A personal injury is any injury that occurs to a person, not property. It can range from a cut or bruise, broken bones, or it can be something as devastating as permanent disfigurement. In some instances, a personal injury can even result in death.
If you were the victim of a personal injury that happened due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior, you may deserve compensation. The Jeffcoat Firm Injury Lawyers are a team of personal injury attorneys serving Orangeburg, South Carolina who work throughout South Carolina. Read on to find out more about personal injuries and how we can fight to get the justice you deserve.
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Types of Personal Injury Accidents
Personal injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most common types of accidents that can lead to severe injuries.
Car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents
Slip and falls
Slip and fall accidents may be due to dangerous conditions on personal or city property. If you become injured after falling on someone’s property, the owner could be at fault.
Defective products and dangerous drugs
It’s up to the company to make sure a product is safe before releasing it on the market. Safety warnings should be included on the label. If you become injured while using a product or taking a drug that’s dangerous, the company may be liable.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor is neglectful of his or her duties.
Dog Bite Attacks
Pet owners have to take care to keep their dogs from biting or attacking people. If someone is attacked, they may be able to file a dog bite claim against the owner.
Nursing home neglect or abuse
A nursing home should be a safe place for elders, but many times, the staff takes advantage and neglects or abuses patients. Family members may be able to take legal action against the facility or employees in these situations.
Workplace and workers comp injuries
When you are injured at work, you will usually get compensated through worker’s comp. If your claim is denied or becomes complicated, you may need to hire a lawyer.
Just like any other driver, boat operators are subject to rules and regulations. If you’re injured due to a negligent boater you may be able to receive compensation.
Construction accidents can cause injuries to workers or passers-by. Workers may be compensated through worker’s comp while a pedestrian may seek compensation from the construction company.
When a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence ends up killing the victim, it can be viewed as a wrongful death. The defendant may be responsible for funeral expenses, lost wages, and the family’s emotional pain and suffering.
Types of Personal Injuries
Personal injuries vary greatly in severity and can occur on any part of the body. Here are some types of injuries you may be able to get compensation for:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Accident
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 gain.
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.
The South Carolina Statute of Limitations
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 statute 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!
Shared Fault Must Be Considered
Not all personal injury cases are cut and dried. When an accident occurs, it may be partially the defendant’s fault and it may be partially your fault. South Carolina uses modified comparative negligence to determine how damages should be awarded.
In South Carolina, you will be due to collect compensation if you’re 50% or less at fault for the accident and the compensation amount will be determined by how ‘at fault’ you were.
Let’s say you were involved in a car accident and the jury determines you were 30% at fault for the accident. If damages totaled $100,000, you might only receive $70,000. 30% would be deducted because of the role you played in the accident.
How Long Will it Take to Win My Case?
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 fast. 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 Damages Can I Be Compensated for in My Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury can result in emotional damage, financial losses, and ongoing medical care. Here are the damages the injured party may collect:
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 plaintiff will be responsible for reimbursing you for lost wages.
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.
Emotional 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 damages will only be required if it is found that the plaintiff displayed behavior that is considered very reckless. It is made to keep the at fault party from doing similar things in the future.
Wrongful Death Expenses
If the injury resulted in death, the plaintiff 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.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Personal Injury Accident?
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.
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.
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 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.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Personal Injury Case?
After a personal injury occurs, you may think you don’t need to hire a lawyer. You may think you can settle with the insurance company on your own. Insurance companies are notorious for making lowball offers and trying to pay you as little as possible. They may even offer what seems like a lot of money, but once you apply it to your losses and expenses, you may find you barely have enough left over.
Additionally, many insurance companies will take what you say out of context. They may turn your words around to make it seem like the accident was your fault. If this is the case, you may end up with no compensation at all.
A lawyer will help make sure any statement you make can’t be twisted and they fight to get you get the compensation you deserve.
A good lawyer can also take the stress of filing a legal claim off your shoulders. They can collect evidence and make sure that all paperwork is filled out properly and submitted on time. They can conduct an in-depth investigation on your case, order documentation, negotiate settlements and represent you in court. They can even see to your personal needs by helping you rent a car or helping to get proper medical care.
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Any personal injury lawyer worth their salt will work on what is called a contingency basis. This often means that you do not have to pay an attorney a single penny unless they get compensation for you. The attorney’s payment is “contingent” on them getting you a settlement. After a settlement amount is reached and accepted by you, your attorney will receive a percentage of that settlement as their fee and will be repaid for any costs incurred.
The Jeffcoat Firm Could Be Your South Carolina Personal Injury Claim Lawyer
If you were involved in a personal injury accident, you may deserve compensation. The Jeffcoat Firm will fight to put maximum compensation into your hands.