To discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer, call our office at 843-790-9009.
Help From a Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
Unfortunately, life-changing accidents rarely announce themselves. You could be driving down the street on your way to run errands or heading off to work and then, in the blink of an eye, your life changes. Serious personal injuries can result in serious physical and emotional harm. Beyond the struggle to recover from physical injuries, it can be even harder to recover financially. Property damage, medical bills, rehabilitation and time off work can all add up quickly, often leading to a mountain of bills.
If you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct you don’t have to struggle with the financial burdens on your own. A skilled Charleston, South Carolina personal injury lawyer can fight to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Examples of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injuries can take many different forms. At its most basic level, personal injury cases involve anything and everything that results in harm to another person. Some common (and more specific) examples of personal injury cases include car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect and premises liability (things like slip and fall cases). Your personal injury lawyer will advise that the injuries sustained in these cases are similarly wide ranging and can include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, disfigurements and wrongful death.
How long can you wait to sue?
If you have been seriously injured in a South Carolina accident of any kind, it is likely that you have more important things on your mind than reading through state laws regarding time limits to file a lawsuit. In fact, given the potentially life-threatening danger you face, worrying about the timing of a lawsuit may seem downright ridiculous. Unfortunately, timing matters a great deal.
Regardless of the type of injury you have suffered, everyone must be aware of what’s known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the time period a person has to file a lawsuit in a given state. Every state is different, though most are relatively similar. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years for a personal injury lawsuit. This means that any lawsuit must be filed within three years after the accident occurred. The same limit applies in cases of property damage.
These time limits are crucial to keep in mind and are not mere suggestions. If a person fails to act quickly enough, they will permanently lose the right to seek compensation against the person responsible for their injuries. This is why it is so important to act quickly after an injury-producing accident to find and secure a Greenville personal injury lawyer. The sooner you hire an attorney the sooner the accident investigation can get under way, allowing plenty of time to interview witnesses and gather evidence before filing a formal lawsuit. Too often, injured victims wait too long before consulting a personal injury lawyer leading to otherwise valid claims lapsing due to time restraints.
Different Types of Damage
There are two main categories of damage in a personal injury case: economic and non-economic. Economic damages generally include those things that can be easily measured and quantified. This means things like hospital bills, doctor bills, rehab bills, property damage, time off work, etc. Though potentially expensive, economic damages can usually be added up and a reasonably accurate total reached.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are often very difficult to pin down and are frequently the subject of argument between personal injury lawyers. Pain and suffering and mental anguish are two good examples of non-economic damage. Arriving at these totals is often a subjective process and can be disputed by the other side who might place far lower values on the extent of damage. Given the speculative nature of non-economic damages, many plaintiffs rely on testimony from experts or close friends and family members who can help explain to a jury how the injury resulted in serious harm worthy of non-economic damages. Having a loved one explain how your quality of life has been impacted by an injury is often the best way of conveying to strangers the extent of the harm you suffered.
Calculating Damages in Personal Injury Claims
Calculating damages in a personal injury case is far from an exact science. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows a lot of factors go into determining the value of an injury claim, including the extent of injuries and lasting impact of the harm. That being said, there are ways to get a better idea of what your injury claim may be worth. To do this you need to start adding up various categories of harm.
First, include any property damages that resulted from the accident, such as a totaled vehicle. Next, include any previous and current medical bills, hospital bills, doctor/specialist bills, rehab expenses, medical equipment expenses, etc. Also include the cost of time away from work or other lost income. After this, things can become a bit more speculative. A value will need to be reached for the pain and suffering you suffered, and this depends a lot on the type of accident and the extent of harm suffered by the victim. If the victim was permanently disfigured or disabled, that can greatly increase the overall compensation received as this harm will be ongoing. Emotional damages and harm suffered by loved ones can also be calculated.
Finally, future expenses can also figure into your personal injury compensation total. For example, if an accident will require surgeries for years to come, the costs of these future bills will need to be accounted for today. It’s crucial that you rely on an experienced personal injury lawyer who can ensure you are properly compensated for this future expense and not left holding the bag down the road.
Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
Anyone injured in a Greenville, South Carolina accident should understand how the legal concept of negligence can impact the financial outcome of your injury case. Negligence requires deciding whether one person failed to exercise reasonable care. If someone acts in a manner that is either reckless, careless or with disregard for the safety of others, this is called negligence and can lead to legal liability. If this negligence also results in harm, then you have the beginnings of a personal injury claim.
Can you collect damages if you are found somewhat responsible?
If a defendant is responsible for damages 100%, then that is clearly a case where a personal injury award is likely. But what if the plaintiff is somewhat responsible? What degree of fault is required for a defendant to be financially responsible for the harm he or she caused? In South Carolina, state law relies on what’s known as comparative negligence to answer the question. Our personal injury lawyers will explain that comparative negligence refers to the idea that victims of an accident are allowed to recover money from the defendant even if the victim is partially responsible for the accident. Though the personal injury claim is allowed to continue despite the partial fault, whatever damage is awarded as a result will be reduced to reflect the plaintiff’s responsibility. This means that if a plaintiff is found to be 15 percent responsible for an accident, the defendant will only be required to pay 85 percent of the value of the personal injury award.
Is there a maximum level of fault allowed? For example, could a victim sue when he or she is actually 90 percent responsible for the injury that ultimately caused the harm he or she suffered? Not in South Carolina. State law is clear that under a modified comparative negligence approach, a plaintiff must not be found to be more than 50 percent responsible for an accident. This means in South Carolina, a plaintiff can be 50 percent responsible, but not 51 percent. Once it crosses this threshold, the claim will be dismissed and the defendant will be able to avoid paying damages entirely.
Your life can change in a split second and a South Carolina accident or injury can mean years of physical and financial pain for you and your family. If you or a loved one has experienced something similar and are looking for help recovering money you are rightfully entitled to, reach out to an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer today.
If you sustained an injury due to someone else’s carelessness, you might be waiting for a settlement offer from the other person’s insurance company. This is when you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies want to limit their losses, so they will pay you as little as they can get away with. Some insurance companies will try to get away without paying you anything.
At Lauren Taylor Law, we will explain your rights and help you determine the best course of action if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Our personal injury lawyers have experience handling a variety of personal injury cases.
• Defective product cases
• Automobile accidents
• Medical malpractice
• Dog attacks and bites
• Wrongful death cases
• Motorcycle accidents
• Burn injuries
Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible will help you protect your rights. There is a statute of limitations on personal injury cases, so you have a limited amount of time to file your claim if you want the compensation you deserve. In some cases, settling with the insurance company is the best course of action. If this is not the best option for you, Lauren is prepared to take your case to court and represent you during any appeals, if necessary.
Call for an Initial Personal Injury Consultation
Lauren offers free initial consultations to help you understand your options. She also takes most personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so you do not pay anything unless you win your case. To discuss your case with Lauren and our personal injury lawyer staff, call our office at 843-790-9009.