On a broad level, personal injury cases involve a dispute between one person who suffered an injury and another person’s whose actions or inactions may have caused the injury. Normally, every personal injury claim, regardless of the specific facts of the individual case, revolves around two questions:
- Is the person who caused the injuries liable for causing the injury?
- If so, what are the injured person’s damages?
If a person can demonstrate damages and prove liability on the part of the person who caused him to be injured, that person will win his case and be entitled to some form of monetary compensation for the harm he suffered.
Examples of South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
There are many types of personal injury cases in Seneca and across South Carolina. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases are:
- Car Accidents. A personal injury claim can arise after an accident. South Carolina drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they are behind the wheel of a car. If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and you or a loved one are injured, you may have a claim for personal injury.
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents. Commercial truck accidents in South Carolina and other states have their own set of complex legal issues, because there may be more than one party that can be held liable for your or your loved one’s injuries.
- Motorcycle Accidents. Motorcyclists are injured more often than any other type of drivers, and a motorcyclist is more likely to be killed in the event of a motorcycle accident. If you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle wreck, you may have a claim for personal injury.
- Bicycle Accidents. Because South Carolina motorists don’t always give the proper right of way to a bicyclist, serious injuries may occur if you or a loved one is involved in an accident while riding a bicycle.
- Nursing Home Abuse. If a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living home is neglected and does not receive the proper standard of care owed to them, or is physically and/or mentally abused by someone employed by the nursing home and/or assisted living facility, there may be a personal injury claim.
- Dog Bites. South Carolina adheres to strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. If you are bitten by a dog, then you or your loved one don’t have to prove negligence in order to receive monetary compensation for your injuries.
- Medical Malpractice. Sometimes health care providers make mistakes or breach their duty of care to a patient that results in injury or even death. If this happens to you or a loved one, you may have a South Carolina claim for personal injury.
- Wrongful Death. South Carolina’s wrongful death statute provides that a lawsuit can be brought by a deceased person’s spouse and/or children when a family member has died due to the deliberate, reckless, or negligent actions of someone else. These are also a type of personal injury case.
The Statute of Limitations in South Carolina
S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-3-530 sets a specific time limit in South Carolina where you can file a claim for damages if you or a loved one has been injured in some manner. This time limit is referred to as the Statute of Limitations. In South Carolina, you generally have three years to file a personal injury claim on behalf of yourself or a loved one, unless you have been injured by a governmental entity or employee. Claims against governmental entities are generally subject to a two (2) year Statute of Limitations.
The three (3)year Statute of Limitations generally begins on the date a person is injured. If you wait and don’t file your claim until after the three (3) year limit has expired, the judge will dismiss your claim and you may not be able to receive any monetary compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.
How Much is Your Seneca, South Carolina Personal Injury Claim Worth?
There are many factors that may impact the value of you or your loved one’s personal injury claim, and there isn’t a simple formula that can assist you in putting a value on your individual personal injury claim.
Your South Carolina personal injury attorney will use their experience and knowledge of the legal system to come to an estimate of damages based on specific issues in your case.
Damages such as your lost wages, medical bills, and other tangible damages are easy to calculate and are rarely disputed by the other side.
However, intangible damages such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma aren’t so easy to calculate. The facts of you or your loved one’s case will be presented to a judge and/or jury who will decide the number of monetary damages best compensates you for your intangible injuries.
Factors Considered by South Carolina Judge’s and/or Juries
Judges and juries will consider many things when coming up with a value for your personal injury claim. They will look at the type of injuries you have, whether they require further surgeries and/or medical treatment. They will also consider how long your recovery time was or may be, whether the injury will leave permanent effects, and how the injuries have impacted your life.
Types of Damages in Seneca, South Carolina Personal Injury Claims
There are generally two types of damages available in South Carolina for personal injury claims: tangible (economic) and intangible (noneconomic). The most common types of damages awarded include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical Bills: In South Carolina, the person responsible for your injuries is responsible for paying your medical bills. If you or your loved one also require future medical treatment for your injuries, then your Greer, South Carolina personal injury attorney may also have to calculate future medical expenses.
- Lost Wages: It’s possible you or a loved one who’s been injured in Greer, South Carolina, may have to have to take weeks or even months off work. In such an event, a person is entitled to be compensated for lost wages by the person who caused their injuries.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering are considered to be intangible or noneconomic damage in South Carolina. If you or a loved one are forced to endure past and future pain and suffering because of the negligence of another person, then you may be entitled to damages from the person responsible for the injuries.
Comparative Fault Issues in a South Carolina Personal Injury Claim
South Carolina recognizes “comparative negligence.” This means that you or your loved one will be able to recover monetary damages for your injuries even if you are partially responsible for the accident.
However, if you or your loved one are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, then you or your loved one will not be able to receive any monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
Why You Need a Seneca, South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in some way, then it is to your advantage to hire a knowledgeable Seneca, South Carolina personal injury lawyer. Personal injury law can be confusing and complex. There are specific laws, rules, procedures, and dates that must be adhered to in the South Carolina courts.
Your skilled and knowledgeable Seneca, South Carolina attorney can investigate your case, evaluate your claim, call on expert witnesses, if necessary, and be a strong advocate for you to the insurance company and if your case goes to trial.
Having someone to relieve part of the burden and stress of your personal injury claim can allow you to focus on healing, secure in the knowledge that your South Carolina personal injury attorney is fighting hard to get you the monetary compensation you deserve. Call David R. Price Jr., P.A.