If you live in South Carolina and have been injured by someone else’s negligence or actions, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries. It can seem overwhelming at times, but learning more about how personal injury works here in the state and what to do when you are injured can demystify the process and ensure you get the help you need. As a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina, we handle cases like yours every week, and find that most of our clients feel better when they learn the following details about the process.
What You Need to Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in SC
You have a limited amount of time to file. When you have been injured, don’t delay. You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit and if you are waiting for an injury to get better, you could miss your chance. You have three years to file a suit after an injury, so take prompt action if you have been injured.
You may file suit for a wide range of injuries. Car accidents, dog bites, slip and fall cases and more are filed daily in South Carolina. If you are not sure if your case qualifies, a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina will help define your rights and let you know what you can do next.
You could be blamed for the accident. It isn’t fair, but a common defense against a personal injury suit is to claim the person injured shares some of the blame. South Carolina has shared fault rules; this means that if you are found to be somewhat to blame for your own injuries, then you may receive less compensation. If you are found to be more than 50% to blame for your injury, you can’t collect anything at all. This does not mean you shouldn’t file a suit, just that you should be aware of this possibility.
You could be awarded damages. If you have been injured, you could receive both compensatory and punitive damages:
- Compensatory damages restore lost wages, pay for medical care and other damages
- Punitive damages include pain, suffering and distress; these are less tangible but can also be covered in a settlement or award.
Any compensation received will vary depending on the circumstances and extent of injury.
Expect to see a doctor. You are probably seeing your own doctor already, but the other side may want you to see their own chosen doctor to assess your injuries.
Not all injuries go to trial. South Carolina offers Alternative Dispute Resolution options, designed to settle cases via mediation or arbitration; if you have a civil case, then mediation is required. This is designed to avoid a prolonged trial and to allow you to come to a satisfactory resolution.
The best way to know what to expect is to work with a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina. Our team is ready to assist you if you have been injured; a free consultation can help you discover what steps to take next and give you an idea of what to expect from the process. If you have been injured, don’t delay, get in touch today to discover your options.