South Dakota Disability Insurance Claims
We are a healthcare/professional disability insurance law firm with a national reputation for obtaining successful results for our clients. Our firm has represented physicians, dentists, lawyers, executives and other professionals throughout the country, with the goal of securing and protecting their entitlement to benefits on own-occupation disability insurance policies.
We consult with physicians, dentists, attorneys and business executives filing disability claims throughout South Dakota, including the Sioux Falls and Rapid City areas. If you’d like to discuss your particular claim with our attorneys, we are happy to set up a free consultation.
Below are some resources for policyholders filing disability insurance claims in South Dakota. If you would like to learn more about the disability claim process or insurance bad faith in other states, please visit our homepage.
Does South Dakota Recognize Insurance Bad Faith?
South Dakota recognizes insurance bad faith. As explained by the Supreme Court of South Dakota, “[a] cause of action against an insurance company for bad faith failure to pay a claim is recognized in South Dakota.” Stene v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 1998 S.D. 95, ¶ 19, 583 N.W.2d 399, 403 (internal citations omitted). Additionally, in South Dakota, “[a]n insurer’s violation of its duty of good faith and fair dealing constitutes a tort, even though it is also a breach of contract.” Id.
The Supreme Court of South Dakota has outlined the following test for bad faith, stating “[f]or proof of bad faith, there must be  an absence of a reasonable basis for denial of policy benefits [or failure to comply with a duty under the insurance contract] and  the knowledge or reckless disregard [of the lack] of a reasonable basis for denial.” Id.
Notably, the Supreme Court of South Dakota has also held that “the knowledge of the lack of a reasonable basis may be inferred and imputed to an insurance company where there is a reckless disregard of a lack of a reasonable basis for denial or a reckless indifference to facts or to proofs submitted by the insured.” Id.
The case excerpts above are not meant to be a comprehensive discussion of each state’s first-party bad faith or disability insurance law. They are merely meant to act as a resource/starting point for those interested in learning more about how insurance bad faith works in their state.
You should always speak with an attorney before making any legal arguments relating to your disability claim.
Notable South Dakota Disability Insurance Cases
Robinson v. New York Life Ins. Co., 69 S.D. 301, 6 N.W.2d 162 (1942) (South Dakota registered nurse filed for disability due to diabetes; her disability insurer paid her benefits for more than seven years, then terminated her claim; the disability insurer lost at trial but appealed, making several legal objections to how the trial was handled; the court determined that there were no errors in the trial and upheld the judgment).
Frazier v. Travelers Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn., 66 S.D. 638, 287 N.W. 589 (1939) (South Dakota ranch worker filed a total disability claim after being thrown from a horse and fracturing his third cervical vertebra; the disability insurance company found a report from an earlier timeframe when the policyholder was in the military suggesting that he had been disabled prior to the issuance of the disability policy, but the jury nevertheless awarded disability benefits; on appeal, the court determined that the weight of the evidence was sufficient to uphold the jury’s verdict).
Common Disability Claim Questions
South Dakota Federal District Court Locations
Professional disability claims are often filed in, or removed to, Federal Court given the amounts in controversy. When we work with local counsel to be admitted pro hac vice, we identify the courthouse that is closest to you. Below is a list of the primary Federal Courthouses in South Dakota, but there may be satellite courthouses that are closer to where you live.
Sioux Falls. 400 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.
Rapid City. 515 9th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701.
Who Do Your Disability Insurance Attorneys Represent?
The lists below provide a representative overview of the types of professionals we represent, the disability companies we file claims with and litigate against, and a non-exhaustive list of some of the disabling conditions our prior clients have had.
Anesthesiologists | Attorneys | Cardiologists | Chief Medical Directors | Chiropractors | Commercial Real Estate Brokers | Corporate Executives | Emergency Medicine | Endodontists | Gastroenterologists | General Dentists | Gynecologists | Internal Medicine | Neurologists | Neurosurgeons | Obstetricians | Ophthalmologists | Oral Surgeons | Orthodontists | Orthopedic Surgeons | Otolaryngologists | Physical Therapists | Podiatrists | Professional Athletes | Prosthodontists | Psychiatrists | Psychologists | Pulmonologists | Radiation Oncologists | Radiologists | Rheumatologists | Veterinarians
Disability Insurance Companies
Aetna | AIG | Allstate | Anthem | American General | Ameritas | Berkshire Insurance Group | Boston Mutual | Cigna/LINA | Colonial Life | Connecticut General | Davies Life & Health/Disability Management Services, Inc. | Disability Reinsurance Management | First Unum | Fortis | Great West | Guardian Life | Hartford | Jefferson | John Hancock | Liberty Mutual | Lloyd’s of London | Mass Casualty | Mass Mutual | MetLife | Monarch | Mutual of Omaha | National Life of Vermont | New York Life | New England Life | Northwestern Mutual Life | Ohio National | Paul Revere | Penn Mutual | Phoenix Life Insurance | Principal Life | Provident | Prudential | Reassurance America | Reliance | Reliance Standard | Sedgwick | Standard | Sun Life | The Equitable Life | Transamerica | Trustmark | Trustmark Disability Advisors | Union Central | Unum | UnumProvident
Aneurysms | Anxiety/Panic Attacks | Angina Pectoris/Ischemia | Arthritis (Osteo, Psoriatic, Rheumatoid) | Atrial Fibrillation (AF) | Autoimmune Disorders | Bipolar Disorder | Brachial Plexus Injuries | Bulging Discs (Cervical/Lumbar) | Bursitis | Cancer | Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) | Cervical/Neck Pain | Crohn’s Disease/IBD | Complex Regional Pain Syndrome | Congestive Heart Failure | Coronary Artery Disease | Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) | Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) | Dislocated Elbow/Shoulder | Dislocated Hip/Hip Replacement | Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) | Essential Tremors | Focal Dystonia | Ganglion Cysts | Glaucoma | Hand/Arm Pain – NOS | Head Trauma/Cognitive Difficulties | Hearing Loss | Herniated Discs (Cervical/Lumbar) | Ligament Tears | Long-Haul COVID | Lumbar/Back Pain | Lyme Disease | Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) | Macular Degeneration | Meniere’s Disease | Migraines | Multiple Sclerosis (MS) | Musculoskeletal Disorders | Myasthenia Gravis (MG) | Myelopathy (Cervical/Lumbar) | Myofascial Pain Syndrome | Nerve Impingement/Entrapment | Neuroma | Orthostatic Hypertension/Hypotension | Osteoarthritis | Paresthesia/Dysesthesia | Parkinson’s Disease | Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction | Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) | Radiculopathy (Cervical/Lumbar) | Repetitive Stress Injuries | Retinal Detachment/Floaters | Rotator Cuff Injury/Tears | Sciatica | Scoliosis | Serotonin Syndrome | Shoulder/Back/Neck Pain – NOS | Sleep Apnea | Spondylolisthesis | Spondylosis | Stenosis (Spinal/Foraminal) | Stroke | Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) | Traumatic Injuries | Tumors | Ulnar Neuropathy | Vertigo/BPPV | Visual Impairment
The information provided above is offered purely for informational purposes. It is not intended to create or promote an attorney-client relationship, and does not constitute and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Every claim is unique and the discussion above is only a limited summary of information that may be relevant to your claim. An experienced disability insurance attorney can help you assess your particular disability claim, or potential disability claim, and determine what options are available to you.