Were you recently injured in an accident in the Lancaster area? A “personal injury” is the legal term for any harm to your mind, body or emotions. In the US alone, there have been more than 47 million personal injuries since 2017.
Maybe you’ve heard about personal injury claims before but weren’t sure how to proceed. If that’s the case, you can learn more here on how to hire a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina. Let these professionals do the heavy lifting on your case so that you can focus on recovering your good health.
What’s a Personal Injury Claim?
Victims injured from someone else’s irresponsible behavior can file one of these claims to recoup their medical or property damage costs. There are many common types of personal injury claims. These claims can include:
- Car accidents;
- Dog bites;
- Medical malpractice;
- Private or public property liability; and
- Workplace injuries.
The local justice system provides a framework for victims to recover their damages with the help of an injury claim lawyer.
Considerations That Affect Whether to File Personal Injury Claims
Some outlying factors can impact whether you file a personal injury claim or not. These factors include:
Statute of Limitations
All US states have their own law called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations specifies the amount of time you have after your injury to file a personal injury claim. If you fail to file before this deadline, you can’t receive compensation to cover your damages. The South Carolina statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years after the date of the accident.
Disagreement on Who is Responsible
Most US states have at-fault laws. At-fault laws declare that victims in a personal injury claim can’t be over 50 percent responsible for their injuries if they want to seek damages. If investigations show that your role in your injury reaches these levels, your case might be sent to the court system for a judge to review.
Who are Personal Injury Lawyers?
Personal injury lawyers represent victims who claim that their injuries were caused by someone else’s irresponsible behavior. A personal injury lawyer is also called a personal injury claim lawyer.
An injury claim lawyer specializes in tort law. They can help direct victims through the justice system if they wish to file a lawsuit. They can also assist victims through the negotiation settlement process with insurance companies.
What Can a Personal Injury Claim Lawyer Do?
There are several specialized services and responsibilities that an injury claim lawyer can do for a client. These responsibilities include:
Personal injury claim lawyers can collect evidence to build a case on your accident. This evidence can include workplace accident or police reports. They can take photos of your accident scene and gather testimony from anyone who witnessed your accident.
Draft a Demand for Compensation
A demand for compensation outlines the victim’s reasoning why the other party is at fault for their damages. Demand for compensation letters summarizes specific injuries and costs involved to correct them.
If the other party rejects or ignores your reasoning, your injury claim lawyer can file legal action for damages on your behalf. Lawsuits are a way to officially notify the local court that you aim to collect compensation through the justice system. Your lawsuit includes your attorney’s site evidence and legal arguments.
If opposing sides of a personal injury case want to negotiate a solution, lawyers from each side can lend a hand. They can draft settlement conditions that summarize payment amounts and due dates. They can also negotiate with insurance companies if any disagreements arise with the victim’s health plan.
How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in South Carolina
There are a few sources you can tap to find recommendations for competent legal help. Some of these sources include:
Ask Friends, Family or Co-Workers
Ask your family members or co-workers who have had their own personal injury case represented by an injury claim lawyer. Your acquaintances can be a good first source to collect names and hear about personal experiences. Collect a short list of referrals to schedule interviews to discuss your case.
Contact Other Lawyers You Already Know
You might already personally know another lawyer or worked with someone on another matter. For example, your neighbor might be a family law attorney. Ask them If they can refer you to a civil attorney with expertise in tort law to help you with your personal injury claim.
Contact Your Local Bar Association
Local bar associations maintain a network of attorneys. These associations can connect clients who need legal assistance with participating members from their network. Potential clients are then matched to a lawyer who practices law in the legal field that is most appropriate for their case.
The Lancaster Bar Association offers a lawyer referral service. They match clients with Bar Association member lawyers, based on the attorney’s experience and area of legal expertise.
Schedule Some Interviews
Once you have a list of referrals, it’s time to consult with each personal injury lawyer to find one that’s a good fit for you. Have as many details and supporting documentation about your injury as you can. That way you and the prospective lawyer can have an informed discussion and avoid misunderstandings further down the road.
Some questions you can ask prospective lawyers include:
- What’s your experience in handling personal injury cases like mine?
- What is your experience as a litigator and work with tort law?
- What is the usual settlement range for cases like mine?
- Do you have colleagues who will also be working on the case?
- What is your fee structure?
- Are there out-of-pocket expenses that I will be responsible for?
Finding a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina is not an impossible task. But it does take time to find a professional that you’re comfortable working with.
Contact the Lancaster Bar Association and leverage their lawyer referral service. Create your preliminary list of names and schedule some interviews. Be sure to take all pertinent materials that apply to your case.
When interviewing these professionals, find a professional who has litigation experience. This experience will be invaluable in case you can’t negotiate a settlement. When that happens, your lawsuit moves into the court system.
Follow these ideas above so that you can get the best possible outcome for your case. To find out more on hiring a personal injury attorney, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm. Schedule an initial consultation today!
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.