If you have suffered an injury, you may not be sure whether you are entitled to compensation. It is not always obvious when the negligence or wrongdoing of another party causes an injury, and often numerous factors contribute to incidents that cause harm.
But even if your own actions are partially to blame, you still may be entitled to recover damages. The key is to consult with a Lowcountry personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights.
It is important for you to seek medical care and focus on healing while your experienced injury attorney works to secure compensation to bring about a full recovery.
Understanding a Personal Injury Claim
When party sues another party in a civil lawsuit to recover for injuries as opposed to property damage, the case is often described as a personal injury suit or claim.
While the injuries may result from an incident that is referred to as an “accident,” very often one party’s reckless or negligent behavior increased the chances of an accident so much that a court will find the negligent party to be legally liable for the harm caused by the incident. In other instances, a personal injury may result from deliberate wrongdoing by another, such as assault and battery.
Personal injury claims in Lowcountry often stem from incidents such as:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability issues
- Car, bike, motorcycle, or pedestrian accidents
- Medical or dental malpractice
- Harm suffered from defective drugs
- Nursing home neglect
- Attacks by pets
Type of Damages
South Carolina law enables courts to award damages to those injured by the deliberate wrongdoing or negligence of another. These damages are monetary payments designed to provide reimbursement for expenses and compensation for non-economic harm such as pain and emotional distress. Courts may also award “punitive” damages to deter future wrongdoing in cases where the conduct of a party is especially reprehensible.
Damages are often awarded in various categories that a Lowcounty injury attorney can assist with including:
- Money to cover medical expenses, both past, and future
- Compensation for wages lost from work due to the injury
- Compensation for lost future earnings due to disability or medical care
- Money to cover the expense of hiring household help or modifying the house to accommodate disabilities
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of activities or life in general
- Punitive damages
Factors that May Reduce a Damage Award
South Carolina follows a modified version of the comparative negligence rule. As a Lowcounty injury lawyer can explain, this essentially provides that when a party’s own negligence contributes to the injury, that party’s recovery will be limited or reduced by the share of responsibility allocated by the court.
If the party’s share of the liability is greater than 50 percent, then the court will not allow any recovery. As an example, if an individual who slips and falls on ice in the parking lot of a gas station with a car wash, the station may be found to be 80 percent at fault for allowing runoff from the car wash to freeze in the path of those walking in to use the restroom, while the injured individual may be judged 20 percent at fault for not paying sufficient attention to the parking lot surface.
In that case, the damages awarded to the individual who fell would be reduced by 20 percent in recognition of the 20 percent share of liability. In addition, the law puts limits on the amounts that may be awarded for certain types of damages such as pain and suffering in medical malpractice claims.
Contacting a Lowcountry Personal Injury Lawyer
The time to file a personal injury claim is limited by the South Carolina statute of limitations, so time is critical. If you have been injured, make an appointment with a Lowcountry personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn your options and start working toward recovery.