Whether injured or not, an auto accident is shocking, especially if you did not see it coming. Your adrenaline goes into overdrive, your mind races and you probably feel intense relief that you survived.
The stress of a car accident makes it easy to forget to protect your right to compensation when the other driver is at fault for the crash. Since most people exit their vehicles and gather to exchange information, be cautious about what you say.
South Dakota and comparative negligence
As an at-fault state, South Dakota follows the comparative negligence model. It means you must prove the other driver caused the crash through their negligent actions.
The state also adheres to a model no other region follows, known as the slight-gross negligence rule. If you played a role in causing the auto accident, but your contribution was minimal, you can still recover some financial compensation.
Limit your post-crash conversations
Even if you know you did nothing to cause or contribute to your auto accident, it is wise to avoid saying too much to the other driver. Limit your discussion to exchanging information, and if they ask questions about how the crash happened, say you don’t know. Most importantly, never say anything that sounds like an apology.
Since many car accidents result in significant injuries, you may be too incapacitated to speak with the other driver. Consider sharing this information with your family and friends when they ride with you. If they are present during a crash, they will know not to say anything damaging to your case.
We also urge you to learn more about South Dakota accident and injury compensation laws to make the most of your claim.