In the broadest sense, a personal injury case involves a dispute where a person or their loved one suffered some type of injury to their person due to the actions, inactions, or negligence of someone else.
Regardless of the specific circumstances of your individual South Carolina personal injury claim, there are two questions that must be answered in order for you to win your case. Those questions are:
- Is the Defendant liable for your injuries?
- If so, what is the extent of your damages?
South Carolina Statute of Limitations
In Mauldin and throughout the state of South Carolina, there is a time limit in which you have to file a claim for your personal injury. South Carolina, S.C. Code Ann. 15-3-530 states that you have three years from the date you or your loved one was injured. If you are injured by a governmental entity or employee, your time limit may be only two years.
If you miss the three-year or two-year time limit, the judge will dismiss your claim and you won’t be able to collect any compensation for your injuries.
Common Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina
There are many types of personal injury claims in South Carolina. Some of the most common examples are listed below:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents. Car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle collisions, and trucking accidents are the most common personal injury claims in Maudlin and the rest of South Carolina.
- Defective Products. This category of personal injury claims can include injuries from defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, ladders, grills, cars, and other products that have a defect that can cause you or your loved one to be injured.
- Wrongful Death. When someone’s negligence leads to somebody’s death, then the deceased person may have a South Carolina claim for wrongful death.
- Nursing Home Abuse. Nursing home abuse can take many forms in South Carolina. People in nursing homes or assisted living facilities may be injured by sexual abuse, physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse, healthcare fraud, theft, neglect, and abandonment.
- Premises Liability. The most common types of premises liability cases in South Carolina are slip and fall and/or trip and fall accidents.
- Dog Bites. In Maudlin and the rest of South Carolina, there is a “strict liability law” that states that a dog’s owner or handler is liable for the injuries caused by a dog, even if he was not negligent.
- Medical Malpractice. Sometimes, a health care provider may violate the standard of care when treating patients, whether because of a negligent action or surgical error taken by the healthcare provider, or by the failure of a health care provider to take appropriate medical action. If such a violation results in injury or death to the patient, then the patient may have a medical malpractice action.
Damages in a Mauldin, South Carolina Personal Injury Claim
There are a variety of damages that may be available to a person who is injured in an accident. These damages include but aren’t limited to:
- Medical Expenses. Past, current, and future medical expenses including hospital bills and prescription drug expenses related to the injury.
- Lost Wages. Past, current, and future loss of employment wages, including any loss of income or earning potential because of the injury.
- Pain and Suffering. This can include any past and future pain and suffering, including emotional trauma as a result of the injury.
- Property Damage. Any repairs that may be necessary to cars or other personal property that may have been damaged due to someone else’s negligence. This category of damages can include repairs and/or replacement of your car if your damages were a result of some type of motor vehicle accident.
- Punitive Damages. The court may decide to award punitive damages in a personal injury claim. Punitive damages are meant to punish the person responsible for causing a person’s injuries if they acted in a reckless or willful manner. The court can only award punitive damages if it first awards actual damages for your injury caused by the conduct of another. South Carolina law dictates that punitive damages normally cannot exceed the greater of three times the compensatory damages or $500,000.
Calculating the Value of Your Maudlin, South Carolina Personal Injury Claim
There are multiple factors that affect the calculation of damages in a South Carolina personal injury claim. There is no simple formula you can use to help you arrive at a total damage estimate.
Some forms of economic damages can be calculated rather easily such as medical expenses and lost wages. Because these figures are easy to the total, they very rarely are disputed in a claim for personal injury in South Carolina.
However, noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma are not so easy to calculate. Often, the facts of your individual Mauldin, SC personal injury claim will need to be presented to a jury who will decide what amount would most appropriately compensate you for the harm you or your loved one has suffered.
The jury will take certain factors into consideration to arrive at a value. They will look at the type and extent of your injuries, whether you seek out medical treatment for your injuries, and whether additional treatment, medications and/or further surgery is required.
A South Carolina judge or jury will also consider what impact your injuries had and will continue to have on your daily life, such as your employment.
Negligence and Comparative Fault in a South Carolina Personal Injury Claim
In South Carolina, negligence comes down to the issue of whether someone failed to exercise reasonable care in their actions or inactions. If the person(s) who caused your injuries acted in a reckless or careless manner or disregarded your safety, they could be found to be negligent and have legal liability for your injuries.
Sometimes, an injured person also bears some degree of fault for causing the accident that leads to their injuries. South Carolina takes a modified comparative negligence approach to issues of fault. If an injured person is found to be more than 50% at fault for his injuries, the injured person will not be able to recover monetary compensation for his injuries.
Why You Need a Mauldin, South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen in South Carolina and you or a loved one could be injured. If you’ve been injured by the negligent, careless, or reckless actions of another person, you should contact a Maudlin, South Carolina personal injury attorney. Personal injury law can be confusing and complex.
There are specific laws, procedures, rules, and filing dates that must be adhered to in order for you to recover appropriate monetary compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney like those at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. can assist you and your family in recovering all the damages you deserve, so you can focus on healing from your injuries.