Written by attorney John Michael Phillips | May 29, 2012

Medical Malpractice Law in South Dakota

Medical malpractice law in South Dakota is considered to be a straightforward and clearly defined matter. In reality, very few laws are straightforward in any way, shape or form. With constant legal wrangling, the definition of the law can change on a regular basis, depending on what precedent has been set and what most recent legal rulings have been made. In the case of medical malpractice law in South Dakota, the law sets forth a very clear set of circumstances that enable individuals to sue for medical malpractice from their physician. These circumstances can include all manner of negligence and different types of oversight that doctors are required to provide. Without the specific type of negligence being in clear and abundant attendance, it is difficult to prove the case of medical malpractice in most cases. While it is true that patients quite often win medical malpractice cases, it is also true that others, who at first blush would seem to be more deserving, are often overruled, despite grievous injuries and evidence to the contrary.

South Dakota State Malpractice Laws at a Glance:

South Dakota State Tort Law Statute of Limitations Two years from date of original injury by action or failure to act. Damage Award Limits Noneconomic damages limited to no more than $500,000. Special damages are unlimited.

Joint Defendant Liability

Proportionate liability for defendants based on percentages of fault. However, defendants liabile for less than but not equal to 50% are not jointly liable for more than twice percentage of fault allocated.

Expert Witness No limits on witnesses.

Attorney FeesNo limits on attorneys fees.

Defining Medical Malpractice Law in South Dakota

While the exact definition of medical malpractice law was necessarily set down in in the statutes quite some time ago, the constant litigation and court battles over the years have subtly and effectively changed the very meaning of medical malpractice law in South Dakota to a vast extent. What was once considered to be set in stone is now considered to be the subject of much debate and has evolved into a completely different subset of legal argument. As long as physicians and attorneys meet head-to-head in the courtroom on a regular basis, it is very likely that the individual cases that make up the bulk of medical malpractice law in South Dakota will continue to set new precedent and continue to shape and change the face of law over the years to come. Until such time as precedents are repealed or the original law is re-examined, it is logical to assume that medical malpractice law and South Dakota will continue to evolve over a considerable period of time.

The Rights of the Victims

As a patient, the medical malpractice law in South Dakota protects individuals from certain liberties that doctors take, including all manner of negligence and oversight. As long as your attorney can make his case, it is very likely that you have every right to protection from attorneys and doctors under the medical malpractice law in South Dakota.

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