Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer
A serious injury is bad enough, but when your injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness, it’s easy to feel like the situation is hopeless. Fortunately, you can get the compensation you’re due by calling a Columbia injury lawyer for help with your personal injury case.
Personal injuries happen in many ways and, unfortunately, are all too common. According to information shared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 57.5 million people visit a doctor’s office to be treated for injuries, and 37.9 million visit an emergency room. Tragically, injuries also cause more than 278,000 deaths per year.
There is always a chance you or a loved one could end up hurt in a serious accident. You might slip and fall, be in a car accident, or suffer because a product malfunctioned. Sadly, many accidents are preventable but are caused due to negligence or recklessness. When other people are not careful, they can cause serious injuries that make it difficult for you to lead your normal life.
You end up paying for their mistakes, and it’s tough to recover mentally, physically, and financially. Fortunately, you can do something about it.
What can you do if you are injured and it was not your fault?
Fortunately, you can take action. When you are injured due to the carelessness or poor decisions of someone else, reach out to HawkLaw, P.A., your personal injury lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina, at 888.HAWK.LAW or use our contact page today. The dedicated team at our law office has years of experience and will offer you sound legal advice to help you get justice and win the compensation you deserve.
Common Personal Injury Case Claims
Your Columbia injury attorney’s first step will be determining the type of claim you’re dealing with. Because different claims are affected by different laws, knowing what type of claim you’re dealing with will help you prepare for what’s to come.
For example, let’s say you were bitten by a dog. While some relevant laws are more general, like the statute of limitations for a personal injury, you’ll also be dealing with determining liability for the dog’s actions. You’ll need to determine whether the dog’s owner is liable, and that will involve an understanding of South Carolina’s dog bite statute. That’s the kind of understanding a lawyer will have.
Not sure where on the spectrum your case falls? See the list of common case types below or call a personal injury lawyer in Columbia to discuss your claim:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents can lead to especially serious injuries. An attorney can help you navigate South Carolina’s “fault” system to get the settlement or compensation you need from the person responsible for your collision.
Premises liability is often referred to as “slip-and-fall accidents”. You might have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property because the property owner did not fix a hazard or properly warn you. When this occurs, you may be eligible for compensation from the negligent property owner.
We trust doctors to take care of our health, but what if a medical professional left you badly injured or in poorer health than before? Types of severe and permanent injuries include brain injuries, birth injuries, spinal cord injuries, and nursing home abuse, to name a few. If this happens, a medical malpractice case can be filed.
Dog owners in South Carolina are liable for dog bites even if they did not know their pet would attack or bite; these injuries fall under South Carolina’s “strict liability” law, making owners responsible for their dogs.
Every year approximately 3 million nonfatal workplace accidents occur in the United States. Injuries caused by slips, trips, falls, equipment issues, overexertion, and bodily reaction are the most common and account for 84% of nonfatal workplace injuries and approximately 5,300 workplace fatalities.
If injured from one of the above or another type of injury, it is important to seek medical treatment right away, and then consult with an attorney who has strong legal experience in these matters.
You might have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property because the property owner didn’t fix the hazard or properly warn you. When this happens, you may be eligible for compensation from the negligent property owner.
We trust our doctors to take care of our health, but what if a medical professional left you badly injured or sicker than before? Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove, but with an injury lawyer in Columbia on your side, you can win the full compensation you deserve.
What Is Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury is when an accident causes such severe injuries the victim is no longer able to work and suffers permanent injuries that impact their functional capabilities. Examples include life-changing injuries such as loss of limb, inability to walk, brain injuries, spinal cord, and other injuries that impact an individual’s mobility or cognitive abilities. Many catastrophic injuries involve high medical expenses, long-term rehabilitation, the need for medical devices, and taking medications. This also includes the loss of income.
How South Carolina Law Will Affect Your Claim
Each accident type will fall under different laws that will change how you approach your claim. But all of these claim types fall under the umbrella of personal injury, and these claims will have general statutes that apply more broadly to them.
While your personal injury attorney in Columbia will go over the specific laws that will affect you, you’ll also need to pay attention to some more general laws that could affect your claim. If you don’t pay attention to these personal injury laws, your compensation could be reduced or lost completely.
Statute of Limitations
First, you’ll need to focus on how much time you have to file your claim. Each state sets a time limit on how long you can wait before bringing forward your personal injury claim. In South Carolina, you’ll need to file your personal injury claim within three years.
This might seem like plenty of time to act, but don’t hesitate to prepare your claim. When you’re dealing with a serious injury, it’s easy to lose track of time, get caught up in paperwork, and lose the chance to fight for your compensation.
Was Your Injury Due to Negligence?
Each accident type will fall under different laws that will change how you approach your claim, but all of these claim types fall under the umbrella of personal injury. For personal injury cases, all of the following elements are required in order to recover for a personal injury claim:
- Duty: The existence of a certain duty. For instance, if the individual has a certain obligation to the person, this would qualify as duty.
- Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to act in their duty, or in other words, the manner expected (e.g., a doctor breached the standard of care towards a patient).
- Causation: If not for the defendant’s actions, the injury could have been prevented.
- Damages: The actual harm caused by the defendant’s decision, action, or behavior that led to the injury.
For example, let’s say you were in an auto wreck. The other person swerved into your lane, but you were talking on the phone at the time. The at-fault driver might argue that you were partially negligent by talking on the phone, and your compensation could be reduced by the percentage of fault you’re found responsible for.
Even if the percentage doesn’t seem significant, it can affect your recovery. Let’s say you’re found 15 percent at fault for the above accident, and you should have received $100,000 in compensation. You’ll only receive 85 percent of that, or $85,000. This means thousands of dollars that should have gone toward your recovery will no longer be yours.
This makes it even more difficult to recover, and it’s why we advise clients against making any statements about fault. If you’re concerned that the other side may claim you were responsible for your injuries, call an injury attorney in Columbia before you file your claim.
If you or a loved one suffer from an injury caused by an auto accident, trucking accident, work accident, dog bite, medical malpractice, boating accident in South Carolina, or another type of incident, it is important to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, even if you think you might be to blame.
Realistically, there could be unknown factors of which you were not aware that caused the accident. A skilled attorney can perform a case evaluation to determine if any unknown factors were present at the time of the accident that involved another party’s negligence (e.g. DUI, faulty equipment, premise liability, to name a few).
What Steps Should You Take Immediately After Your Injury?
After an accident occurs, it is vital to contact local authorities (e.g. motor vehicle accidents or other events/crimes that merit law enforcement involvement), along with getting an evaluation by a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you do not feel injured. It is important to be evaluated so if emerging symptoms appear in the future, there will be early documentation.
Promptly gather documentation at the time of the accident. If you are unable to do so, see if someone else can take photos (needed for insurance purposes), collect witness information, and assemble any other important factors that could be associated with a personal injury claim that may help support receiving a verdict in your favor.
Next, consult with a HawkLaw attorney right away. South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This might seem like plenty of time to act, but do not hesitate to prepare your claim. When you are dealing with a serious injury, it is easy to lose track of time, get caught up in paperwork, and lose the chance to fight for your compensation. However, even if three years have passed, do not hesitate to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys since there may be exceptions to this rule; you may meet the criteria to still file.
Compensation You Could Win
Compensation from a personal injury claim can help you and your family to cope with the financial constraints the injury caused. Financial awards also help pay for current and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of household services, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, emotional trauma, and property damage.
To file a claim, you will need to determine which laws will affect you and who is responsible for your injuries. However, you may question how much those injuries are worth. Unfortunately, this is tough to calculate alone. You may need to estimate the value of future economic losses, and intangible losses can be challenging to determine accurately.
That is why you will need to contact a Columbia personal injury attorney about your case. An accident lawyer from our firm will have the tools to identify your economic and non-economic damages and determine their worth. Damages such as emotional pain and suffering do not have a price tag like lost wages and medical bills do, but you should be compensated when the trauma you have suffered affects the way you live. For example, if you struggle with anxiety related to your accident, you can include these non-economic damages in your claim for compensation.
When preparing to file your Columbia personal injury claim, consider whether you suffered any additional damages and speak to your HawkLaw lawyer about what they might be worth.
Let Us Deal With the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies, even your own, are not looking out for your best interests. Unfortunately, it is common for them to either minimize or eliminate blame, make lowball settlement offers, or even try to dismiss the gravity of the injury altogether. If you suffered a workplace injury, workers’ compensation can also be tricky to navigate, since they, too, may try to undermine injuries.
Victims should never speak to insurance companies or answer their questions alone. Always let the communications go through an experienced HawkLaw personal injury attorney. Lawyers provide protection from being taken advantage of—companies will often frame questions to make it appear that you are to blame so they can absolve themselves of responsibility.
Personal Injury Legal Representation in Columbia, South Carolina
When you have suffered a serious injury or wrongful death, the amount of suffering can be immeasurable. Recovery can feel nearly impossible. Even worse, if the accident was due to another person’s negligence, but you and your family are left behind suffering immense losses, it is easy to feel hopeless. Fortunately, you can get the compensation you are due by calling a Columbia injury lawyer for help with your personal injury case.
Talk To An Experienced Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer at HawkLaw
Do not let the at-fault party get away with causing your suffering or allow insurance companies to pay less than they should. Instead, reach out to HawkLaw, P.A. to speak with an attorney who can fight back when you are struggling with serious injuries—someone who can help you determine your case type and what your claim is worth before you file.
HawkLaw offers years of experience in many different personal injury practice areas and will stand by your side every step of the way. We have offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg.
To request a free consultation* from our personal injury law firm, call us today at 888.HAWK.LAW or complete the online contact form to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at HawkLaw today.