Determining how long a personal injury case in South Carolina will take is not an exact science. Multiple factors can influence how long your case takes, depending on your case’s details.
We understand this may be less than the optimal answer you want. But The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward are here to explain what factors could affect the timeline of your case and provide you with important information for filing your claim.
Factors Affecting the Timeline of Your Personal Injury Case
When our personal injury lawyers work on cases, there are four factors that can either speed up or extend your case’s length, depending on your case. Four common factors that could influence your case include:
How severe your injuries are play an important role in determining your case’s length, as well as your case’s value. If your injuries are severe, you’ll require more time to recover before you can file a personal injury claim, which will overall delay your case.
While it’s frustrating having to wait to file your claim, it’s important that you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before doing so. MMI is when you reach a point in your recovery process where your doctor determines that you are at maximum recovery.
We recommend waiting to file until you reach MMI. There’s only a small chance that your injuries will worsen, so you can recover sufficient damages to pay for your medical expenses. On the other hand, if you filed a personal injury claim before you fully recovered, any injuries that worsen or present would not be covered by the damages you recover.
If your injuries are not as severe, you won’t have to wait and can file your personal injury claim soon after your accident, making this step a quick process.
Issues With Liability
If there is any inconsistency in determining who is responsible for your injuries, your case could be delayed. In our years of experience, we’ve handled cases where there wasn’t a clear liable party when determining multiple parties’ or a singular party’s fault. As a result, your case may take longer if we have to gather additional evidence to prove fault.
However, if there’s clear evidence of who is at fault in your personal injury case, we can move on to the next steps of your case.
Negotiating a settlement can also cause your South Carolina case to take longer. This is because when you enter settlement negotiations with your attorney, you’ll have to face the liable party’s insurance company. And the last thing insurance claims adjusters want is to pay you the settlement you qualify for.
Insurance companies use several tactics to delay your claim, inherently causing your case to take longer in an attempt to make you take a low offer or admit fault. So if the insurance company isn’t cooperating, whether it be lengthy denial tactics or not responding, this could severely delay your case and settlement.
Fortunately, our team knows how to deal with these tactics and can help cut the time the insurance company tries to waste. We’ll defend your claim and fight for you to receive the settlement your injuries qualify for.
What Is South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?
The most important part of your personal injury case is filing your personal injury claim within South Carolina’s statute of limitations. According to S.C. Code § 15-3-530, you have three years from your injury date to file your claim.
Missing this deadline will dissolve your case and eliminate your ability to recover any compensation. That’s why our South Carolina personal injury attorneys recommend that you file your claim well before the deadline after receiving medical treatment.
What Evidence Do You Need To File a Personal Injury Claim?
When you’re ready to file a personal injury claim, you’ll need evidence to support your injuries. The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward can help you collect necessary evidence such as:
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Security camera footage of your injury
- Police report, if applicable
- Photos and videos of the incident
- Photos of your injuries
- Therapy notes
When Does a Personal Injury Case Go to Court?
If your case has to go to court, it could take significantly longer to reach a result in your case. While there are advantages of taking your case to court, such as winning a higher financial award, there’s only one situation in which we’ll take your case to court: if we can’t reach a settlement amount with the liable partys’ insurance company.
Many of our clients ask if their case will have to go to court. You may find it comforting to know that a majority of South Carolina personal injury cases settle before going to court for several reasons, such as:
- Saving money
- Avoiding the risk of not recovering any compensation
- Saving time
- Maintaining privacy
How Our Lawyers Can Determine Your Case Length
While the time it takes to get a verdict or settlement in a South Carolina personal injury case is often uncertain, there is one way to get a more specific answer as to how long your case could take: meeting with our personal injury attorney. Our law firm provides free case consultations without obligation to work with us.
In your consultation, we’ll review the details of your case, the factors affecting your case, and state and local laws that could affect you, and determine a strategy for your case. By reviewing your case, we can give you an estimate of your case’s length as well as the damages you could recover, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society
Learn How Long Your Personal Injury Case Will Take
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, we’re passionate about winning you the compensation you need to cover the expenses of your injuries. However, we understand that the inability to know how long your South Carolina personal injury case could take is frustrating.
The Thumbs Up Guys can help you learn more about your case’s length and how we can help you in your pursuit of justice. You can call us or fill out the contact form on our website to get in touch with us, and we can answer any questions.