the scene and another 16 year old victim needed to be transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. A winter weather advisory had been issued for that area earlier in the day. Emergency crews closed part of the road and blocked traffic for several hours while they cleared the scene. 

There were also a number of other less serious accidents reported that same night on Interstates 229 and 29 in Sioux Falls. Preliminary investigations attributed the crashes to the weather and icy road conditions, which caused drivers to lose control.

Fatal accidents and lawsuits

If someone dies in an accident that is caused by a negligent driver, it is  possible for the family to file a lawsuit on their family member’s behalf. This is called a wrongful death case, and personal injury lawyers routinely make these claims following fatal car crashes. When this kind of action is brought, parents, children, spouses, siblings, or other relatives can stand in the deceased person’s place and ask for damages. These damages, which is the legal term related to lost money from the accident, can include future lost wages, medical and funeral expenses, lost services to the household and community, and even non-economic losses related to the family’s emotional pain and suffering. Punitive damages are also available to punish the defendant if they were engaged in any kind of reckless or egregious conduct that led to the death of another person.

South Dakota’s wrongful death law

Like every other state in the U.S., South Dakota has specific requirements for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute states that when someone is killed from the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, their family can bring a lawsuit. This is not a criminal case, and the state may bring separate criminal charges that will not affect what the family does in civil court.

The statute is specific about who can bring a wrongful death case.  As there can be a number of pit falls in wrongful death litigation, it is best to have an experienced lawyer help you through the process

South Dakota law states that a wrongful death action associated with a collision needs to be filed within three years of the date of the fatal accident. Wrongful death actions often take a significant amount of investigation before a case can be brought.  Therefore, it is best to retain counsel as soon as possible. 

Determining fault after a motor vehicle collision

Even though the weather was a major factor in these accidents, there will still be investigations to determine fault and exact cause of each accident. Depending on the specifics of each accident, determining whether another driver, business entity or car manufacturer, or anyone else contributed to your injuries can be a complex process. There is even the possibility that multiple people can be sued or fault can be divided between several parties under the jurisdiction’s negligence laws. Preserving evidence and taking the right steps in the investigation is the job of the attorney you retain.  Make certain your lawyer is working to protect you as soon as possible after you have been injured in a collision.  .


Most negligence claims do not go to trial.  However, every claim should be investigated and treated as if it will end up in trial.  By making sure the case is properly investigated and prepared, the best outcome can be achieved for the client.

Why choosing the best lawyer is important

While personal injury cases and auto accidents are a broad area of the law where many attorneys practice, expertise and experience are still necessary to get the best result.

Because there are many variables that determine fault, damages, and other important aspects of your case, it is important to trust only the most experienced lawyers to represent you and handle these sensitive issues.

Speak with local accident attorneys

To learn more about filing a lawsuit after any kind of motor vehicle accident in the Sioux Falls area, contact Ogborn, Mihm, and Quaintance.They can guide you through the process of making a case against the driver or business who is at fault for the crash.