ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS
Injuries Can Occur in Numerous Different Ways
At Joye Law Firm, we handle a wide variety of personal injury cases. Our firm is fully dedicated to helping South Carolina injury victims obtain the fair accident compensation that they rightfully deserve. A sample of the different types of claims that our team has extensive experience handling includes:
Our personal injury attorneys frequently handle cases involving devastating conditions like broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, burns, birth injuries, medical complications, back injuries and more. At Joye Law Firm, we understand that these types of injuries can cause lifelong disabilities and hardship for victims and their families. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident.
You Can Hold Negligent Parties Liable
Some accidents are unavoidable. But when negligence and recklessness play a role in a preventable accident that causes personal injuries, the responsible party can be held liable under South Carolina personal injury or wrongful death laws. Negligence is the failure to take appropriate care when performing an action. In order to prove negligence, and thus hold another party liable, you will need to prove the following:
- The defendant had a duty to look out for your safety in a given situation.
- The defendant breached that duty;
- There was causation between the defendant’s breach and your injuries; and
- You suffered actual damages.
You Can Recover Compensation
In South Carolina, injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for the full extent of their damages. This is because the goal of injury compensation is to put the victim back into the position that they would have been in had the accident never taken place. Of course, this is not possible in a literal sense. You cannot reverse the immense pain and suffering that comes along with a severe injury. Thus, victims are entitled to recover a financial reward that is equivalent to those damages. How much you can recover will always depend the specific facts of your case. Though, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- All of your medical expenses;
- Any rehabilitation-related expenses;
- Long-term disability;
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish and emotional distress; and
You Need to Act Quickly
Injured victims typically have three years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina, but this time limit can be shorter if the at-fault party was a government entity. In wrongful death cases, surviving family members have similar time limits from the date of death to take legal action. Again, there are certain exceptions to those statutes of limitations. Talking with an attorney at Joye Law Firm can help you understand the laws so that you are equipped to take legal action, either immediately or once you are further along in your recovery.
The First Four Things You Should Do After Suffering a Serious Injury
Unfortunately, many injury victims are unable to recover the full compensation that they deserve. This happens because mistakes are made immediately following the accident. By taking the proper steps immediately after suffering injury, you will go a long way towards protecting your rights. If you have been seriously injured in a South Carolina accident, please consider the following list of the four things that you need to do as soon as possible:
- Seek medical attention: There is nothing that should come before your health. After suffering any type of injury, you should get yourself a comprehensive medical evaluation. Often, your injuries will be far more serious than you realize. Injuries like head trauma and back damage are difficult to diagnose and often come with a delayed onset. You need to protect your health. Further, it is also important to get medical attention from a legal perspective. In the event that you choose to take legal action in relation to your injuries, you will need official medical documentation. Without the documentation that you will receive during your medical exams, it will be very difficult to prove the full extent of your injuries.
- Report your injury: You must also report your injury to all appropriate authorities. Who needs to know about your injury will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if you were injured in a Charleston car accident, you will need to report your accident to the local highway authorities and to any implicated insurance companies. Alternatively, if you were injured on the job in Columbia, you will need to report your injury to your supervisor and to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Regardless of where and how it occurred, you need to report your injury. This will establish a valid record that it happened and that you fulfilled your legal duties.
- Secure evidence: Successful personal injury claims require evidence. After suffering an injury, you need to take proactive steps to preserve any evidence that you can get your hands on. Unfortunately, many types of evidence will quickly begin to disappear. If you fail to secure evidence soon after your accident, you may miss out on your opportunity to do so. For example, if you do not obtain a witness statement immediately after your accident, you may lose track of that witness. Alternatively, their statement may be perceived as less reliable.
- Contact an attorney: Ultimately, the most important thing you can do after an serious accident is to consult with a South Carolina personal injury attorney. Your attorney can make sure that you do everything the right way so that your legal rights are protected. As one example, your personal injury attorney will ensure that you can gather and secure all forms of evidence that are relevant to your claim.
How to Handle the Insurance Company
In many injury cases, victims are forced to deal with an insurance company: it might be a business’s insurance company, another driver’s insurance company or even your own insurer. Regardless, it must be recognized that the insurance company will never be on your side. The big insurance companies are looking out for their own bottom line above anything else. They are not looking out for your best interests. If the insurer thinks that they can settle your claim for a low (and unfair) amount, they will try to do so. Do let them get away with this. When dealing with insurance companies in South Carolina, please consider the following list of three useful tips:
- Speak little and speak carefully: While you may have legal duty to report your accident to the insurance company, you do not have an obligation to have long conversations with their representatives. Insurance companies train their representatives to get you talking as much as possible. They will often come across on the phone as casual, accommodating and very friendly. Still, you need to remember that these conversations are always official. They need to be treated as such. Anything you say can and will be used against you by the insurance company. Say as little as possible and choose your words very carefully. When possible, let your attorney handle talking to the insurance company.
- Get everything in writing: You may speak to an insurance adjuster over the phone and get good news. If this happens, make sure you also get what you heard in writing. You should always ask for written confirmation of every key aspect of your case.
- Do not negotiate or sign anything without attorney approval: Finally, make sure that you do not begin to negotiate a settlement offer or sign any documents without first consulting with your attorney. You may hurt your ability to receive fair compensation by doing this.
EXPERIENCE COUNTS WITH SOUTH CAROLINA ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Our personal injury lawyers have a history of obtaining awards on behalf of our clients. However, every lawsuit is different. Past results provide no guarantee that a similar outcome will be reached in your case. But our South Carolina law firm’s track record can inform you about our experience when it comes to serious injury and wrongful death cases. Here are some of the verdicts and settlements Joye Law Firm attorneys have achieved for their personal injury clients:
- $262.5 million verdict for the family of a deceased child in an automotive product liability claim.
- $7 million settlement in a product liability case involving a defective door latch that resulted in paralysis.
- $5.9 million settlement for a client who sustained brain injuries in a car accident.
- $4.375 million settlement for a man who suffered severe head and facial injuries in a tractor-trailer accident.
- $3.5 million settlement in a dram shop action for a woman who sustained severe head injuries in a car crash caused by a minor.
- $2.775 million settlement in a premises liability case where a man’s leg was amputated in a stairwell collapse.
For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please click on the Our Results on our home page.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you through the chaos and stress that often accompany a life-threatening accident. Our lawyers and staff treat each client with respect, compassion and care. Since 1968, we have helped injured victims recover not just the money they are entitled to, but also to regain the best quality of life following their accident. Let us help you, too. Call Joye Law Firm. You can reach us at 877-936-9707 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach, but our personal injury attorneys handle cases across South Carolina. We’ve represented clients all over the state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Horry County (Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm have received an AV rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, and several of our attorneys have been recognized as South Carolina Super Lawyers. The law firm has also received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.