When you have been injured in an accident, a lot of people may give you advice on what to do. Following an accident, you are going to need advice from someone with experience handling your type of situation, someone who knows your rights and how to protect them.
When you contact a Hilton Head personal injury lawyer about your case, the attorney will know how the laws apply to your circumstances and the steps to take to obtain whatever compensation you are entitled to. Before you make statements or sign any paperwork, consult with a skilled Hilton Head injury lawyer.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury claim is a lawsuit base on an injury suffered by an individual, as opposed to damage to property.
Often, an injury is caused by an event that is termed an “accident,” but in reality, often the negligent behavior of one of the parties involved so greatly increased the likelihood of the accident that the negligent party can be held legally responsible for the incident and injuries resulting from it. Other cases involve deliberate wrongdoing.
Some common types of personal injury claims in Hilton Head are based on:
- Car, bike, or motorcycle accidents
- Medical or dental malpractice
- Harm suffered from defective drugs
- Nursing home neglect
- Harm suffered from defective products
- Animal attacks
- Slip and fall incidents
The goal of a civil lawsuit is to restore parties who have suffered to the position they would have been in if the harm had never occurred. In a case where one party has wrongfully taken money from another, it is easy to restore the status quo by having the money returned. Where injuries are involved, however, the restoration is not as easy.
The law allows an injured party to recover money to provide reimbursement for expenses that arise from the other party’s wrongdoing, as well as money to attempt to compensate for pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. Sometimes, if the wrongdoing is found to be especially egregious, the court may also require the payment of additional money to deter similar wrongdoing in the future. This type of award is known as punitive damages.
Types of damage payments that a court could order include:
- Reimbursement for past, present, and future medical expenses
- Compensation for past, present, and future lost wages from work
- Costs to make modifications in the home to accommodate a disability
- Compensation for physical pain and suffering
- Compensation for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment
- Punitive damages
Statute of Limitations
An individual who decides to file a claim for a personal injury in Hilton Head has a limited amount of time in which to initiate a lawsuit. For most personal injury cases in South Carolina, that limit is three years from the time of the incident that caused the injury. Time is of the essence.
If an individual’s own negligence contributed to the harm, any recovery will be limited or reduced by the share of responsibility allocated by the court. This is known as the comparative negligence rule. For instance, if one party in a car accident case is found to be 90 percent at fault for making an illegal turn and hitting another vehicle and the driver of the other vehicle is found to be 10 percent at fault for not turning on headlights and taillights to make the vehicle more visible, the driver of the vehicle that was hit would see the damage award reduced by 10 percent in recognition of the 10 percent share of liability.
It should be noted that certain types of damage awards are capped by law. For example, in medical malpractice claims, the amount awarded for non-economic damages such as compensation for pain and suffering is limited to an amount set by the state legislature.
Contact a Hilton Head Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, a knowledgeable Hilton Head personal injury lawyer will evaluate the facts of your case and advise you of steps to take to work toward a full recovery. Contact an experienced injury attorney in Hilton Head today to begin your claim.