South Carolina injury victims are able to seek compensation for the full extent of their damages. Personal injury claims within the state are typically governed by the negligence standard. Essentially, this means that the party who was at-fault or was partially at-fault for an accident can be held liable for the resulting damages. A responsible party could be an individual, a business, a property owner, an insurance company or even the government. Ultimately, filing a personal injury claim is a complicated process. Victims should consult with an experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after their accident. To better understand how the process of filing a lawsuit works in South Carolina, please consider the following five part list which describes the basics of the early stages of the legal process. This list will take you from your accident to the courtroom.
- Get Medical Treatment
The first step after a serious injury is to seek professional medical treatment. No matter what, this always must come first. Legal matters aside, nothing should come before your health. You need to get yourself a comprehensive evaluation. That being said, you will also need to seek medical attention for legal reasons. A successful Charleston personal injury claim will require strong supporting evidence. One piece of the evidence will be the official medical documentation that you receive during an exam. The bottom line is that without seeking treatment, your claim will go nowhere.
- Consult With a Lawyer
After getting necessary emergency medical treatment, you must call an experienced personal injury lawyer. You should set up an initial consultation with your lawyer as that will give your lawyer an opportunity to review your case in detail. At Joye Law Firm, our compassionate Charleston personal injury team will review any personal injury case for free. There are no hidden fees or strings attached. We are here to help injured victims. We can determine exactly what needs to be done next to help your case move forward in the legal process.
- Demand Letter
After the initial consultation, assuming that your case will continue to move forward, your lawyer will begin a comprehensive investigation. One aspect of this part of process will include sending a demand letter to the opposing party or the responsible insurance company. The demand letter will inform the defendant that you were injured and it tell inform them of what they need to do in order to rectify the situation. Generally, there will also be a deadline included within the demand letter. This gives the defendant notice of when they need to take action to resolve the issue.
- Settlement Discussions
Settlement discussions and filing a lawsuit often occur simultaneously. Though, in many cases, settlement discussions will start before a lawsuit is actually filed. Our lawyers will be begin to engage in settlement discussions as soon as the defendant responds to the demand letter. As long as settlement discussions are moving in a positive direction, it is always good to keep them going. In fact, in some cases, sending a demand letter leads to a productive discussion and the possible settlement of your before a lawsuit is even filed. Though, in cases involving severe injuries and very high damages, filing a lawsuit is usually necessary to recover full and fair compensation.
- Filing the Lawsuit
Following the demand letter and possible early settlement discussions, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit. South Carolina personal injury lawsuits are complicated, but your lawyer can make sure that everything proceeds in the appropriate manner. It should also be noted that there is a strict timeline for taking legal action. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations requires that personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the discovery of harm caused by the initial accident. The lawsuit itself will involve several different stages, including:
- Mediation and negotiation; and
- The trial.
Your Charleston personal injury case could reach a resolution at any one of these stages. One of the benefits of working with an experienced attorney is that your attorney will know how to take advantage of any opportunity to help you obtain a full and fair recovery as efficiently as is possible.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
At Joye Law Firm, our Charleston personal injury attorneys have helped many victims recover full and fair compensation. We will work aggressively to make sure that the responsible party is held accountable for your damages. To learn more about what our team can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact our office today at (877) 936-9707 to set up your free case evaluation.