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Burn Injury Claims: Legal Advice for South Dakota Residents

Personal Injury

Suffering a burn can be a physically and emotionally devastating injury. Many people find themselves temporarily or permanently disabled, struggling with depression, and often facing extensive medical procedures to regain functionality. If you or a loved one have suffered a burn in South Dakota due to someone else’s negligence, you have a right to take legal action.

A Sioux Falls personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages you deserve. You can discuss your case with us at Alvine Law Firm to learn more about your options. We offer free consultations for your convenience. 

In this post, we will discuss burn injury laws, liability and the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in South Dakota.

Burn Injury Classifications

There are different types of burns depending on how they occur. For example, thermal burns are caused by exposure to extreme heat, while chemical burns are caused by exposure to some type of corrosive substance. You can pursue justice for any type of burn injury in South Dakota, including electrical, chemical, thermal, and radiation burns.

The severity of a burn depends on how many layers of skin it affects. Superficial burns only affect the top layer of skin (epidermis), while more severe burns can destroy multiple layers of skin. Doctors classify burns based on how deep they are. 

  • A first-degree burn, also called a superficial burn, only affects the epidermis. It can still be painful and cause redness and swelling, but it generally heals on its own and does not cause long-term injury, disability, or disfigurement. 
  • A second-degree burn, or partial-thickness burn, affects the epidermis and a layer of the deeper skin called the dermis. It can cause red, painful, blistering skin that can require hospitalization if it covers more than 10% of the total body surface area (TBSA).
  • A third-degree burn, or full-thickness burn, requires emergency medical care and can have life-threatening consequences, such as infection or shock. Patients with these burns may need special reconstructive treatment to treat their skin. 

Suffering from any type of burn can be a traumatic experience. Those with more severe injuries can face permanent disability, nerve damage, mobility impairment, and more. It is important to seek legal counsel if you or a loved one have been injured through a burn injury in Sioux Falls, SD. Please contact Alvine Law Firm at 605-275-0808 to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. 

Legal Basis for Burn Injury Claims in South Dakota

In any type of personal injury case, proving another person’s negligence is crucial to recovering damages. South Dakota uses a modified comparative negligence system, meaning individuals can sue someone for an injury even if they were partially responsible for it. 

Under this legal structure responsibility is determined by the court and damages are established based on a percentage. For example, if a judge or jury determines that someone is 20% responsible for their injury, then 20% of their recoverable damages will be deducted from their final settlement.

In order to determine that someone was responsible for your burn, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. You must be able to demonstrate that the burn occurred due to someone else’s negligence, whether that is a defective product, lack of care, or failure to warn you about risks. 

Our lawyers are here to help you build a strong case for your injury. When you schedule a free consultation with us, you will connect with a lawyer who is committed to justice. We will listen to your story and let you know what your legal options are. 

Establishing Liability in Burn Injury Cases

In order to establish liability for a burn injury, you must show that the other party breached their duty of care. This means that they did not take reasonable action to prevent your injury or that they failed to notify you of risks you might have faced that led to your burn. For example, if you were burned in a serious car accident, you can argue that the other driver’s lack of responsibility and attention on the road ultimately caused your injury, or you could sue a manufacturer for a defective product that caused your burn.

The circumstances surrounding burn injuries are personal, and every case deserves individualized care. This is why consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer is so important. We understand the unique challenges and complexities of South Dakota tort law. Our goal is to help you recover as many damages as possible while offering support and guidance during this difficult time.

Compensation in Burn Injury Claims

You do not only have to sue someone for physical injury in South Dakota. Your recoverable damages can also include.non non-physical suffering, such as emotional hardship or trauma that you have sustained as a result of your burn injury. You can also sue someone for a disability that you have incurred that will impact your ability to work and support yourself in the future.

In addition to covering more long term costs related to your injury, a lawsuit can also help you recover medical expenses, surgical costs, rehabilitation services, and reconstructive surgery that you need after your burn.

Time Limit for Filing a Burn Injury Claim in South Dakota

Burn injury cases in South Dakota followed the same statute of limitations as other personal injuries. You will have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party (South Dakota Codified Law 57-A-4-111). 

When to Consider Filing a Lawsuit for a Burn Injury

You should consider filing a lawsuit for a burn injury if you have been harmed as a result of someone else’s actions. South Dakota law allows you to recover damages even if you are found up to 49% responsible for your injury.

Every individual in South Dakota is responsible for the harm they cause another person due to their willful acts, negligence, or lack of ordinary care (South Dakota Codified Law 20-9-1). 

Burn injuries can take years to recover from. Even if you sustained a mild injury, you may still have medical bills and lost wages that you would like to recover through court. In addition to physical injuries and medical debt, you can also sue for emotional damages

Consider filing a lawsuit if you have been harmed by someone else’s negligence.Our lawyers would be happy to discuss your case with you in a free consultation and let you know what your legal rights are.

Tips for Filing a Burn Injury Claim in South Dakota 

When filing a burn injury claim with your insurance provider, be sure to: 

  • Document everything. Collect all your medical documents relating to the accident, including doctors’ reports and bills. Letters written by physicians outlining the severity of your injury can also be helpful. 
  • Provide as much detail as possible. Be sure to fill out your claim with as much information as you can to avoid delaying the settlement process. 
  • Keep records. Note the name and title of the insurance adjuster and any other parties you speak with. Keep a track record of your engagement with them, including when you spoke and what was said during each conversation. 
  • Don’t rush to accept a settlement. Rather than take the first amount you are offered, consider working with an attorney to consider if the amount is fair and acceptable given the extent of your injury and its impacts.
  • Consider filing a lawsuit. If you are unable to reach a settlement, you can file a lawsuit with a lawyer’s help.


Personal injury law can be complicated, especially when you are already navigating the emotional stress and physical pain of burn recovery. Remember, you have a legal right to sue for damages, and you are not required to take the first settlement an insurance company offers. Contact Alvine Law Firm in Sioux Falls, SD, to arrange a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who cares. 

Additional Resources

American Burn Association 

South Dakota Codified Laws for Personal Injuries  

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