How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Columbia, South Carolina?

Posted on

Getting injured can seriously affect every aspect of a person’s life.  It can impact family, education, career, and more. After suffering a critical injury, mounting medical bills and permanent lifestyle changes can throw a life into chaos. Those injured through the fault of another person or business, or a defective product, deserve compensation for their losses and suffering.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help with the work and legal burden of filing a personal in jury claim with the South Carolina Courts. Most people don’t want to have to file a lawsuit, but it might just be the only way to receive the compensation and justice they are entitled to following an other party’s negligence. A dedicated attorney will fight for our rights. Talk to an attorney about your case so you can find the best way to protect your rights.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina?

Before pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Columbia, SC, you will want to get advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. It is important to act quickly and get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can. The compensation to which you are entitled is based on the specifics of your case. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. An attorney can help you calculate the types and amount of damages you can seek.

Personal Injury Claim Requirements in Columbia, South Carolina

You can file a lawsuit if you have suffered damages from another party’s actions, such as Uber accidents, your case must meet a number of requirements to ensure it is strong enough. To successfully win your case, it must be within the statute of limitations. You also must prove negligence and damages at the fault of the other party.

First, in every state, there are legal limits to filing a lawsuit. You must file any civil claim within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a legal rule that sets a deadline for when a lawsuit must be filed. People are barred from trying to file a civil claim after that time limit. In general, the statute of limitations on personal injury civil cases in South Carolina is three years. However, the state has various laws for different types of personal injuries, and the three-year statute may or may not apply to your case. It is also critical to act quickly and not delay once a certain threshold has been met.  A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you determine if your specific case is within the statute of limitations. 

Columbia, South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Do you have questions about your personal injury case? Contact The Jeffcoat Firm today!

Second, your case in most cases must prove negligence. Doing so can be more complicated than you may think.  In simple terms, negligence means that somebody did something or failed to do something in a reasonable manner and that action or lack of action directly lead to or caused damages to another party.  But it is rarely that simple. The big question is: what exactly would a reasonable and responsible person do or not do? This is open to some interpretation. Centuries of civil lawsuits have laid down various precedents to establish an interpretation of what, precisely, negligence means. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands the ins and outs of the law and can advise you on how to proceed with your specific case. When a person acts unreasonable or irresponsible, it is considered to be negligent. An example is reckless driving, a spill left on the floor, or knowing about a broken playground slide and not fixing it.

Third, a successful case must prove damages.  Again, doing so may seem like something that is easy to do, but there are pitfalls that an experienced attorney knows how to avoid when it comes to proving a client’s damages. In a personal injury case, damages might include lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, or proof that the negligence will cause future damages. To win your civil lawsuit, you must prove damages through evidence and testimony. These elements can be difficult to prove in a court of law. Having a personal injury lawyer representing your case boosts your chance of winning your suit.

Shared Fault Laws in Columbia, South Carolina

In certain lawsuits based on personal injury cases, the defendant might argue that you are partially or fully to blame for the accident that caused your injuries. You share in the legal liability can impact the total about of compensation you are entitled to get from other people who share in the fault. The state of South Carolina employs a “modified comparative negligence rule” for shared fault cases. This means that the amount of compensation you can receive is equal to your percentage of fault. If the courts find that you are liable for more than 50 percent of the fault, you cannot collect any payment in the form of compensation from other at-fault parties. The courts in Columbia, SC must follow this rule when it comes to injury suits that reach trial.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Caps in South Carolina

Most states put limitations on the kinds and amounts of damages you can claim and be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. In South Carolina, the caps vary based on the type of case being heard. For example, in general, most medical malpractice cases in the state place a limit on the amount of non-economic damages one can claim—that is compensation for pain and suffering. In such cases, there is a limit of $350,000 per defendant for certain kinds of damages, and a cap of $1.05 million overall for multiple defendants. Different types of cases have specific and individual limits. Another example in South Carolina is damage caps laws that cover punitive damages. That is compensation awarded as a punishment for the defendant for, especially outrageous behavior. Such punitive damages in certain cases can be up to three times the actual damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Filing a Suit if You Have Insurance

Many people might ask if they need to file a civil suit if they are already receiving compensation for a personal injury through an insurance claim. Whether or not you need to sue for additional compensation depends greatly on the specific nature of your case. Generally, insurance companies want to keep costs low, and they may not pursue compensation from the at-fault party. If another party is liable for your injuries, then you may be entitled to additional compensation even if you have already received an insurance check. A civil suit takes into account damages from the medical bill, lost wages, and pain and suffering that the insurance may not have covered. Even when dealing with your own insurance company, it can be very helpful to have personal injury lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina advising you.

Reach Out to The Jeffcoat Firm for a Free Consultation in South Carolina

To learn more about what legal rights and options you have, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina. Our team has faithfully represented the community for the past 20 years. Our skilled team of personal injury attorneys shows results for victims of defective products, medical malpractice, and negligence. We will look at every option of legal recovery, ensuring maximum compensation for our clients. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Call The Jeffcoat Firm to discuss your case today, at (803) 200-2000.

Schedule A Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured, we’re here to help. Schedule a free case review today.