A serious injury can put your whole life on hold while you deal with the consequences. When you’re hurt and in need of compensation, reach out for help from a Charleston injury lawyer.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, an accident can happen and leave you with painful injuries. The costs of these injuries add up quickly, putting you deep in debt and sometimes without work. When an accident happens, you could find yourself injured and losing funds without income to repair that financial damage.
It’s a painful position, and worse, many Charleston injury victims aren’t the ones responsible for their own accidents. Someone else was reckless with your safety, and now they don’t want to pay for the damage they caused. If this has happened to you, reach out to HawkLaw, P.A.
A Charleston personal injury lawyer from our firm will understand how traumatic and costly your injuries have been. With our injury lawyers on your side, you can expect results. Call 888.HAWK.LAW or use our contact page today.
After your injury, we’ll first determine the type of claim you’re dealing with. While personal injury laws will affect all cases under that umbrella, each claim type is unique and has different considerations. For example, a car accident will involve different insurance rules and evidence than a medical malpractice claim.
You and your personal injury lawyer in Charleston will review your claim type first. Your claim might involve any of the following:
Many other accident types can lead to personal injury claims. If you’ve been hurt and someone else was at fault, chances are you have a viable claim on your hands.
Personal injuries most often result from the following types of accidents in Charleston:
Auto accidents make up the largest share of total personal injury cases and settlement amounts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal car accidents result in annual costs of over $1.05 billion nationwide. That figure includes more than $10 million in medical expenses and over $1 billion in lost work productivity.
Driver error is the leading cause of auto accidents in South Carolina and other states, although numerous other factors may also contribute. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has reported that more than 133,600 traffic collisions, 941 of them fatal, happened in 2016. State police attributed almost 85 percent of those crashes to driver error.
Other personal injury cases are less common, but accidents still happen far too often. Slip-and-fall injuries are not easy to track, since they do not always result in police reports. They may occur on wet floors, such as during maintenance, or when a surface is uneven or broken.
Before you’re ready to file, you’ll need to know more than just your claim type. You’ll also need to know the types of damages you could seek and what they’re worth. Your lawyer can help you calculate the monetary value of every damage you’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence.
One of the first types of damage you’ll encounter is economic damage. These cover the damages to your property and yourself that cost you financially. For example, a car crash victim might seek damages for their property damage, medical bills, and lost wages if they were not able to return to work for some time.
Non-economic damages, however, account for the non-financial losses. For example, if you were assaulted, you might seek damages for your medical bills, but you were traumatized, as well. You should be compensated for your loss of enjoyment of life, your pain and suffering, and your emotional trauma.
These can be difficult to calculate, however, so it’s helpful to team up with a Charleston injury attorney when calculating intangible losses. We have the resources and experience to determine the value of your losses.
Unfortunately, filing a successful injury claim in Charleston requires more than knowing your claim’s value. Before you file, make sure your claim isn’t in danger because of South Carolina’s complex laws. Speak to your lawyer not just about claim-specific laws, but about the general state laws that could affect your claim.
For example, make sure that you’re acting within the time limits for a personal injury claim. In South Carolina, you’ll generally need to file your claim within three years. If you don’t act in time, you’ll likely be barred from recovery, and your claim will be dismissed. This leaves you without any of the compensation you need and deserve.
Unfortunately, the statute of limitations is not the only law that could endanger your claim. If you were partly responsible for your accident, you could lose part of your compensation for your actions. If you’re found more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, however, you could lose your compensation completely.
For example, let’s say you were walking through a store, and they didn’t put out a “Wet Floor” sign near a spill. You slipped and fell, but you were also texting while you were walking. While the store should have warned customers, you might be found to hold 30 percent of the responsibility for the accident. That would mean that you would only receive 70 percent of your awarded compensation.
Negligence is a legal doctrine that allows people to seek compensation for injuries suffered in an accident. The law requires everyone to behave reasonably and take reasonable precautions to avoid causing harm to others. Negligence is the basis of any injury claim that does not involve an intentional act, such as assault. The Charleston personal injury lawyers at our law firm can help you assert a negligence claim to recover damages for your injuries.
In order to prove that a defendant was negligent, a plaintiff must prove all of the following factors:
The plaintiff must prove each of these factors by a “preponderance of the evidence.” If the case were to go to trial — which is very rare — they would have to convince a judge or jury that each of the five elements of negligence is more likely than not to be true.
As discussed previously, South Carolina uses a “comparative negligence” system that allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for their injuries. A major advantage of legal representation is that personal injury lawyers can help you maximize the amount of damages awarded to you and minimize the amount of fault attributed to you.
While the above laws and statutes can give you some idea of what you can expect during your claim, every case is different. That means you might still have a few questions for us.
Fortunately, we can answer those. See the following FAQ for help, or simply reach out to our firm to have all of your questions answered by a personal injury attorney.
In more extreme cases, you might choose to seek punitive damages in your Charleston personal injury claim. These damages are not meant to compensate you, however. They’re meant to punish the wrongdoer for their extreme or malicious actions. These damages are capped, but they can significantly increase the value of your claim.
Unfortunately, you might have some limits on your personal injury damages. For example, if you’ve suffered because of medical malpractice, you are limited to $350,000 in non-economic damages for each defendant, with an overall cap of $1.05 million. Punitive damages will stop at $500,000 or three times your compensation—whichever is larger.
Absolutely. The criminal trial is meant only to punish the wrongdoer—not to compensate you. If you’ve been injured or traumatized by their actions, you deserve compensation to help you recover. Speak to a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim related to a criminal act.
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is tough—no matter what your financial situation is. You’re dealing with severe injuries, financial losses, and mental trauma that can haunt you for years. If you want to recover compensation, you’ll likely need to file an injury claim against the person responsible.
Unfortunately, this, too, can be overwhelming. The legal process can be complicated and daunting. You might not be familiar with personal injury laws in South Carolina, leaving you confused and more likely to make a mistake. Unfortunately, a mistake in your case could cost you your compensation. That’s why you need to contact a lawyer from HawkLaw, P.A. before you begin. Our legal team has over 20 years of experience in the Charleston area helping people like you get the compensation they deserve from their insurance company. Personal injury is one of our largest practice areas across all of our law offices. Our dedicated lawyers will clarify all of your legal options so you do not deal with an injury alone. Our testimonials and accolades show that HawkLaw consistently fights for our clients.
Our attorneys understand the position you’re in and want to help you overcome your injuries. You can benefit from the experience and knowledge our attorneys can provide, as well as the personal attention we’ll give you. Our lawyers want to see your claim succeed. We can guide you through the complex factual and legal issues in your case. From your initial free consultation* with our attorneys to the final verdict, we’ll fight hard for your compensation.
If you’re struggling with a serious injury and someone else is responsible, reach out to a Charleston personal injury lawyer. HawkLaw can provide you or a loved one with dependable and respectable legal advice and representation. Give our firm a call at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or use our contact page.
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