When considering South Dakota’s medical malpractice law, the law outlines very clearly the circumstances that allow individuals to sue medical practitioners for malpractice. These circumstances could include varying degrees of negligence and assorted oversights that doctors must adhere to. In most cases, it is hard to prove medical malpractice without attendant facts that are clear, which can greatly influence how a legal claim is decided and ruled upon.
Statute of Limitations
In general, the South Dakota’s statute of limitations states that a patient must act within 2 years from the date of the injury. Non economic damages are set at $500,000; however, there is currently no limit for special damages. Judgments against defendants are based on fault percentages, meaning that one or more defendants can be named in a malpractice case if the plaintiff feels that more than one person’s actions or neglect resulted in their injuries.
In most states expert witnesses must come from the same field of practice as the defendant and are sometimes required to spend a majority of their time within the medical community either by practicing medicine or contributing to medical education at the university level. In the state of South Dakota however, there are no current limitations placed on who and who is not considered an expert witness. Another factor that sets South Dakota apart is their attorney’s fees restrictions.
Currently, there are no limitations regarding attorney’s fees. The precise definition of medical malpractice was written into law by the legislature years ago; however, legal arguments and court rulings have changed that definition. In the future, as attorneys argue cases such as these, it is certain that new precedents will appear and the facts of the law will change.
South Dakota’s medical malpractice law protects people from wrongful actions taken by doctors, which include oversight and negligence. Every wronged patient has a right to protection from doctors and their attorneys under South Dakota’s laws that cover medical malpractice.