After suffering an injury in an accident, some people may question if they are owed compensation from the at fault party. You may be wondering if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most people have never dealt with personal injury suits before and do not really know what they should expect. People who are in the process of suing a liable party following an accident need guidance. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, SC can help you establish who is at fault in the injury or accident. They can also guide you in determining the amount of damages to seek and what steps you need to take. Remember, you are not alone in filing a lawsuit—an attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina?
The law in South Carolina lets people represent themselves in court if they want to. However, attorneys who have experience in personal injury and accidents know the ins and outs of the legal system. A local lawyer based in knows and understands the inner workings of the Federal, state, county, and municipal courts in Lexington, South Carolina. They are also skilled at dealing with insurance companies, and they know how to get a reasonable settlement amount for you. You may also be entitled to additional compensation for general damages such as pain and suffering. This can be difficult to quantify and prove in court. The help and guidance of an attorney can make things a whole lot easier. With the aid of a skilled personal injury lawyer, your claim has a much better chance of succeeding and getting you the compensation you deserve.
Amount of Compensation for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Lexington
Many people many ask themselves, what is my case worth? The amount of compensation you are entitled to will vary depending on the type and amount of damages suffered. The injuries and expenses may be very different for those seeking compensation for things like car accidents versus those claiming damages from slips and falls. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in figuring out what your injuries cost you monetarily, mentally, and physically. Some cases can even result in punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person who brings the case is called the plaintiff; whereas, the person or company who is legally liable is the defendant. Compensation awarded for damages is often agreed upon by both parties, and the attorneys representing each side in a settlement and the case never goes to trial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate to receive the money you deserve.
Types of Damages in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
Most lawsuits filed due to personal injury are classified by the courts as “compensatory.” This means the plaintiff seeks compensation from the defendant. The compensation is meant to cover losses due to accidents and injuries for which the defendant is liable. It can be very difficult to put an actual dollar amount on all the consequences of an accident. Some damages are easy to evaluate such as property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. On the other hand, it is more difficult to place a monetary value on things such as pain and suffering or lingering physical limitations. Common damages in personal injury cases are as follows.
Medical treatment – Almost all personal injuries result in some form of medical cost. Compensation awarded in a lawsuit can reimburse you for medical care you have already received as well as estimate the cost of future treatment.
Income – If the accident has negatively affected your ability to earn your salary or wages, you may be able to claim damages for wages you could have made now and in the future if not for the accident. This is called compensation for lost earning capacity.
Property loss – If your car, clothing, jewelry, or other items were damaged in an accident, it is very likely that you can claim reimbursement for repairs or replacement at a fair market value.
Physical Pain – Damages caused by pain and suffering are a little harder to quantify. You may be entitled to compensation for the pain you suffered in the aftermath of the accident.
Mental Anguish – In addition to any physical pain you suffered from the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the psychological effects of the accident. This includes fear, anxiety, and loss of sleep.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life – When you suffer injuries so severe that you can no longer enjoy life the way you used to, you might be able to get “loss of enjoyment” damages.
Punitive Damages – Punitive damages are sometimes awarded as a punishment when the defendant’s behavior is considered extremely egregious or reckless. You may be entitled to these in addition to any compensatory damages. The goal of this type of compensation is to act as a deterrent.
Plaintiff’s Personal Effect on Damages Awarded
The role of the injured person in causing the accident and their own inaction after the injury can lessen the amount of compensation to which they are entitled. South Carolina considers comparative negligence when decided personal injury cases. If you are partially or fully at fault for causing the indecent that resulted in your injuries, it lessens the amount of compensation.
The courts expect the plaintiff to take reasonable steps to mitigate (or lessen) any damages caused by an accident. That is, if you are injured, you are expected to seek medical attentions and not do anything to make the injury worse. If the injured party does not take reasonable steps to minimize the financial impact, they may be entitled to far less compensation.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Lexington, SC
When you or your loved one is injured, the pain and suffering is often just the start of a lengthy and unpleasant experience. With the Michael Jeffcoat Firm in your corner, you can rest easy knowing that our skilled lawyers will take care of your insurance claims and litigation, letting you focus on your recovery. Do you need guidance right away? Our experienced lawyers and support staff accept phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you are ready to learn more about the possible value of your claim, give us a call. Our legal team is ready to help you. Call 803-808-9600 today for a free on-obligation consultation with The Jeffcoat Firm.