At the broadest level, personal injury cases involve a dispute between one person who suffered an injury and the person who may have caused that injury. Generally, every personal injury claim, regardless of the facts of the individual case, revolves around two questions:
- Is the person who caused the accident liable for the injuries sustained?
- If so, what are the damages?
If you can demonstrate damages and prove liability on the part of the person who caused you to be injured, you will win your case and you will be entitled to some amount of monetary compensation for the harm you suffered.
Examples of South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
There are many types of personal injury cases in Simpsonville and across South Carolina. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases are:
- Car Accidents. Car wrecks are the leading cause of personal injury claims. Drivers on South Carolina roads have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. If a driver doesn’t exercise reasonable care and you or a loved one are injured, you may have a claim for personal injury.
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents. Being involved in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle can cause devastating injuries to you or a loved one. Commercial vehicle accidents in South Carolina and other states present 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. Motorcycle drivers are injured more than any other driver of a motor vehicle in South Carolina. Unfortunately, many of those crashes result in the death of the motorcycle rider.
- Bicycle Accidents. Many times, motor vehicle operators ignore the rights of bicyclists, even though they have the same rights to the road as any other driver. In South Carolina, many serious accidents involving bicyclists occur and often they lead to extremely serious accidents and death.
- Premises Liability. These types of accidents in South Carolina generally include but aren’t limited to, slip and falls and trip and falls.
- Dog Bites. South Carolina adheres to strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. You don’t have to prove negligence by the dog’s owner to receive monetary compensation for your injuries caused by a dog bite.
- Nursing Home Abuse. This term refers to crimes committed against the elderly in nursing homes and can include physical, emotional, sexual, and verbal abuse, neglect, and theft.
- Medical Malpractice. In South Carolina, medical malpractice refers to a mistake on the part of a health care provider who is treating you and can result in serious personal injury to you or a loved one. Common types of medical malpractice include errors or complications with anesthesia, surgical errors, failure to diagnose, and improper medical diagnosis, just to name a few.
- Wrongful Death. South Carolina has put in place a cause of action for wrongful death in S.C. Code Ann. 15-51-10. This statute allows a person family to pursue a wrongful death claim as long as the death was “caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another” and the person who died would have been entitled to recover damages from the wrongdoer if they’d survived. Wrongful death claims can arise from car accidents and medical malpractice, among other types of personal injury cases.
Statute of Limitations in South Carolina
S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-3-530 sets a time limit on when you or a loved one can file a claim for damages if you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another. 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. If you are injured by a governmental entity or employee, then your Statute of Limitations is two years instead of three.
The three-year Statute of Limitations begins on the date you or your loved one was injured. If you wait and don’t file your claim until after the three- year limit has expired, the judge will dismiss your claim and you may not be able to receive any monetary compensation for your injuries.
How Much is Your Simpsonville, 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 to calculate the value of 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 medical bills and lost wages are easy to calculate, as they only require a jury to add up a few numbers on bills, and they are rarely disputed in a South Carolina personal injury claim.
Other elements of personal injury damages, such as pain and suffering, or the emotional trauma a person suffered as a result of his injuries, aren’t as easy to calculate and are often left up to a judge or jury to decide on the proper amount of damages that person should receive.
Factors Considered by South Carolina Judges or Juries
Judges and juries will consider many things when calculating the value for your personal injury claim. They will look at the type of injuries you have and whether or not you require further surgeries and/or medical treatment. They will also consider how long your recovery time may be, whether the injury will leave permanent effects, and how the injuries have impacted your life.
Types of Damages in Simpsonville, SC Personal Injury Claims
There are generally two types of damages available in South Carolina for personal injury claims: tangible and intangible. The most common types of damages awarded include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical Bills. Your past and future medical expenses, including mileage to and from your Simpsonville, South Carolina health care professional.
- Lost Wages. Past, current, and future lost wages, including diminished earning potential as a result of your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering. In South Carolina, personal injury claims can result in past and future pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to the emotional trauma you or a loved one caused the accident, but future pain and suffering a lifetime of disability and/or disfigurement can cause.
- Home Modifications or Renovation. If you’ve been in an accident in South Carolina that has caused you to be permanently disabled, you may need to renovate or repair your home in some way to accommodate your disability.
- Car Modifications. If your accident left you disabled, you may also have to have your motor vehicle repaired or modified to accommodate your disability.
- Repairs to Property. In South Carolina, if someone’s negligence damaged your property, including but not limited to your car, then you may be entitled to economic damages to repair your property.
Comparative Fault Issues in a South Carolina Personal Injury Claim
In South Carolina, we recognize the legal concept of “comparative negligence.” This means that even if you are partially responsible for the accident you may be able to recover monetary damages for your injuries.
However, if you or your loved one was found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will not be able to receive any monetary compensation for the injuries you incurred as a result of the accident.
Why You Need a Simpsonville, South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured by somebody else, it is to your advantage to hire a knowledgeable 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 Simpsonville, 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 Simpsonville, South Carolina personal injury attorney is fighting hard to get you the monetary compensation you deserve.