Locations in Sioux Falls & Mitchell

Understanding South Dakota’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury

Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence can completely change your life. Some people are faced with lifelong disabilities, others have extensive medical debt and emotional trauma that can take years to heal from. The physical, psychological, and economic hardship personal injuries cause deserve the best representation and compensation — but you only have three years to seek justice in South Dakota. 

Alvine Law Firm represents all types of personal injury claims in Sioux Falls. Our experienced team acts as your voice in court, fighting in your best interest for the damages you’ve suffered. To ensure you can claim any money you’re entitled to, it is important to understand the personal injury statute of limitations in South Dakota. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Sioux Falls? 

South Dakota Codified Law 15-2-4 sets the statute of limitations for personal injuries at three (3) years. This means you have 36 months from the date of your injury to file a claim in court. 

The sooner you seek legal counsel, the better. We empathize with the victims of personal injury cases who are more focused on their recovery than seeking justice. You may not even be sure you have a right to take legal action against the responsible party in court. 

Speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to determine your options and move forward. Alvine Law Firm is here to help. You can contact us to schedule a free consultation call with one of our skilled Sioux Falls personal injury lawyers. 

Understanding Statutes of Limitation

A statute of limitation is a limit on how long a person has to take legal action for a particular matter. The statute of limitation differs by crime. Statutes of limitation set a timeframe for the court to prosecute a certain event. After the timeframe passes, the offender can no longer be taken to court for their actions, even if they are admittedly at fault.

Severe crimes often have no statute of limitation, but personal injury cases do. The three-year limit in South Dakota means time is of the essence when seeking restitution for your injury. 

Defining Personal Injury Under South Dakota Law

You can sue someone for negligence that results in physical injury, emotional distress, or property damage in South Dakota. The full extent of personal injuries is vast, but it can include common injuries such as:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Slip-and-fall or trip injuries 
  • Burns 
  • Wounds
  • Head trauma
  • Paralysis 
  • Mobility loss 
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Torn ligaments
  • Dashboard knee 
  • Whiplash 
  • Scarring

Emotional distress is also an important component a skilled attorney will explore in a personal injury case. They recognize that there is far more to trauma than physical harm. The stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that many people experience following an accident are equally deserving of compensation to promote healing and ease financial burdens.

Alvine Law Firm has decades of experience serving clients. To connect with a personal injury lawyer in Sioux Falls, SD, please call us at 605-275-0808

Statute of Limitations for Different Types of Personal Injuries in South Dakota 

The nature of the injury will impact how long you have to file a lawsuit. While the standard statute of limitations for a personal injury is three (3) years, there are exemptions. For example, medical malpractice must be filed within two (2) years after the injury (South Dakota Codified Law 15-2-14.1); product liability lawsuits must be filed within three (3) years from the date of discovery (South Dakota Codified Law;). 

To avoid missing the crucial time period to file a personal injury lawsuit in South Dakota, it is advisable to seek legal guidance as soon as you are able to. The Alvine Law Firm in Sioux Falls represents clients seeking restitution for all types of injuries. Meet your lawyers

Tolling the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in South Dakota

Tolling is a legal doctrine that pauses the normal statute of limitations. It can temporarily delay the running timeframe, giving clients more time to gather evidence and file a claim. South Dakota personal injury statutes of limitation can be tolled under court-made laws; these include a person bringing forward a case after the limit because they were unaware they had a right to sue or hospital patients who develop complications after a surgery.

While tolling can help people pursue justice after the typical three-year period, it is still beneficial to seek legal counsel if you have any concerns about an injury, medical malpractice, or product defect. 

The Importance of Prompt Legal Action 

Although there are exceptional cases, waiting longer than the standard three-year period (or two-year period for medical malpractice), could result in losing your right to file a claim.

To sue someone in South Dakota, you must file a written complaint, with the appropriate court. This officially makes you the plaintiff and the party you are suing the defendant. The court then arranges to have the complaint delivered to the other party with a summons to appear in court. This is known as a service of process. 

There are specific circumstances in which you may have to formally notify the party that you intend to sue, such as when bringing a lawsuit against a government agency. To determine the appropriate course of action in your unique case, it is best to speak with an attorney who understands the complexities of personal injury law throughout South Dakota. 

Contact Alvine Law Firm in Sioux Falls, SD, to discuss your case. Call 605-275-0808 to schedule a free consultation. 

Get the help you need today!

Our legal team’s expertise allows us to quickly evaluate your claim to allow you to get back to living your life.