Motorcycle Accidents

Rapid City Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle Accidents in South Dakota

Motorcycle accidents are among the most serious of all motor vehicle collisions. With relatively little protection, motorcyclists are at a heightened risk of suffering severe bodily injuries and fatalities when they are hit by larger passenger cars and trucks. Unfortunately, these accidents are all too common in South Dakota.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), there were 465 motorcycle crashes in South Dakota in 2021, resulting in 383 injuries and 19 fatalities. Pennington County was home to the majority of these accidents, with 109 motorcycle crashes in 2021 alone.

If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident in Rapid City or any of the surrounding areas, reach out to Beardsley, Jensen & Lee for reliable legal representation. When you choose our firm, you don’t just get one attorney working on your case—you get an entire team of legal professionals dedicated to you and your recovery. We have over 100 years of combined experience and are fully prepared to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.

Contact us online or call (605) 777-7466 today to request a free initial consultation.

On This Page:

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

In the simplest terms, negligence is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents in South Dakota and throughout the United States. This negligence can—and does—take many forms, from general carelessness to downright aggressive and reckless behavior.

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving, including texting or using a cell phone while driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Traffic law violations
  • Unlawful passing or turning
  • Road rage
  • Tailgating/following too closely
  • Failing to obey traffic control devices, such as red lights and stop signs
  • Fatigued driving

Although most motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another driver, some crashes occur due to defective automobiles or motorcycles, defective motorcycle safety equipment, or even defective roadway construction or design. Our Rapid City motorcycle accident lawyers can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your case to determine how the crash occurred and, importantly, who was to blame.

Shared Fault in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Most states have laws regarding comparative negligence, also known as shared fault. South Dakota is unique in that it follows a modified pure comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, you are not prohibited from bringing a personal injury claim after an accident for which you shared some of the fault, as long as your degree of fault is considered “slight.” In other words, you must prove that the other person or party was “grossly” negligent to file a personal injury claim for damages.

This can be very difficult to prove, as “slight” and “gross” negligence can be subjective. Insurance companies know this and use it to their advantage. If they argue that you were more than slightly negligent, you could be barred from recovering compensation, so it is extremely important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you fight to protect your rights.

Damages in Motorcycle Accident Claims

Sadly, motorcycle accident victims often sustain catastrophic injuries, ranging from broken bones to spinal cord injuries to traumatic brain injuries. As a result, they often need extensive hospitalization and ongoing medical treatments. They may be unable to work for weeks, months, or even years, adding additional financial hardship to an already-challenging situation.

At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, we strive to recover maximum compensation for our clients’ damages. We know that a financial recovery cannot undo the pain and suffering you have endured, but it can provide much-needed financial relief in the face of unexpected challenges.

Our Rapid City motorcycle accident lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Hospitalization and ambulance fees
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Medical equipment/devices
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income/wages
  • Lost expected income/future earnings
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Counseling services/therapy

If your loved one died due to a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek compensation for unexpected financial and non-financial losses, such as loss of income, medical care costs, funeral/burial expenses, and loss of love, support, companionship, and guidance.

South Dakota's Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations

It is important to know that your time to take legal action after a motorcycle accident is limited. In most cases, motorcycle accident lawsuits in South Dakota are subject to a three year statute of limitations, meaning you typically have until the third anniversary of your crash to file a civil claim against the party responsible for your collision. If you attempt to file a claim after this three-year window has closed, the court will almost certainly refuse to hear your case and you will effectively lose your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.

From a strategy standpoint, it is important you give yourself as much time as possible to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Even if you anticipate your case will be resolved through an insurance settlement, getting an attorney involved early on can give you more leverage during settlement negotiations and keep your options open in the event that a trial is necessary.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in South Dakota

For riders under the age of 18, they must wear a motorcycle helmet approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation. This mandate underscores the state's commitment to protecting its young riders and mitigating the risks associated with motorcycle accidents. By enforcing helmet usage among minors, South Dakota aligns with a broader trend among states striving to reduce the severity of injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes.

The emphasis on Department of Transportation-approved helmets is pivotal. These helmets undergo testing and meet stringent safety standards set by regulatory authorities. By adhering to such specifications, riders can be assured that their helmets provide optimal protection in the event of an accident. This standardization not only enhances rider safety but also streamlines enforcement efforts, ensuring that all riders comply with the same level of safety protocols.

Moreover, South Dakota's legislation surrounding motorcycle helmets serves as a testament to the state's proactive approach to road safety. Recognizing motorcycles' vulnerability compared to other vehicles, the state acknowledges the importance of preventive measures to mitigate risks and enhance rider safety. By instilling a culture of responsible riding from a young age, South Dakota fosters a community of conscientious riders who prioritize safety on the roads.

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

In a perfect world, insurance companies would pay injured motorcyclists for the full value of their injuries up to the limits of their policies, without resistance, every time. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Insurance companies are businesses, and as such, their primary goal is to maximize profits and minimize the amount of claims they pay out. In many cases, insurance companies will do everything within their power to limit, delay, or even outright deny motorcycle accident claims to protect their bottom line. A skilled attorney who understands the tactics of insurance companies can protect you from mistreatment and give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your physical recovery.

Request a Free Consultation Today

Getting back on your feet after a motorcycle accident can be tough, but the team at Beardsley, Jensen & Lee is here for you every step of the way. We understand the unique challenges motorcycle accident victims face, from getting proper medical care for serious injuries to fighting back against stigmas and misconceptions about motorcyclists. Our team of Rapid City motorcycle accident lawyers can guide you through this process and advocate for you and the full, fair recovery you deserve.

We offer free initial consultations and do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless/until we win compensation for you.

Get in touch with us at (605) 777-7466 to learn how our team of attorneys can help you with your motorcycle accident case.

    I loved working with Matt McIntosh and Katrina for my personal injury case.

    I loved working with Matt McIntosh and Katrina for my personal injury case. It is hard getting through an accident mentally, medically, and financially, but they made my experience worry free. I would not been able to get through this without them, glad”

    - Cathryn P.
    I had the pleasure of working with Matt and I was very pleased with how professional and his knowledge in my case!

    I had the pleasure of working with Matt and I was very pleased with how professional and his knowledge in my case! I highly recommend Matt and his team, they have been nothing but great!

    - Whitney S.
    Brad and his team were excellent in all aspects

    “Brad and his team were excellent in all aspects. Brad made sure I was informed at all stages and never felt in the dark. His representation of me and my case were better than I could have imagined. Being unfamiliar with the process, I could not have been i”

    - Cindy H.
    I worked with Matt he was very helpful and did an awesome job with my case. Would definitely recommend.

    “I worked with Matt he was very helpful and did an awesome job with my case. Would definitely recommend. Even after all my stuff has been settled I’m still able to reach out and ask him questions and he always helps me get an answer.”

    - Cody J.
    I highly recommend their firm

    “Matt and Katrina were very helpful and reliable, and were on the ball on my case they did a great job, got back to me right away on all my emails and I highly recommend their firm, very courteous and respectful, Thank you again”

    - Russell M.

Your Case Deserves An Experienced Team

Free & Confidential Consultations
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.