An injury can send your life completely off the rails. Serious personal injuries can completely change every aspect of your life. Getting things back on track after an accident can feel impossible at times, especially when you have an injury that will never fully heal.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, we have helped countless injury victims recover the compensation they need and deserve to move on after an accident. Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with our Hilton Head personal injurylawyers today. We are ready to help you take back control.
What a Personal Injury Lawyer in Hilton Head Can Do for You
There are many things a personal injury lawyer can do to help you after an accident. Above all the fine details, the primary way a Hilton Head personal injury attorney can help is by fighting for you and allowing you to focus on recovery.
Your lawyer will handle everything. They will investigate your case, file lawsuits on your behalf, deal with insurance companies, and fight your case in court.
Once you hire a lawyer, they will immediately launch an inquiry into the circumstances of your accident. The aim will be to determine all liable parties and begin to build your case. Steps in the investigation will likely include:
- Visiting the scene of the accident
- Speaking with potential witnesses
- Reviewing any official accident reports
- Consulting with s
- Reviewing your medical records
Calculating the Value of Your Claim
Upon completion of their investigation, your personal injury attorney will calculate the value of your personal injury claim. Your lawyer will then advise you of your options regarding filing a lawsuit versus an insurance claim. They will then proceed with whichever course of action you choose, filing all the necessary paperwork.
If you choose to sue, they will begin the pre-trial process and, if necessary, fight your case in court. Throughout every step of the process, your attorney will be in contact with the legal counsel for the other side, attempting to negotiate a fair settlement. Meanwhile, you can focus on healing your wounds with the assurance that your legal case is in good hands.
How Much does a Personal Injury Lawyer in Hilton Head Charge?
If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, one of your biggest concerns is most likely going to be the price. When most people think about lawyers, their minds go to substantial lawyer’s fees. However, this should not be a concern when hiring a personal injury attorney in Hilton Head.
While your lawyer will likely end up making a significant amount of money for handling your case, you will never pay a penny out of pocket. That is because personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. That means that they only get paid if you receive compensation. If you do get money, their fee will come as a percentage of your payout.
Even though this amount can be significant, those who hire an attorney generally end up with far more money than those who represent themselves once all is said and done. This payment method also assures accident victims that their attorneys will do everything within their power to win as much money as possible for their injury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in South Carolina for Filing a Lawsuit?
If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, the state of South Carolina gives you three years to file a lawsuit under South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-3-530.
However, it is important to be aware that under certain circumstances, that time frame can be reduced significantly. The best way to ensure that you don’t miss your deadline to file is to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Even if you have the full three years, it is always best to get started with your case earlier rather than later. Delays will almost always hurt your case. Witness testimony becomes less reliable with each passing day. Additionally, evidence can become lost or corrupted if not gathered immediately.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Early to Protect You from Predatory Insurance Companies
Despite the image they portray in commercials, insurance companies are not your friends. These companies are not concerned about your well-being. Instead, their interest is in protecting their bottom line.
One of the tactics they employ in this aim is contacting injury victims as soon as possible after their accidents to attempt to get them to give a statement that they can use against them or accept a settlement deal far below the true value of the accident claim.
By hiring a personal injury lawyer in Hilton Head soon after you get hurt, you can force the insurance company to go through your attorney in all business they have with you. Doing this will protect you from the tricks they would otherwise use against you. An experienced legal professional is the best tool at your disposal to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can You Claim After an Accident?
Depending on the specifics of your case, there are many damages that you may be eligible to claim. Damages can generally be separated into three groups:
Economic damages are the accident consequences that result directly in financial hardship. Common economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Even the more complex economic damages, like lost earning capacity, are generally fairly easy to calculate. Algorithms have been developed to determine how much an injury is likely to cost a victim if it means that they are unable to work or must change occupations. The purpose of awarding economic damages is to directly offset the money lost due to an accident.
Non-economic damages are much more complex. These are the losses you have suffered that are far greater than money. Common non-economic damages include:
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
Generally speaking, non-economic damages are the things that reduce your quality of life. Money can be replaced. However, losing a loved one or a limb will deeply impact your life forever. Because money is the best option the courts have for compensating accident victims, the amount given for these irreplaceable losses tends to be quite significant.
In fact, non-economic damages generally make up the bulk of a compensation package for an accident victim.
Punitive damages are not awarded in the majority of personal injury cases. That is because punitive damages are not meant to compensate victims for their losses. Instead, they are supposed to punish the responsible party. However, the law does not view all liable parties as deserving to pay more than the victim requires to move on.
That’s why punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the actions of the at-fault party are deemed to have been criminally negligent.
South Carolina Comparative Negligence Laws
South Carolina employs comparative negligence when assessing liability for an accident. In states that use comparative negligence, it is possible for more than one party to share a level of fault for an accident. The amount you can recover for your damages will be affected if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident.
If you are involved in an accident with one other vehicle and it is determined that the accident was 70% their fault and 30% your fault, you will see a significant decrease in the amount of money you can recover. After the full value of your damages is assessed, you will be eligible to recoup only 70% of that amount.
If you are determined to be over 50% at fault for an accident, you will not be eligible to recover compensation at all. In fact, a claim for damages may be filed against you by the other party.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in Hilton Head
After an accident, it is critical that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. You want to find someone with a proven track record of getting positive results for their clients in cases similar to yours. Beyond that, though, you also need to find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. You need to have confidence in your lawyer so that you can focus on recovery.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, our team of personal injury lawyers in Hilton Head knows what it takes to get our clients fair compensation. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case review today. A member of our team will look over your case, answer all your questions, and advise you of your legal rights.