How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Orangeburg SC
An accident can throw your entire life into upheaval. You’re hurt. You can’t work. But the medical bills keep rolling in. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, South Carolina law says that you can seek financial compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably unsure about how to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina. Don’t worry. An experienced attorney at Wilson Law Group, LLC, can help you through every step of the process.
A successful personal injury claim can be a vital lifeline for victims who are struggling in the aftermath of an accident. Compensation can include money for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, and more. A knowledgeable lawyer can help maximize the amount you receive and prevent you from being shortchanged.
At Wilson Law Group, LLC, our Orangeburg personal injury attorneys have over 40 years of experience holding reckless parties accountable for their harm they have caused to others. Let us fight for your rights, too.
Call or contact us for a free consultation.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim may arise in situations where one party injures another due to a reckless (or negligent) action. Personal injury claims can also stem from circumstances in which an individual’s failure to act results in harm. For example, if a store owner mopped up a spill but failed to place a warning sign signaling that the floor was wet, he or she could be held liable if a shopper is injured in a slip and fall accident.
In most personal injury claims, the at-fault party must be proven to have acted negligently in order to win compensation. However, certain types of cases (such as dog bites) are covered by South Carolina’s strict liability laws. With strict liability, all that is required to establish liability is to prove that the defendant is the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Common examples of personal injury claims in Orangeburg, S.C. include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Catastrophic injuries (e.g., traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury)
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home negligence
- Workers’ compensation
- Wrongful death
The skilled attorneys at Wilson Law Group, LLC, assist clients in a wide range of personal injury claims. If you’ve been hurt, we can put a value on your case and gather the evidence needed to support your claim for maximum compensation.
When to File an Injury Claim
Filing an injury claim in South Carolina is subject to various time limits. You have three years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim. Fail to do so by the deadline, and you could lose your right to compensation forever.
In some instances, South Carolina might extend, or “toll,” the three-year statute of limitations. This might happen if you were a minor at the time of the accident or were mentally incompetent and unable to file.
However, there are other deadlines that must be considered. For example, insurance policies often include a time limit to file an injury claim. It’s important to check your insurance policy as soon as possible after an accident to be sure that you don’t miss the deadline, which is sometimes as short as 30 days.
The deadline to file a personal injury claim also depends on who you the defendant is. In South Carolina, a claim against the state government must be filed within one year of the date of your injury. You also must provide the government with notice of your claim before you can even file a lawsuit to pursue your claim.
Because there are so many deadlines to consider, it’s smart to consult with a personal injury attorney right away. A lawyer can review the details of your personal insurance policy and identify whether any of the at-fault parties in your accident could be subject to a different statute of limitations.
Personal Injury Claim vs. Lawsuit
Many people think about personal injury claims and lawsuits interchangeably. But they are not the same thing.
A personal injury claim is filed before a lawsuit is even considered. The claim goes to the at-fault party’s insurance company, demanding compensation for your injuries and accident-related losses.
Once the claim is investigated, an adjuster from the insurance company will make a settlement offer. You will have the option to accept the offer, reject it, or make a counter-offer. Negotiations may go back and forth several times before an amount is agreed upon.
A personal injury lawsuit is only filed if a settlement cannot be reached. There are various reasons why claims might turn into lawsuits. Parties may fail to settle due to a dispute over who is at fault, or because the insurance company’s “final offer” is far lower than what victims deserve.
It’s important to know that many cases that reach the lawsuit stage do not go to trial. Insurance companies know that trials are risky. Once you show them your intent to sue, they may change their “final offer” into a more acceptable one.
When to Contact an Orangeburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Not every personal injury claim requires a lawyer’s help. If your injuries were very minor and there was little to no property damage, it may be in your best interest to settle the claim yourself. However, you should always contact an Orangeburg personal injury lawyer if:
- Your injuries were serious.
- Someone died.
- There are questions or disputes over who was at fault.
- You’re not sure who is responsible for the accident.
- You believe that your settlement offer is too low.
Acting quickly is important. It takes time to investigate and prepare a strong personal injury claim. You can only obtain compensation if your attorney can prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. Hiring a lawyer right away will give your legal team plenty of time to secure important evidence and interview witnesses while their memories are fresh.
An attorney will also have access to a range of medical experts, therapists, vocational specialists, and financial planners who can testify to the extent of your injuries and their long-term impact on your life. All of this information, along with your medical records and bills, can be turned into an effective and persuasive personal injury claim.
In addition, a dedicated South Carolina personal injury lawyer can manage all communications and negotiations with the insurance company for you. Once an attorney is working on your case, you can refer all calls to the law firm instead of yourself. That prevents you from saying something that could jeopardize your claim. It also frees you up to focus on what really matters — healing from your injuries.
How Can Wilson Law Group, LLC, Help with My Injury Claim?
You can trust Wilson Law Group, LLC, to stand by your side throughout the entire personal injury process. You can count on your personal injury lawyer to:
- Meet with you to discuss your legal options in a free consultation
- Explain how to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina in simple terms, cutting out all the fancy legal jargon and telling you exactly what you need to know
- Investigate your accident and obtain the evidence you need for a solid legal claim
- Identify all potentially liable parties to hold them accountable for their negligence
- Determine who is at fault for the accident and ensure that you aren’t unfairly blamed
- Consult with specialists who can support your case for maximum compensation
- Review your claim thoroughly to place a full and fair value on your case
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance company
- Push hard for a settlement to avoid the need for trial
- Enter alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as mediation or arbitration, to help resolve your claim without the need to resort to the time and expense of litigation (if a settlement cannot be reached separately)
- Represent you aggressively at trial
- Communicate with you clearly and frequently for the duration of our representation
- Only collect a fee if we win compensation for you
Schedule a free consultation with an Orangeburg personal injury attorney from Wilson Law Group, LLC, today. There’s no obligation.
Call or contact us now.