FAQs

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Personal Injury

Do I need a lawyer?

Representation in a court of law or in any legal matter needs to be presented in a very specific manner. The more experienced, professional, and knowledgeable your legal representation, the better the outcome of your case will be. Insurance companies and organizations have adjusters and lawyers on their side. When you hire Alvine Weidenaar LLP, you will have a powerful and aggressive attorney who can fight effectively for you. In numerous cases, we have successfully collected 5, 10, or 20 times more than what was offered by the insurance company before we took over the case.

How much are legal fees?

We represent most cases on a contingent basis. Attorney fees are a percentage of the recovery and received only if your case is won. You pay NOTHING up front! Fees are computed before deduction for costs. Rules require that clients are ultimately responsible for the expenses regardless of outcome. Legal and court fees are different for every case and will be explained up front.

How much can I expect to receive?

The value of your case cannot be determined until your unique case is evaluated. Alvine Weidenaar LLP will analyze your case individually and give you a more accurate assessment of what you can expect to receive. We have successfully collected many millions of dollars in settlements and benefits for our clients, and we always strive to recover the full value for each case.

What damages am I entitled to collect?

For personal injury cases, the following are damages you may be able to collect:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Permanent disfigurement or scars
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Mental trauma/psychological injuries
  • Loss of earning capacity
Will my case go to trial?

We cannot tell you for certain, however, most personal injury cases do settle. We have experience in settling cases, including mediation and arbitration. However, each case is different and has unique facts. Some cases do have to be tried to a jury, in which case experience in personal injury claims does matter. Alvine Weidenaar, LLP has extensive experience in such situations and will be able to offer accurate advice for your specific situation.

How much automobile insurance should I have?

Automobile liability insurance is mandatory in the State of South Dakota. According to South Dakota law any owner of a vehicle must have a policy of insurance which covers bodily injury in the amount of $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident.

Today the minimum amount of liability insurance of $25,000 is often grossly insufficient to cover the medical bills and injuries incurred from an accident. Medical bills arising from injuries from a motor vehicle accident often exceed the amount of liability insurance.  If you are involved in an accident caused by someone else and suffer serious injuries and the party that caused your injuries has only a minimum liability policy of $25,000, you may be limited in recovering only the amount of the policy.  This becomes a significant problem if your medical bills and injuries exceed the amount of the insurance.

As such it is very important to protect yourself by purchasing a policy that will protect you in case of a serious accident. For example if you are injured in an accident and your medical bills are $50,000 but the person who injured you only has a liability policy of $25,000, unless you have a policy of coverage exceeding that amount, you may be limited to a maximum recovery from the person who injured in the amount of $25,000.  However, if you are covered with a policy of insurance greater than the minimums in the amount of $100,000 you will be able to recover up to $100,000 for your medical bills and injuries. Thus, by carrying a policy of insurance greater than the minimum’s the state requires you are protecting yourself from being unable to recover lost wages, medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering and permanent injury in the event of a serious accident.

We recommend you carry a policy of insurance that will sufficiently protect you in the event of a serious accident.

How long do I have to resolve my claim?

In the state of South Dakota, the law limits the time for you to either settle your case or file a lawsuit. Called the statute of limitations, the amount of time depends on the type of case and the identity of the other party. Since the specifics of your case determines the statute of limitations, Alvine Weidenaar LLP can quickly answer this in your free initial consultation.

In an automobile accident, who fixes my car?

Regardless of fault, your automobile insurance policy will replace or repair your vehicle as long as you have collision coverage. You will need to contact your insurance agent, report the accident, and follow their instructions to get your vehicle fixed. Then your insurance company may pursue the other driver for reimbursement. If you do not have collision coverage, it will be up to the other person’s insurance company as to whether they will admit responsibility and fix your car. Most of the time, the insurance company of the driver at fault will want to promptly repair or replace vehicles in order to avoid having to pay interest. We have experience working with insurance companies to assure that automobiles are promptly and properly fixed, as well as working to provide a rental vehicle if needed.

Worker’s Compensation

Do I need a lawyer?

Worker’s Compensation or “Work Comp” is a most likely a foreign subject matter to most people. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster or lawyer handling your case for your employer is not looking out for your interests and often has vast experience in the work comp arena.

Representation in a court of law or in any negotiations needs to be presented in a very specific manner. The more experienced, professional, and knowledgeable your legal representation, the better the outcome of your case will be.

Insurance companies and organizations have adjusters and lawyers on their side. When you hire Alvine Weidenaar, LLP, you will have a powerful and aggressive attorney who can fight effectively for you. In numerous cases, we have successfully collected 5, 10, or 20 times more than what was offered by the insurance company before we took over the case.

The short answer is most often a resounding yes. 

How much are legal fees?

We represent most cases on a contingent basis. Attorney fees are a percentage of the recovery and received only if your case is won. You have to pay no fee up front. Fees are computed before deduction for costs. Rules require that clients are ultimately responsible for the expenses regardless of outcome. Legal and court fees are different for every case and will be explained up front.

In worker’s compensation claims the rules and regulations are set by statute. 

How much can I expect to receive?

The value of your case cannot be determined until your unique case is evaluated. Alvine Weidenaar LLP will analyze your case individually and give you a more accurate assessment of what you can expect to receive. We have successfully collected many millions of dollars in settlements and benefits for our clients, and we always strive to recover the full value for each case.

Will my case go to trial?

We cannot say for certain, however, most worker’s compensation cases do settle. We have experience in settling cases, including mediation and arbitration. However, each case is different and has unique facts. Some cases do have to be tried to the administrative law judge and then the Court. In those cases,  experience in work comp claims does matter. Alvine Weidenaar, LLP has extensive experience in such situations and will be able to offer accurate advice for your specific situation.

How long do I have to resolve my claim?

In the state of South Dakota, the law limits the time for you to either settle your case or file a petition. Called the statute of limitations, the amount of time depends on the type of case and the identity of the other party. Since the specifics of your case determines the statute of limitations, Alvine Weidenaar LLP can quickly answer this in your free initial consultation.

If you miss the time to file a Petition with the Department of Labor your case may be barred forever. Do not wait until it is too late. Call us today!

Will they pay my lost wages?

If you were hurt on the job and must miss seven consecutive business days or longer, you are legally entiteld to temporary lost wages for any amount of time you missed for an appropraitely reported injury. For more details and specifics on how you can collect your lost wages, call us today!

Criminal

Do I need a lawyer?

With any criminal allegation, chances are your liberty is at stake. There could also be many more and serious ramifcations you are unaware of. For instance, what civil rights could you be losing if convicted? What about your driver’s license?

The Government will have a lawyer representing them every step of the way. When you hire Alvine Weidenaar LLP, you will have a powerful and aggressive attorney who can fight effectively for you. We have successfully defended clients in all types of cases ranging from simple DUIs to Murder.

How much are legal fees?

Legal fees vary depending on the severity of crime and complexity of case. We do offer hourly fees as well as flat fees for criminal cases. Whichever route you choose, we will do our best to keep your costs to a minimum. Call us today to find out more. 

How long does the State have to bring a case against me?

In the state of South Dakota, the law limits the time the State can charge you with minor offenses and some felonies to seven years. For serious crimes, there is no required time frame and you can be charged up until death. Call us today if you are unsure which time frame applies to your case.

Will my case go to trial?

Without looking at all the facts and circumstances, it is impossible to tell you if your case will go to trial from the outset. Upon review of the facts, the law, discussions with you, and discussions with the State, an educated decision can be made to proceed to trial or not. Keep in mind you have the absolute to go to trial if you so choose. 

What are Miranda Warnings?

In a case called Miranda v Arizona, the United States Supreme Court outlined how police were to conduct a “custodial interrogation.” Anytime a person is considered to be in “custody” and law enforcement wishes to “interrogate” (question about a crime) the defendant, law enforcement must read you your rights. Law enforcement must inform you that you have the right to have a lawyer and if you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you, and warn you that anything you say can and will be used against you. Should the police fail to do so, your statements may be suppressed by the Court and not used against you in the court of law.

Do I have to talk to the police?

No. However, if you are a suspect of a crime that was committed, this is always a very difficult question. Even though you are not required to talk to them, there are certain cases in which you may want to do so.

Keep in mind the courts permit the police to engage in lying to deceive suspects during questioning in order to gain a confession. Since law enforcement officers are trained and experienced in interrogating people, it is highly recommended you have an experienced defense attorney to help you.

Call us immediately before answering any questions from law enforcement.

How are crimes classified?

In South Dakota there are typically two main classifications of crimes, felony and misdemeanor. They are as follows:

Felonies
There are nine (9) classifications of felonies. They are commonly referred to as Class A, B, C, and Class 1 through Class 6, inclusive. The maximum punishments are as follows:

  • Class A: Death or Life Imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
  • Class B: Life Imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
  • Class C: Up to Life Imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
  • Class 1 Felony: Up to 50 years imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
  • Class 2: Up to 25 years in the State Penitentiary and/or $50,000 fine.
  • Class 3: Up to 15 years in the State Penitentiary and/or $30,000 fine.
  • Class 4: Up to 10 years in the State Penitentiary and/or $20,000 fine.
  • Class 5: Up to 5 years in the State Penitentiary and/or $10,000 fine.
  • Class 6: Up to 2 years in the State Penitentiary and/or $4,000 fine.

Misdemeanors
There are two (2) classifications of misdemeanors. They are commonly referred to as Class I and Class II misdemeanors as follows:

Class I: Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,000 in fines. Common Class I misdemeanors include the following:

  • Driving under the influence – First or second offense in 10 years
  • Reckless driving
  • Simple assault
  • Stalking
  • Petty theft

Class II: Punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or $500 in fines. Common Class II misdemeanors include the following:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Petty theft
  • Careless driving

Get the justice you deserve.