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South Dakota Personal Injury Law Blog

South Dakota mourns one of its worst aviation accidents

Aviation is a way of life in South Dakota and other grand states with big distances to cover. Few things are more terrifying than the prospect of a plane and its passengers falling out of the air. The physics involved with the speed and the heights make catastrophic injuries or fatalities almost inevitable.

The Mount Rushmore State continues to mourn one of the worst accidents in the region's history of local flights after a plane bound for neighboring Idaho crashed near the town of Chamberlain in Brule County. Nine people died in the disaster, with another three fighting for their lives at a hospital in Sioux Falls. Early reports show weather may have been a factor.

What are some common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries?

Much like spinal cord injuries (SCIs), there are many types of incidents that can result in someone suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some of the more common injuring events include contact sports and motor vehicle accidents. While SCI symptoms tend to be present suddenly after a person gets hurt, TBI symptoms can be slow to manifest themselves. Some individuals don't show signs of injury until days or months after their accident has occurred.

There are various signs that you should look for if you suspect that someone that you care for has suffered a TBI.

Traumatic brain injuries may leave you with memory deficits

A motor vehicle accident can have long-lasting effects on you. You may suffer injuries that change the way you live your life and alter your ability to perform the most routine tasks. One of those types of injuries is a brain injury. Depending on the location and severity of the damage to your brain, you may struggle with cognitive functions that most people take for granted.

One common consequence of a traumatic brain injury is memory impairment. nderstanding the various kinds of memories in a healthy brain may help you recognize the loss you are experiencing and to seek help in learning how to cope with these frustrating deficits.

Stiff penalties exist for drunk, drugged driving in South Dakota

Driving under the influence (DUI) isn't just a crime that someone who has consumed alcohol and gotten behind the wheel can be charged with. South Dakota Code section 32-23-1 describes how anyone suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or any controlled substance including prescription drugs can be charged with a DUI as well. Anyone in South Dakota can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher.

The penalties that a defendant faces if they're convicted of a DUI in South Dakota vary depending on a person's age and how many previous convictions that they have on their record.

Steps to take to stay safe on your motorcycle

Owning a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating hobbies you can have in life. There's so much you can see and do when out for a ride in South Dakota on your motorcycle. From enjoying Mother Nature to riding with friends; a motorcycle ride can be relaxing if you employ the safety tips outlined in today's post.

One of the most important safety tips you can follow is wearing the appropriate clothing for your ride. Shorts and t-shirts are not a good idea. Also, sandals or flip-flops aren't smart either. Wear clothing that covers your body and shoes that protect your feet.

What factors cause the most catastrophic truck crashes?

Although it may be hard to believe, many tractor-trailers that you'll notice driving alongside you on the highway or city streets weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This is significantly more than the average passenger car. The latter weighs around 3,000 pounds. The sheer difference in size is one of the reasons that crashes between passenger cars and trucks often leave the motorists involved in them with catastrophic injuries or worse.

You must realize that not every truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds. It's generally only the ones that are fully-loaded that are that heavy. Tractor-trailers that are packed full aren't the only dangerous ones though.

Autumn can bring unexpected hazards for motorcyclists

South Dakota motorcyclists likely still have a couple of months of good riding weather before the cold and snow sets in. However, it's essential not to underestimate some of the dangers that fall can present to bikers.

Leaves are among the top hazards. They're beautiful ti look at, but when they fall, they can stick to your visor and/or windshield and impair your vision -- particularly when they're wet. If you want to enjoy the sight of leaves falling, pull over. It's too easy to get mesmerized by them and become distracted if you're watching them while you're riding.

If you have a CDL, you face higher standards for alcohol use

As a truck driver, your commercial driver's license represents more than the ability to drive trucks; it also represents your livelihood. Any suspension or revocation of that license could easily mean unemployment and looking for a new vocation.

For this reason, it's imperative that you keep your driving record clean. You may get a ticket or two, or get into an accident, but that may not be enough to lose your license, even temporarily. One surefire way to jeopardize your CDL is by drinking and driving.

Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries

When a person's spinal cord is damaged, they may suffer from permanent injuries and changes in their ability to function. The injuries that will be suffered mainly depend on the particular part of the spinal cord that has been damaged. Sadly, the repair that can be done to a damaged spinal cord is limited, but a person can make significant progress through rehabilitation.

Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, and they result in people losing their quality of life as a result. If you have been injured in a car accident, you must seek medical attention immediately after because what may seem like a minor injury could be very serious. It is also important that you take action to get the compensation that you deserve if you have suffered spinal cord damage.

How police spot a drunk driver

You probably know that the police need a reason to pull you over. They can't just pull over your car at random and give you a breath test to see if you have been drinking. They need to stop you for some sort of traffic violation, e.g., speeding, and then determine that you are potentially intoxicated or they need to see signs of intoxication while you drive.

So, what do they look for? A few key things include drivers who:

  • Swerve all over the road or from side to side in their lane
  • Drive with their lights off even though it is dark out and lights are clearly needed
  • Accelerate or decelerate far more quickly than necessary
  • Get into accidents, no matter how minor, or who have near misses
  • Drive the wrong way on the interstate or a one-way street
  • Make illegal or abrupt turns
  • Do not respond quickly to traffic control devices, such as stoplights
  • Signal one direction and turn in the other
  • Have one set of tires on each side of the centerline
  • Hit the brakes for no reason or who stop well before stop signs
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