No matter how careful and cautious you are in your daily activities, a personal injury can happen to anyone. In most cases, you won’t even see it coming, and the negligence of another party could cause an injury that significantly disrupts your life. You may require extensive medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, time off of work in recovery, and you might not ever be the same. It all depends on the type of accident and the type of injuries that you end up dealing with.
There are Many Different Types of Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina
There are several different ways that a person can become injured in South Carolina. There are auto accident injury claims, which include accidents involving commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians, for example. There are medical malpractice and nursing home abuse personal injury claims. There are work-related injuries that may or may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. There are personal injuries that arise from defective and malfunctioning products, constituting a product liability claim. There are injuries to children, injuries to the elderly, and injuries to sports players. People can be injured in slip and fall accidents that lead to premises liability claims or by animal attacks and dog bites. In the worst cases, personal injuries can lead to death. You may have a wrongful death claim, if someone you loved and depended on was killed through someone else’s’ negligence.
Whomever Was Negligent in Your Personal Injury Accident Is Liable for Your Damages
If you or someone you love was injured or killed through the negligence of another party, you can hold the responsible individual liable for those injuries and damages. To seek compensation for such damages, you must prove that the responsible party owed you a duty of care to be cautious and careful in order to prevent injuries from occurring. You must also prove that the responsible party breached that duty of care through carelessness, negligence, or intentionally causing harm. Then, there must be a direct causal link between the responsible party’s negligence and your injuries and damages. Finally, you have to prove that you did sustain damages from the event, including your medical expenses, pain and suffering, trauma, lost wages, property damage, and anything else that resulted from your injuries.
As long as you can prove all of these points, whomever was negligent in your personal injury accident will be held liable for all of the associated damages. Depending on the type of injury claim you’re dealing with and the insurance coverage of the at-fault party, you may be dealing with an auto insurance company, a homeowner’s insurance company, or another type of insurance company. If there is no insurance available to settle your claim, then you may be filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party themselves, rather than attempting to settle the case with insurance.
In cases where the injury was work related, you will probably have a workers’ compensation insurance policy to deal with, which will be handled differently than other personal injury claims. However, if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, for any reason, then this may involve a personal injury claim, instead, based on the type of injury sustained.
You Must File Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations for South Carolina Injury Claims
Every state has its own statutes of limitations for personal injury claims. This refers to how much time you have, following the date of injury or date of discovery of the injury, to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years in most cases. There are a few exceptions, however. For instance, if the liable party is a government entity, then the timeline may be shorter, and you will have extra steps to take. It is essential to know what the statute of limitations is in your claim and to act quickly.
You Must Be Aware of the Motivations of Any Insurance Companies You Deal With
It is also essential for anyone who is injured in any kind of accident where an insurance company is going to be involved to understand the motivations of that insurance company. While the insurance company might be an auto insurance company, a homeowner’s insurance company, or any other kind of insurance company, their motivations are all the same: to minimize the value of your settlement. You may not think so, at first. The first person you speak to, an insurance claims adjuster, is likely to be good at their job, which means that they’re going to build rapport with you, make you feel cared about, and convince you of what they say your claim is worth – or worse, that you don’t have a claim.
Understanding that their primary goal is to minimize what they pay for insurance claims, you can be prepared to watch what you say, refuse to give any recorded statements, and politely decline to comment on the claim without first talking to your attorney. When you contact the Michael Jeffcoat Firm, we will be happy to handle the negotiations process for you, so that you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by any insurance company.
In fact, we strongly advise that you avoid saying anything to the insurance company and especially avoid signing anything or making any agreements without first having everything viewed, discussed, and approved by an attorney. Further, you should not expect everything to be resolved so quickly and easily. Rather, there should be an investigation, the collection of evidence of the incident and the associated damages, and a period of negotiation. You can settle your claim quickly and easily, but you are likely to regret this when your expenses and damages turn out to be far more than you expected and far more than the settlement will cover. Contact the skilled South Carolina personal injury legal team at the Michael Jeffcoat Firm for legal advice on your claim.