Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions

Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

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  • Does a step-parent's income impact a child support obligation in South Dakota?


    Yes. The income of a step-parent can trigger the deviation in the child support guidelines that adjusts a party's support obligation based on the financial condition of a party. A child support deviation must be requested.

  • What is Medical Payments Coverage in a South Dakota Car Insurance Policy?


    This type of coverage is getting more important all the time. Medical payments coverage (it is often referred to as "medpay" in the legal world) is a small health insurance policy that will promptly pay a portion of your medical bills including co-pays and deductibles if you have been in an accident.


    Remember that the person who caused the accident will ultimately be responsible for your medical bills, but that claim could take years and having medical payments coverage even if you have a health insurance policy is something that is generally worthwhile.

  • Who is responsible for a car accident when the road conditions are icy?


    In South Dakota, every driver is charged with acting with due care depending on the conditions of the roadway. So if a driver loses control of his vehicle and causes a collision with your vehicle, such as a rear-end accident, the fact that the roads were icy and covered with snow is not a defense — he may still be responsible for the damage to your vehicle and your injuries.

  • Are daycare expenses considered in my South Dakota child support calculation?


    Daycare expenses are not a part of the basic child support obligation. Child care expenses are only considered as a part of your child support obligation as a deviation from the schedule, which must be requested.

  • Are my living expenses considered when calculating child support in South Dakota?


    Living expenses would fit into the "relative financial condition" and could also include debts and expenses. These are factors a court may consider as a deviation from the Child Support Guidelines.

  • Is my bonus from work figured into child support in South Dakota?


    A bonus is income not accounted for in monthly income, and in order to count the bonus, it must be in the possession of the parent and consistently awarded.

  • How are child support arrears calculated in South Dakota?


    The court primarily looks at tax returns. In certain cases, the court may determine the parents' annualized income for purposes of calculating child support over a period of years.

  • Can my South Dakota child support increase when I am supporting my special needs child?


    Yes. In South Dakota, you can deviate from the child support schedule when you have a special needs child. For example, the cost of a caregiver with skills necessary to handle a child's complicated medication regimen or a specific vehicle that would support a child with cerebral palsy and seizure disorder.

  • What Are Some Common Causes of ATV Accidents in South Dakota?


    Certain circumstances can lead to a greater risk of an ATV accident, including:

    • Riding on pavement. ATVs are designed to be ridden off-road. With their high center of gravity and low-pressure tires, they are more likely to tip over or go out of control on pavement. When an ATV is ridden on regular streets, the risk to the rider is much greater than when it is off-road.
    • Riding without adult supervision. Unsupervised children are more likely to speed, dart out into roads, and attempt tricks and maneuvers. 
    • Performing dangerous stunts. Both kids and adults attempt to jump obstacles, perform turning maneuvers, and race other ATVs, which can all lead to crashes and serious injuries. 
    • Riding on unfamiliar terrain. Not knowing the terrain can lead to crashing into trees, flipping in a hole or ditch, running on to a busy road, and many other hazards. Always approach new terrain with caution.

  • I was hurt in a truck accident on I-90 near Sturgis. The trucker admitted fault for the accident, but now the insurance company is saying I was partially responsible. What can I do?


    This type of conduct is actually fairly common. Sometimes, smart people trust the wrong people.  It makes sense that you want to believe what the truck driver’s insurance adjuster is saying.

    Unfortunately, doing so can often leave you to pay for another person’s mistake.

    This might surprise you, but the trucker has virtually no say in what happens in your case. In fact, trucking companies insure their drivers and cover them with special insurance plans. The adjusters that work on truck accident cases in South Dakota often work exclusively with these types of cases. Truck accidents are generally very different from car accident because:

    • Truckers have different safety standards that they are required to meet.
    • Truckers operate under federal regulations that are different than other vehicles.
    • Truckers must have background checks performed before driving the vehicle.
    • Truckers have a series of regulations for how many hours they can be on the road.