A personal injury is defined as any physical or emotional injury or sickness and disease that is caused by a third party, either through intent or negligence. If such an injury occurs, the law in South Carolina allows the injured party to file a personal injury claim.
There are different elements that can determine whether a personal injury claim is approved or denied. If you decide to file a personal injury claim, here are some things you should know:
Fault Determination in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
Chester, South Carolina, follows an at-fault system for all personal injury claims, which means that if you file a claim, you have to prove that your injuries were caused by the defendant. You cannot simply state that a certain individual caused your injuries and expect to receive compensation. The at-fault system follows a very simple philosophy: The party at fault will be held liable for any damages incurred by the injured party, but at the same time, the injured party has to provide evidence to prove that the injuries were caused by the at-fault party. In any case the best thing to do after an injury is to consult with an experienced Chester personal injury attorney.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
While we are discussing fault, it is important for you to understand that all situations are not equal. There are certain cases where the injured party is clearly the victim, and the accused did play an integral role in causing their injuries. However, there are other situations where everything is not black and white.
To better deal with these cases, Chester, SC, follows the modified comparative negligence rule under which compensation is determined according to the degree of fault. For example, if the injured party claims that the defendant was negligent and caused their injury, the defendant can turn around and claim that it wasn’t entirely their fault and that the plaintiff also contributed to the accident. In such a situation, the decision will be based on each party’s degree of fault.
You must keep in mind that just because you may have played some role in the accident, this does not mean that you are not entitled to compensation. In South Carolina, as long as you were 50% or less at fault, you can file a claim. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your level of fault. For example, if you were 10% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 10%. Only if your fault 50% or more will you be barred from receiving any compensation. Always consult an experienced personal injury attorney on the details of your case before making a decision.
Compensatory Damages for Chester Personal Injury Claim
Any individual who has suffered injury due to intent or negligence of a third party can ask for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress, pain, and suffering
It is required by law that the injured party provide evidence to substantiate their claim. This means that the plaintiff has to provide medical evidence that any physical injuries they incurred were because of the negligent party. A medical doctor’s diagnosis, treatment protocol, and medical bills can be used to prove such a claim. If the injured party missed work days which resulted in a loss of wages, they may need to provide tax returns or a statement from their employer. Keep in mind that the party you are accusing will not just sit there, accept their guilt and hand over the money. Most cases do not end up with such ideal outcomes. However, with the right legal representation and the right evidence, you can be sure your claim will not be denied.
How Can a SC Personal Injury Lawyer Help My Case?
In most cases, it is encouraged that personal injury claims are settled out of court. In fact, South Carolina requires all personal injury claims to undergo mediation before the case goes to trial. Only if the mediation fails and the parties in question cannot agree will the case go to trial.
In any event, it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer before filing any claims or accepting any settlements. Any injured party who wants to file such a claim has up to three years from the date of the injury to do so. Failure to meet this deadline will result in a denial of their claim.
Since South Carolina is an at-fault state, the plaintiff has to prove their case. Our skilled personal injury attorneys at the Elrod Pope Law Firm have helped numerous clients with their personal injury claims. We understand that presenting the right argument is imperative to achieving a positive outcome. You cannot simply make claims and not back them up with a proper argument. Having the benefit of an experienced personal injury attorney will give you the edge and knowledge you need to make the best steps moving forward.
Seek Legal Counsel for Your South Carolina Personal Injury Case
Contact one of our injury lawyers today, and we will evaluate the specifics of your case, determine the evidence you need to substantiate that claim, gather that evidence and put together an argument that will convince the legal system that you are entitled to the damages you seek.
We realize that personal injuries can be traumatic for both the injured party and their families. Many times, the victims have to deal with physical pain as well as the emotional trauma. There are also financial consequences of such injuries in the form of medical bills, prescriptions, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and so on. Dealing with all these things can be challenging. It is in your interest to leave your legal issues to the professionals so that you can recover some of the losses that you have incurred. Call us today at 803-599-3080, and one of our attorneys will be happy to assist you in dealing with any of your legal problems.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.