The world can be a dangerous place, and there are many ways that a person can suffer a serious injury. Even though the majority of the population will suffer at least one form of serious injury or another in their lifetime, society can often make recovering the necessary compensation to pay for these injuries rather difficult.
Even when the law is fully on your side, there are typically many hoops that must be jumped through in order to get the money that you need. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney in Sullivan’s Island can simplify things and help you recover the money you need from the responsible party.
What a Sullivan’s Island Personal Injury Lawyer Will Do for You
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, we offer free case evaluations to potential clients. When you come to us, the first thing we will do is look over all the details of your case, answer any questions you may have, and offer legal advice. This evaluation is risk-free, with no obligation to retain our services.
Investigating Your Case
Should you choose to pursue legal action and hire our services, the next step will be to begin an independent inquiry into the circumstances that led to your injury. In most cases, we will visit the scene of the accident and collect any relevant information. We will speak to witnesses, discuss your case with experts and review any documents related to your accident and injuries.
One of the primary targets of this investigation will be to uncover all potentially liable parties. Until you have identified who is responsible for your accident, you can not file a claim with their insurance or bring a lawsuit against them.
In many cases, determining liability can be rather tricky. However, an experienced Sullivan’s Island personal injury attorney should be able to sort it out.
Calculating Your Damages
There are many damages for which you may be eligible to recover compensation after an accident. Your attorney will be able to identify which damages apply in your case. They will also evaluate those damages and calculate the full value of your claim.
Filing an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit
Depending on the options open to you, your lawyer will advise you of the best course of action for pursuing compensation. Whichever path you choose, your attorney will file the necessary paperwork with the appropriate party.
Taking Your Case to Court
If you are filing a lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer will then begin the steps of the pretrial process and prepare to fight your case in court. If the case does not settle before your court date, your attorney will argue your case at trial.
Negotiating a Settlement
From the moment that the liable party is identified, your attorney will enter into negotiations with the opposition to attempt to reach a fair settlement deal. The majority of personal injury cases end up settling out of court.
The Cost of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sullivan’s Island
Personal injury lawyers differ from many other types of lawyers in that they work on a contingency fee basis. That means that they only get paid if they are able to secure compensation for their clients.
You never have to worry about being worse after hiring a personal injury lawyer in Sullivan’s Island because, in the extremely rare case where they are unable to recover any money, you will not have to pay them a single cent.
In cases where an attorney does recover compensation, they will receive a percentage of the money they secure as their fee. While this can add up to a significant chunk of money, those who hire a lawyer still generally end up in a far better financial position than those who represent themselves.
How Long do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in South Carolina?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in South Carolina is three years from the date of the accident under South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-3-530. While this three-year window may make you feel like you can sit back and deal with your lawsuit at a later date, it is always best to get started right away.
There are certain conditions that could apply to your case, which may end up shortening your period to file. Hiring a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident will help to assure that all deadlines are met and that you do not miss out on your chance to receive compensation.
Even in cases where no special circumstances exist to limit your filing time, it is still best to get started as early as possible. Delays can weaken your case. Evidence needs to be gathered as soon as possible after your accident, and the memories of any witnesses will be more reliable the closer they are to the date of the accident.
Hiring a Lawyer Early Can Help Protect You from Insurance Companies
Another reason to hire a Sullivan’s Island personal injury attorney as soon as possible is that they can help protect you against insurance companies looking to devalue or deny your claim. In the days following an accident, you are at your most vulnerable. Insurers know this and will often try to take advantage of you during this period.
One common tactic is attempting to gather a statement from you where they will hope to get you to say something that can hurt your case. Another strategy is to offer a settlement far below the true value of your damages. This settlement is often offered before you even have the chance to file a claim.
The hope in making a quick settlement offer is that you will be worried about the medical bills you face and not yet have a true understanding of just how much your injury is going to cost. The insurance company also wants to close the deal before you have the chance to talk to a lawyer.
Insurers know that once you have legal counsel, the amount they will have to pay you will likely increase significantly. It is always best to speak with insurance companies as little as possible and never accept a settlement deal before hiring an attorney. An attorney can make sure you receive the most value out of your personal injury claim.
How Comparative Negligence Works
In South Carolina, liability is determined through comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is used in accidents where multiple parties share a portion of the fault for causing the accident.
If you are determined to have shared the responsibility for an accident, the amount of compensation you can recover to pay for your damages will be proportionately affected.
For instance, if you were 20% responsible, the amount you are eligible to recover will be reduced by 20%. If the full value of your claim was $100,000, you will only be able to receive $80,000 from the primarily liable party.
If your level of fault is over 50%, you will not be eligible for compensation at all. Instead, the other party might attempt to recover compensation from you.
Contact a Sullivan’s Island Personal Injury Attorney Today
The Thumbs Up Guys at MDSW Legal know how difficult life can get after an accident. We can help alleviate the stress of any financial burden you are feeling after an injury so that you can focus on your recovery.
Contact our team today to schedule a free case evaluation. We believe that everyone deserves to have professional legal counsel on their side when attempting to recover compensation after an accident. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Sullivan’s Island will do everything we can to ensure that you get the money you need and deserve.