“Personal injury” cases can be filed for any sort of accident or injury case involving bodily harm. While many accidents, such as car crashes, involve some sort of property damage as well, the focus of a personal injury lawyer is getting you the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your injuries.
While insurance is available in many personal injury cases, insurance companies typically do what they can to deny payments and settle for low dollar amounts. For help fighting for the damages that you need to keep your family going after a serious injury, call an attorney today.
Call the Lexington, SC personal injury lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers for a free evaluation of your injury case. Our number is (803) 471-4195.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Lexington, SC
As mentioned, “personal injury” cases are any accident or injury cases involving harm to your body. This can be any type of accidental injury case, from car accidents to slip and falls to product injury cases, as well as intentional injury cases stemming from assault and battery. Our Lexington, SC personal injury attorneys handle all of the following cases, as well as any other case involving an injury:
Car accident victims often turn to insurance to get the damages they need for vehicle damage. However, it might be harder to get full compensation through insurance when your accident involves physical injuries. Talk to our Lexington personal injury lawyers about filing a car accident lawsuit to get your damages compensated in full.
Injuries on Someone Else’s Property
Injuries on another person’s property are unfortunately common. Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are probably the most common type of accident that occurs at someone else’s house or in a store, but there are also other kinds of “premises liability” cases a personal injury attorney can help with. Anything from electrocution to fires to structural collapses can potentially qualify you for a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the property where the accident happened if the injury can be traced to a defective or dangerous condition on their property.
Dangerous and Defective Product Injuries
“Products liability” cases involve injuries from any kind of product that gets to the consumer without meeting minimal safety concerns. Some products injure users because of negligent manufacturing and design that produce either manufacturing defects or design defects that result in a product that was more dangerous than it should have been. Other cases involve products that inherently have some sort of danger involved but failed to carry the proper warnings and instructions to help users avoid injury.
These cases can involve household tools and appliances as well as commercial safety gear, auto parts, and even medication and medical equipment.
Medical malpractice refers to injuries and harm from medical treatment that result from a doctor or other health care provider failing to follow the standard of care in treating your condition. Many medical malpractice cases involve concrete mistakes you can point to, such as leaving a tool or sponge inside a patient or committing other surgical errors like severing a nerve or damaging a blood vessel. Other medical malpractice cases involve errors in diagnosis or treatment plans that leave victims without the care they need.
Dog Bite Injuries
When dangerous dogs are left off their leash or property owners fail to keep guests and visitors away from untrained animals, people can be seriously hurt. Under South Carolina law, dog owners are responsible for virtually any bite or animal attack that happens as long as the victim was lawfully at the place where the bite occurred and was not provoking the animal. If you were attacked by a friend or neighbor’s dog, call our Lexington, SC personal injury attorneys for help.
Nursing Home Abuse
When we check loved ones into a nursing home, we do so to help keep them safe and get them the daily care they need. When nurses, orderlies, and other nursing home staff fail to provide the proper care, nursing home residents could be seriously harmed. Neglect can often justify a lawsuit against the nursing home, and individual staff members can often be held accountable for their intentional acts of abuse. Talk to our Lexington, SC personal injury lawyers today if you suspect a loved one is being abused in a nursing home in South Carolina.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident in Lexington, SC
After an accident, you need to start preparing for a potential lawsuit. Getting the medical care you need and focusing on recovery will, in part, help you prepare for a lawsuit without many additional steps. However, you should still take some additional steps to collect evidence and document your experience going forward.
At the scene of the accident, there is often evidence to collect. Taking pictures of dangerous conditions after a slip and fall or damage to the vehicles after a car accident will be helpful later when it comes time to prove your claim. If you can get camera footage of what happened (e.g., from nearby security cameras) or you can get witness statements, that is even stronger evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical attention is necessary for at least three reasons.
First, getting medical care means you get better. If you leave your injuries untreated, then they could get worse and potentially become irreversible.
Second, getting your injuries treated and reducing further harm is often required for a plaintiff. If you intentionally let your injuries get worse and they become more expensive to treat, then the damages would be higher in your case – but that is not allowed. Instead, you have a duty to mitigate damages and get the care you need.
Third, getting medical care creates records of your injuries and treatment. This documentation can help you prove your case by showing when the injuries happened, what injuries you suffered, and how much the medical bills cost. It also helps you prove pain and suffering.
Document Your Ongoing Pain and Suffering
Proving pain and suffering damages is difficult because the judge and jury cannot get inside your head and know your experience to put a price tag on it. However, if you keep a journal and document your experience going forward, that provides evidence they can use to evaluate your damages and calculate the value of pain and suffering for your injury claim.
Getting Compensation for an Injury in Lexington, SC
Insurance claims are often available to help injury victims get compensation, but they are not always the best route to recovery.
Settling with Insurance
Auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, business liability insurance, and other types of insurance often accept claims and pay damages to injury victims without the need to go to court. However, these processes are often overseen by biased insurance adjusters and representatives who want to cut the number of claims their company pays and pay low values for any claims that do get through. In order to best maximize the damages you receive, a lawsuit might be a better option.
Filing a Lawsuit
Our Lexington, SC personal injury attorneys can examine your case and help you understand the best route to recovery in your case. If a lawsuit will help you get the damages you need, we can begin gathering evidence, taking depositions, and entering into negotiation talks with the at-fault parties and their insurance companies or lawyers. If the case cannot be settled at a fair value, we can take your claims before a judge and jury and seek to get you the damages you need.
Damages Available for a Personal Injury in Lexington, SC
Ultimately, most injury cases involve damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you suffered additional damages, it is vital to speak with a Lexington personal injury attorney for help understanding how much your case might be worth.
Economic damages are those that reimburse you for monetary harm caused in an accident. Economic damages usually cover two things: money you lost because of the accident and money you had to spend because of the accident.
The money you lost usually comes from lost wages. This means that any earnings you missed out on because of the injury – both recent lost wages and ongoing or future lost earning capacity – can be reimbursed in an injury claim.
The money you had to spend usually comes in the form of bills and new expenses brought on by the injury. Medical bills are chief among these economic damages, but the costs to repair or replace damaged property (e.g., vehicle damage in a car crash or a cell phone crushed in a slip and fall) can also be compensated. Additional damages like childcare expenses and help with household services are also compensable.
Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are based on the mental and physical harm you faced. Although you can get compensated for the medical bills, you can also be separately compensated for the pain of the injury, the mental anguish of being injured, and other harms. Lost enjoyment of life is also a common non-economic harm injury victims can claim compensation for.
We have not yet discussed punitive damages because they are rare, but they are sometimes available in injury cases. Victims of injuries brought on by serious examples of negligence can often claim punitive damages against companies and individuals who injured them. Courts are reluctant to pay these damages, and there is a high burden of proof required to show courts that punitive damages are necessary. Namely, victims must provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant’s actions were “willful, wanton, or … reckless.”
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Lexington, SC?
If you were injured in an accident, you have to act somewhat quickly. The time limit to file an injury case is usually measured in years, but it often takes time to build a case. In general, our personal injury lawyers will need to research the facts of your case, take time to collect additional evidence, speak with witnesses, and prepare filings all before the case can actually be filed, meaning that you should contact a lawyer well in advance of the deadline to file.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina – S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530 – gives injury victims a full 3 years to file their injury claims. This is merely the time limit before the case must be filed in a court of law; injury claims take more time after filing to go through the courts.
In many cases, it is better to file earlier. For one, this prevents additional delays in getting you the compensation you need. Second, it helps prevent witnesses from forgetting what happened or leaving time for evidence to become lost or degraded. Additionally, if there are problems with your initial filing, this gives you time to fix it, e.g., by adding additional parties or correcting information.
Benefits of Hiring a Lexington, SC Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with our injury lawyers can help your case in multiple important ways. First, our experience can be put to use in your case, allowing us to use skills and legal information from other cases to potentially boost your case. Second, having a lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while we worry about collecting evidence and filing deadlines.
Third, having someone negotiate with insurance companies and defendants on your behalf allows cooler heads to prevail. Victims often have the right to be downright angry at the people who harmed them, and having an intermediary helps get the case resolved without letting those bad feelings get in the way.
Call Our Lexington, SC Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident, call the Lexington, SC personal injury lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today. Contact us at (803) 471-4195 for a free case review.