Personal Injury Lawyers in Columbia Helping You Recover Compensation
Accidents happen across South Carolina and the rest of the country every day. And unfortunately, many of those accidents result in serious injury for the victims. While some accidents are just that, others could have reasonably been prevented if the at-fault party had taken different actions. These types of situations may qualify the victim to be able to pursue a lawsuit against the other party through the civil courts.
If you have questions about what a personal injury lawyer does and how they can help in your situation, contact our law firm. We offer our clients a free consultation so we can go over their cases and what their options may be.
What Types of Cases Fall Under Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a broad category that has several case types within it. It can be generally defined as a category of civil law that involves situations where one party was injured, hurt, or killed by the actions of another party. Here are a few common types of personal injury cases that our law firm takes on.
Accidents involving vehicles are some of the most common personal injury cases. Every year, thousands of people are involved in crashes involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles, and these accidents can be very serious and result in ongoing medical expenses. If you were involved in a car accident and it was the other driver’s fault, it’s possible to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for your medical costs, lost income from time taken off work, and other damages.
Cycling is an enjoyable hobby for many, with Columbia citizens enjoying riding around their neighborhoods, heading out onto the trails, and even using bicycles to commute to work. However, the dangers can be very real for riders trying to share the road with cars and other vehicles. Drivers often aren’t paying attention, don’t see bicycles, or just don’t know what the rules of the road are when cyclists are around. And all of this can greatly increase the chances of being involved in a bike accident. Because there is so little protection for cyclists from the impact of the crash, this can also mean serious and even life-threatening injuries.
No one expects to be hurt while walking down the street, but a surprising number of South Carolina residents fall victim to pedestrian accidents every year. Speeding drivers may not have time to stop before hitting someone crossing the street, and the increase in drivers texting or using their phones while behind the wheel poses a real risk for distracted driving. Just like with bike accidents, pedestrians don’t have any protection against the vehicle’s impact, and these injuries can be catastrophic, such as brain or spinal injuries, and even fatal.
Medical malpractice cases are a specific kind of personal injury where the at-fault party is a health care provider or even a health care system, such as a hospital or clinic. These types of cases often stem from negligence or medical errors, such as not providing the appropriate standard of care or making an error on the dosage of a medication. Medical malpractice cases can be especially complicated, so it’s even more important to seek counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are kept in suitable condition for reasonable access anywhere the public might have a right to be. For example, grocery stores have to keep aisles free and clear of debris or other substances that could present a hazard and use appropriate signage to alert customers to potential dangers. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the property owner for negligence.
Even friendly dogs can bite under certain circumstances, and the truth is that animals are unpredictable. Dog bites can cause catastrophic injuries, such as severe injury to muscle and nerve tissue, injuries to the face, and puncture wounds. These types of injuries also have a higher risk of infection. Dog owners have responsibilities to keep the public safe and take precautions, such as keeping dogs on leashes or behind fences. When this doesn’t happen, you may have a personal injury case.
You rely on your job to provide income and support your family, but what happens if you’re injured at work? Workers’ compensation is designed to provide a safety net for employees injured on the job to ensure they have the financial support they need to get proper medical care and recover as needed. However, there are some conditions to be met to qualify for workers’ compensation, and it’s not uncommon for an employer to deny a workers’ compensation claim. You don’t have to stop there if you have received a denial. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you fight the denial and ensure you get what you are entitled to.
Drug injury is a specific type of personal injury case where someone falls ill or otherwise experiences severe negative symptoms as a result of taking a drug. This is different from experiencing any known side effects, and proving drug injury can be difficult. In general, you need to be able to show that the pharmaceutical company was willfully negligent in some way and that you sustained real damage as a result. So, getting an upset stomach probably wouldn’t be enough for a drug injury case but having a seizure and experiencing brain damage very well could be.
Defective product cases revolve around someone who has been injured as a direct result of a faulty product. For example, if an electronic device has a short in it and someone gets electrocuted, that could be a defective product. In general, these cases often involve larger suits with multiple victims because if the product was defective, it’s very likely that more than one person was injured.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases in South Carolina, and What Does It Mean for My Case?
Every personal injury case has a statute of limitations under South Carolina law. For most situations, including car accident cases, the statute of limitations is three years. This is an extremely important timeline to be aware of because it means you only have three years from the time of the accident to be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
If you are getting close to this limit, it’s imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. An attorney can quickly file the initial motion you need to meet the statute of limitations requirements and then help you work out the rest of your legal strategy in more detail.
How Is Fault Determined in Personal Injury Cases?
In a personal injury case, the fault is an important part of knowing whether you have a case and what kind of compensation you may be able to seek. In auto accidents, the fault is determined by the insurance companies, who look at all of the evidence, statements, and police reports in the case and determine who was at fault. It is possible for the insurance companies to determine that both parties were jointly at fault. In this situation, they will assign a percentage of fault to each person. In South Carolina, as long as you were not at least 50 percent at fault for an accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
Other types of personal injury cases are generally handled in the same manner. However, some cases, such as medical malpractice, are clearly not going to be in any way the fault of the victim. In this situation, the at-fault party would be the person who contributed to the accident, but this has to be proven in court. It’s common for cases such as drug injury, medical malpractice, and defective product cases to be settled out of court, with the defendant agreeing to the settlement on the condition that they do not admit fault. It’s always important to talk to a personal injury attorney before you agree to a settlement of any kind.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Personal Injury Claim in South Carolina?
For those considering filing personal injury claims, it’s important to speak with a personal injury attorney about your case and what you’re trying to accomplish with a lawsuit. While the law doesn’t require an attorney to represent you when filing a personal injury claim, it’s always a good idea to have someone dedicated solely to your interests on your team when you are going through the court system. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the state laws and how they apply to your case, give you an idea of what you might reasonably be able to expect as far as compensation for medical bills or pain and suffering, and provide counsel on whether to accept a settlement offer or take the case to trial.
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to take action quickly. Talking with one of the personal injury attorneys at our law firm is the first step in finding out if you have a case. Our free consultation lets you get an idea of what services we offer and if our firm is a good fit for your needs. Contact a member of our team by calling (803) 888-2200 today.