Every state, including South Dakota, has deadlines—or statute of limitations—for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. In South Dakota, medical malpractice claimants have three years to bring suit either from the date of the occurrence or the date when the occurrence should have been discovered, but in no case more than six years from the date of the occurrence. Foreign object cases may be brought within two years from the date of discovery. The statute of limitations is tolled (delayed) if the claimant is a minor. However, the period may not extend beyond seven years from the date of the occurrence, or more than one year after the child turns 18, whichever period is shorter.
South Dakota has adopted the modified doctrine of comparative negligence. A plaintiff in a negligence action may recover damages if his negligence is less than or equal to that of all the defendants. The amount of the plaintiff’s recovery shall be reduced in proportion to the amount of his negligence.
In 2016, South Dakota had 15,165 licensed physicians within a population of 4,093,465 residents, equaling 370 physicians for every 100,000 people. Medical malpractice suits in 2015 were 12.1 per 100,000 residents, with a total payout of $5.7 million. This represents a 71.45% decrease from 2014. In 2015, South Dakota ranked 48th in medical malpractice lawsuits. The most common three types of medicine practiced as of 2014 were family medicine/general practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
• Industry Average Cost of a South Dakota Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy: $12,505
• Is Medical Malpractice Insurance Required in South Dakota? No, but protecting assets is recommended.
• Minimum Carrying Requirements in South Dakota: None, but as mentioned it is highly recommended.
• What are the medical malpractice damage caps in South Dakota? The noneconomic damages are capped at $500,000.
• What is the “statute of limitations” for a medical malpractice complaint? 2 years, South Dakota Codified Laws section 15-2-14.1 • Malpractice suits per 100,000 residents: 12.1
Total payout: $5.7 million (71.45 percent decrease)