There are many types of personal injuries that can occur, and they can be something as minor as a cut or scratch to something as serious as concussion, broken bone and sometimes they may even result in death.
If you have serious personal injury due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, you may deserve compensation. The Jeffcoat Firm Injury lawyers have an office in Blythewood, South Carolina and are ready to help.
What are Common Types of Personal Injuries?
Personal injuries can be minor or quite severe. Here are some types of injuries that can occur:
- TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries): Brain injuries can lead to permanent brain damage and other cognitive issues.
- Concussions: A concussion can lead to unconsciousness and temporary cognitive symptoms.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can lead to nerve damage and cause paralysis.
- Broken Bones: In some cases, they may even require surgery and may lead to ongoing pain and limited movement.
- Burns: Burns can be caused by car accidents and incidents with chemicals. Severe burns can require extensive surgery and result in infections and disfigurement.
- Amputation: If an injury is severe enough, amputation may be necessary.
- Birth Injuries: If babies are injured at birth, the doctor may be liable for damages.
- Emotional Injuries: Personal injuries include damages to mental health such as emotional pain and suffering.
- Internal Injuries: Internal injuries may include organ damage and can be quite severe.
- Joint Injuries: When an injury limits the use of a joint, it can impact overall movement making it difficult for victims to work and negatively affecting quality of life.
What are Common Causes of Personal Injuries?
Personal injuries can happen for any number of reasons. When they occur due to someone else’s carelessness you may deserve compensation. Here are some types of personal injuries accidents that may require legal action.
Car Accidents: There are a variety of accidents that can happen on the road including motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents. If your accident was caused by a negligent or reckless driver, that driver may be liable for damages.
Slip and Falls: If a slip and fall occurs on someone else’s property because the area was poorly maintained, the victim may deserve compensation.
Medical Malpractice: When we receive treatment from a doctor, we expect to get a high quality of care. If the doctor offers a level of care that is below standard and causes injuries, he or she may be at fault.
Nursing Home Abuse: It may be shocking to find out how common it is for loved ones to be abused or neglected in a nursing home. If your loved one was a victim of neglect or abuse, you may be able to pursue the staff or the facility for compensation.
Dog Bites: An owner is responsible for the actions of their dog. If a dog attacks and bites you, the owner may be at fault.
Product Liability: A manufacturer is expected to test a product before the public uses it. Dangers should be pointed out on the label. If a hazardous product is released and there are no warning labels on the package, the manufacturer or distributor may be responsible for any injuries that occur.
Battery and Assault: In some instances, a personal injury is not caused by an accident. Some people may go out of their way to injure someone whether it be in a robbery or just a senseless act of violence.
Wrongful Death: If an accident results in a fatal personal injury it is considered a wrongful death.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Claim?
You will need to file your personal injury claim within the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is often three years. In some situations, the time limit may be two years, or even shorter in some areas. That means you will have to file a lawsuit by the deadline of the statue or you will forever lose your right to recover.
Due to South Carolina’s discovery rule, you may be able to file two or three years from the day you became aware that you incurred an injury due to someone else’s negligence. We know this can get confusing, but we will help you determine whether you have the right to file. The bottom line is that you have to act quickly and have your case looked at by a lawyer to be sure!
Why Seeing a Doctor is So Important
After an incident occurs, you may not realize you are injured. Then, after a few days you may develop symptoms and decide to see a doctor.
If this occurs, it will be difficult for you to prove that the symptoms that developed were caused by the accident and you can bet that the defendant will try to claim they were not. That’s the favorite tactic of the other side they use to deny you compensation.
That’s why it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor could create a medical record that clearly connects your symptoms directly to the incident making it difficult for at fault parties to prove otherwise.
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Claim
If you were the victim of a personal injury, you may now know if you have a case. You can schedule a free consultation with The Jeffcoat Firm. We will let you know how much you may stand to recover.
Part of our job will be proving fault. We will be required to provide evidence that your injuries were caused by the plaintiff’s negligence. We will need to show:
- That the at-fault party had a duty to provide you with reasonable care
- That the duty was not upheld.
- That your injuries were a result of the breach in duty.
- That you suffered damages because of the accident.
Shared Fault Must Be Taken into Consideration
Personal injury lawsuits are not always cut and dried and shared fault must be taken into consideration.
In some instances, both parties may be at fault to some degree. If you are injured in a personal injury accident and the jury finds the accident was partially your fault, the extent to which you are at fault will be deducted from total damages owed.
So, in a very simplified example, if you were involved in an accident and total damages equaled $100,000 and you were found to be 30% at fault, you could only be able to collect $70,000 compensation. The 30% would be deducted from your total.
What Types of Damages Can I Collect in a Personal Injury Case?
Damages collected in a personal injury case will vary according to losses and expenses and the monetary value of each. Here’s what you may be looking at.
Lost Wages: After a personal injury occurs, you may be unable to go return to work on a temporary or long-lasting basis. You may be forced to take a lower paying job because your injuries make you unable to work in your current position. The defendant, may be responsible for reimbursing you for lost wages.
Medical Expenses: The at fault party may be required to reimburse you for medical expenses incurred directly after the accident as well as ongoing expenses to cover physical therapy, wheelchair ramps, nursing staff, prosthetics, and more.
Mental Anguish and Physical ”Pain and Suffering”: A personal injury can greatly reduce quality of life. The plaintiff may have to reimburse you for emotional and physical pain and suffering.
Punitive Damage: Punitive damages will only be required if it is found that the defendant displayed behavior that is considered very reckless. Those damages can be imposed to keep the at fault party and others from doing similar things in the future.
Wrongful Death Losses and Survivorship Losses: If the injury resulted in death, the defendant may be required to pay the victim’s funeral and burial expenses. They may also have to reimburse the family for any financial losses incurred due to the victim no longer being able to contribute to the household income. They may have to pay for the family’s emotional suffering and any medical expenses that happened before the victim died.
How Long Does it Take to Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
At The Jeffcoat Firm, we try to get your lawsuit resolved as soon as possible. However, there are several things that can prolong the case, including:
- Delays in investigation and fact gathering
- Insurance companies stalling
- Unexpected developments
- Attempts at negotiation
- A busy court calendar
All personal injury cases are different and it’s difficult to say how long a case will take. At The Jeffcoat Firm, our mission is to get a resolution as fast as we can while still maximizing your compensation. One client had this to say:
“They did exactly what they told me they were gonna do in three months when my other law firm couldn’t get it done in three years and ultimately dropped my case without noticed. For any future legal needs I will absolutely be back to the Jeffcoat firm.”
What Can I Do to Build a Strong Case?
After an accident occurs, there are steps you can take immediately afterwards to help you start building a strong case. Here are some things you can do to increase your likelihood of winning.
Take Pictures: If you feel well enough, use your phone to take pictures of the accident. Be sure to document any signs of damage and injuries. Shoot from all angles. Pictures tell a thousand words and they can be key pieces of evidence when it comes to building a strong case.
Gather Witness’ Contact Info: If there are any witnesses around that saw what happened, jot down their contact info! They may be able to testify on your behalf. Don’t expect anyone else to get their information for you.
Seek Medical Treatment: You may not think you are badly injured, but it’s always good to see a doctor. You may not notice your injuries right away, but they can get worse over time. If you delay seeing a doctor, it may be difficult to prove your injuries were caused by the accident.
Do Not Admit Fault: It’s best not to talk about the accident to anyone except an attorney or medical professional. Anything you say can be taken out of context to make it seem as if you are admitting fault for the accident. Don’t discuss details with an insurance company before talking to your own lawyer!
Hold on to All Your Paperwork: Hold on to any paperwork you get about the accident including medical records, employment records, and police reports. These can serve as valuable pieces of evidence.
Go to All Your Appointments: If you miss a medical appointment, the defendant may try to say your injuries were not severe enough to need care.
Keep a Journal: A journal will help keep the accident fresh in your mind and will serve as evidence of your emotional state after your accident.
Why The Jeffcoat Firm may be the Best Choice for your South Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury case can get very complicated. When there’s a lot at stake, you’ll want a good lawyer on your side to handle those complications.
The Jeffcoat Firm has an office in Blythewood, South Carolina and a team of attorneys with years of experience in personal injury law.
Don’t let another person’s reckless behavior rob you of your ability to enjoy life. Schedule a free consultation today.