Whenever any city has a sudden influx of visitors and additional traffic, accidents are also much more likely with more cars on the road. Some of these special events result in problems for local drivers and law enforcement.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol was watching a motorcycle rally that was associated with a number of serious injuries in the town of Sturgis. The state police saw a very noticeable increase in traffic incidents and hurt motorists.
Several devastating accidents happen over the course of a rally weekend
The town experienced twelve accidents that resulted in injuries over the course of the busy weekend. At the time of the report, no fatalities had been tied to the event but several injuries required medical treatment. Traffic and congestion were significantly increased in the area, and locals who were in charge of running the event said that Sturgis had not seen such an influx of people in several years.
The news report for the rally highlighted a couple of incidents where motorists were badly hurt. One crash included a motorcycle that hit a deer and ejected the two occupants onto the road surface. The next day, a driver lost control on a steep curve and went into a motorcycle that had two riders. Three people needed to be hospitalized after that catastrophic accident.
It is also suspected that a number of drivers were operating their vehicles while intoxicated at the rally, as local law enforcement finds and charges a number of people around this time each year. Approximately fifty drivers were charged with DWIs in the area at the same time the prior year.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol was in charge of investigating all of the accidents and any other situations involving crime that occurred at or near the rally.
Getting a lawyer after a fatal or severe accident
Those who are involved in serious accidents are more likely to need to retain legal representation, as the insurance process may prove insufficient to pay for extensive medical treatment and other losses. A general insurance policy can provide several thousand dollars worth of coverage, but this may not be enough for expenses such as lost wages, days of hospitalization, and continued care in the months or years after that may be necessary to function as normal.
Long term treatment associated with serious personal injuries
Accidents that cause permanent injuries or brain damage may require lifelong treatment. Motorcycle accidents are notorious for causing brain injuries due to the fact that there is no frame or airbags to help protect a driver on a bike. An individual or business who is sued after these kinds of lice changing injuries may be on the hook for thousands or millions of dollars.
If someone dies in the accident, funeral and burial expenses must also be factored into the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. South Dakota has special laws related to wrongful death cases like every other state. In general, spouses or surviving children are allowed to bring the case on behalf of the deceased person’s estate within a short period of time after the incident. They can ask for damages based on the deceased person’s potential earning power as well, which can be a very large amount.
Because the amounts involved in these kinds of lawsuits are significant, it is important to only discuss the situation with a South Dakota law firm that focuses on the most severe personal injury cases.
Criminal violations and evidence of negligence
This news story also mentioned intoxicated drivers. From the standpoint of a person injury lawsuit, criminal charges for drunk driving can be used as evidence of negligence. As a general rule, any traffic or criminal driving violation that is relevant to the type of harm that occurred can be used to show the jury that the defendant was at fault for the accident. A defense lawyer will have an opportunity to rebut this presumption, but if their client was clearly at fault, they will often be willing to make a settlement agreement.
Because negligence laws are related to a person’s failure to meet the required standard of care on the road, driving while drunk or breaking any other law can clearly show that the person at fault breached their duty of care. This breach is one of the most important elements of a negligence claim. An attorney who handles negligence cases on a regular basis can explain more about how these elements will factor into your case.
Local lawyers who focus on significant personal injuries are available to help
To learn more about getting legal representation following a serious accident anywhere in the state of South Dakota, contact Ogborn, Mihm, and Quaintance. They can speak with you about filing a lawsuit and taking other actions against the driver at fault.