One moment can change your life forever. A bad accident can leave you feeling like your world is collapsing around you. You are likely concerned about the injuries you have suffered, when you will be able to return to work, and what it is all going to end up costing you. One way to immediately alleviate some of the stress you are feeling is to get legal help.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, our Mount Pleasant personal injury lawyers have helped countless accident victims get their lives back on track after an accident. Learn how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews to help accident victims get an idea of their legal position risk-free.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
One of the first actions that must be taken in order to recover compensation is to determine who is liable for the damages. In most personal injury cases, there are a variety of parties who may hold a level of liability.
In many cases, such as car accidents, you know who the at-fault party is. On the other hand, truck accidents might be a little more complex. If you were struck by a commercial semi-truck, you might be able to hold the driver, trucking company, or truck parts manufacturers liable.
Before filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you must first determine against whom you will be filing. Hiring a personal injury attorney can greatly aid you in your attempt to determine who is responsible for your accident.
How a Personal Injury Attorney in Mount Pleasant Can Help
When you hire a personal injury attorney, one of the first steps they will take is to launch an independent investigation of your accident. The first goal of this inquiry will be to determine the liable parties. The second goal will be to collect evidence and build your case. Steps your attorney will likely take include:
- Visiting the scene of the accident
- Collecting evidence
- Speaking with potential witnesses
- Consulting with s
- Obtaining copies of any accident reports
- Reviewing your medical records
Once your attorney has completed their investigation, they will evaluate your damages and calculate the full value of your claim. They will then either file a claim with the appropriate insurance company or file a lawsuit with the court. If filing a lawsuit, they will next begin the pre-trial process.
The whole while, your Mount Pleasant personal injury attorney will be in contact with the legal counsel of the opposition. They will try to negotiate a fair settlement deal. Any offers made will be relayed to you, and your attorney will advise you about whether you should take the deal or not. If a settlement can not be reached, your attorney will then argue your case in court.
Hiring an Attorney Early Is Critical
The days after you suffer an injury are when you are at your most vulnerable. You are likely in a state of shock and worried about recovery and the associated cost. Insurance companies are well aware of this and will attempt to take advantage of your situation.
When an insurance company knows that an accident victim has a claim against them, they will often approach the victim with a settlement offer before they even have a chance to file a claim. Unfortunately, the offer is typically only a small fraction of the true value of the claim, but unsuspecting accident victims accept these deals far too often.
The best way to protect yourself against predatory insurance practices is to hire an attorney as soon as possible after you get injured. Your attorney can handle all negotiations with the insurance company and evaluate the merit of any offer you receive.
What Damages Can I Claim After an Accident Involving a Personal Injury?
After an accident, there are a wide variety of damages for which you may be eligible to receive compensation. The specific damages you can claim depend on the particulars of your case. Common damages that our Mount Pleasant personal injury attorneys pursue can include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
These damages are generally divided into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are fairly straightforward. These are the losses you suffer that have a direct financial impact. Medical bills start to stack up right away after an accident, while lost earning capacity affects how much money you will likely be able to make in the future. These two damages affect your finances differently, but they are both monetary losses.
Non-economic damages aren’t nearly as simple. These are the losses you suffer that diminish your quality of life rather than your bank account. There is no way to easily quantify your pain and suffering or a permanent disability.
However, our court system attempts to do so. As a result, non-economic damages generally account for the largest portion of compensation.
In some cases, you may also receive punitive damages. However, these only apply in situations where the actions or inaction of the at-fault party is deemed to have been criminally negligent and performed with wanton disregard for the safety of others.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is the process of assigning liability for an accident to multiple parties. South Carolina uses comparative negligence in personal injury cases. If multiple parties are found to share in the fault for an accident, comparative negligence kicks in.
For example, in a car accident, if the collision occurred because one driver was speeding and another failed to use a turn signal, they might be both held partially responsible. If it is determined that you share a level of fault for an accident, the amount you can recover will be affected. If you are 10% at fault, you will only be able to recover up to 90% of the value of your claim.
In the event that you are determined to be over 50% responsible for an accident, you will not be able to recover any compensation. On the contrary, you may find that another party involved in the accident is making a claim against you.
The True Cost of Hiring a Mount Pleasant Personal Injury Lawyer
When hiring a lawyer, one of the most important questions people have is how much it will cost them. For personal injury attorneys, the answer is usually nothing. That’s because most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. With this payment structure, your attorney only gets paid if you receive compensation.
The fee your lawyer receives if they win you money is taken as a pre-agreed upon percentage of your compensation package. You will never pay them a single cent out of pocket. Because of this payment system, you can feel confident that your lawyer will do everything within their power to secure you as much money as possible for your case.
In most cases, those who hire personal injury lawyers in Mount Pleasant end up with far more money once all is said and done than those who attempt to represent themselves. This means that the only thing that is likely to cost you is if you don’t hire an attorney.
The Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in South Carolina
South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. This may feel like plenty of time. However, it is always best to get started as soon as possible. There are certain circumstances in which the time you have to file can be significantly reduced.
Even if you have the full three years to file, delays can be costly. Witness testimony is not nearly as useful, years after the event. Additionally, key evidence can become lost or corrupted if it is not gathered quickly. The best thing you can do to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines, or damage your case in any other manner, is to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Mount Pleasant
When dealing with a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to find an attorney with a proven track record of winning favorable outcomes for clients in situations similar to yours. On top of that, you also want to hire a personal injury lawyer in Mount Pleasant with whom you feel comfortable. The Thumbs Up Guys have a history of winning fair compensation for our clients.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. A member of our legal team will review your case, answer any questions, and offer advice. We offer this service with no obligation to hire our firm once your consultation is complete. We believe that every accident victim deserves access to professional legal counsel.