A personal injury claim may be necessary when someone’s negligence leads to another person’s injury. These kinds of injuries could take a number of different forms, from car accidents and slips and falls to medical malpractice. These injuries also often create a number of different costs for the victim, such as medical bills or property damage, that can really begin to add up quickly. Additionally, there are costs that aren’t strictly monetary and are more psychological or emotional in nature. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and even anxiety and depression that were a result of your injuries.
Fortunately, the law provides an avenue for you to receive compensation for injuries that were caused by someone else’s negligence. In most cases, these will be paid out by insurance companies for the individuals or institutions that caused the injury. The problem, though, is that what is paid to you is always going to be a reduction in their profits, and that’s something they don’t want to part with willingly. It can be a fight to get what you’re owed, but when you work with a personal injury lawyer from the Tatum Law Firm, you have a team ready to fight on your behalf.
The key to winning a personal injury claim is being able to prove that the other party is responsible for your injuries. They must be at fault for what occurred, and proving this is going to be a central component of what your lawyer does. Their investigation will be geared toward discovering evidence that can persuade the court of the way in which the defendant’s error led to an accident or situation that directly produced your injury. To make this case in a personal injury claim, your lawyer must be able to prove three things:
If your lawyer has been able to demonstrate negligence on the part of the defendant, then you can argue that the defendant should be held liable for the costs you’ve incurred. The compensation for these costs is called damages.
To be eligible for damages, your lawyer must be able to show that the costs were a direct result of the injuries you suffered. The defendant’s team may attempt to argue against the connection in some cases, so proper documentation can be vital to ensuring you get proper compensation. In the majority of personal injury cases, the damages that are paid out generally belong to two categories of damages:
There is also an additional category of damages that could be awarded in some situations, but they are not a part of most cases. Punitive damages are a category of damages that are meant to act as a punishment or deterrent for particularly egregious or malicious behaviors. Most personal injury claims are a result of honest mistakes, but sometimes, there might be a part of a claim that the court will find worthy of awarding punitive damages. Your personal injury lawyer can help you understand if that may apply to your case.
There are a few different ways the damages you might receive could be limited. One possibility is a cap on damages. In most South Carolina injury claims, a cap on the damages won’t come into play. However, in the case of medical malpractice, there is a cap on the non-economic damages that can be received. The cap adjusts every year according to inflation, so your lawyer can help you with the latest limits. There are actually two caps — one of which caps the non-economic damages that any single individual or institution can be required to pay. The other is a cap on the total award of non-economic damages if there is more than one defendant.
South Carolina also has a cap on the punitive damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. The punitive damages awarded must not exceed whatever is the greater of two options:
The other thing that could potentially limit the damages you can collect is South Carolina’s comparative negligence rule. The rule is a way to account for situations where the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the accident occurring. The defendant may attempt to show some negligence on the part of the plaintiff. If the defendant can successfully demonstrate that the plaintiff is partially at fault, what happens next is going to depend on the percentage of fault in the eyes of the court.
If the plaintiff is found to be more at fault than the defendant, then they will be unable to collect any damages. In other cases, the damages the plaintiff can collect will be reduced by the portion of responsibility for the accident that they bear. For instance, if the plaintiff is found to have 10% fault on an award of $50,000, then they will only receive $45,000.
In personal injury cases, there is a limit to how long after an injury occurs that you can file a claim against the other party. This limit is set by the statute of limitations. Generally, that limitation is three years for most personal injury cases. However, it’s not a blanket rule as there can be some variance depending on the kind of claim, who the defendant is, and when the injuries were discovered.
It’s important to get in contact with a legal firm, like the Tatum Law Firm, quickly following an injury. We can help determine when a claim is going to need to be filed. Additionally, the more time we have to investigate and possibly negotiate with the insurance company, the better the chances of a favorable outcome for your case.
At the Tatum Law Firm, we aggressively pursue our clients’ restitution. The process typically begins with an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the injury. We examine every possible angle to understand all the possible parties that may be liable for what happened. The investigation involves both gathering facts to make the case against the liable parties and ensuring there is a solid defense against liability on your part. Precisely how an investigation proceeds and what evidence is gathered will depend on each accident. It could involve looking for photographic and video evidence, examining police reports, talking with the parties involved, or anything else that could be relevant to the situation.
Another crucial component of what we do is work on your behalf with the insurance companies. This is important because it can help keep you from saying something that might later be used against you to say that you admitted fault. It’s possible that in negotiating with the insurance companies, we may be able to avoid having to take the case to court. This can be a preferable outcome in some situations as it avoids the lengthy time requirement and expensive process of a court case. It also avoids the risk of taking the case before the court, where even the strongest case is subject to the whims of the court.
Sometimes, a negotiated settlement simply isn’t an option. In those cases, we are always prepared to take a case to court. We represent you and make the case for fault and liability on the part of the defendant. A civil claim, like a personal injury case, can involve presenting evidence, calling eyewitnesses, or even interviewing expert witnesses. We are always prepared to use every tool available in your favor. We are also ready to defend against accusations of your fault in the case as well. We aggressively pursue the optimal outcome for our clients.
When working with a personal injury lawyer, you want to know that you are working with the right lawyer. The truth is, no lawyer can guarantee the outcome of a case. Therefore, the most important thing is that you find a lawyer you can feel confident working with. You want someone you trust to take on such a significant responsibility. After all, the outcome could be the difference between you facing a pile of bills and expenses or having peace of mind knowing your costs are covered. While it’s important to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced, and driven, more than anything else, you will want to make sure it is somebody that you trust. We hope you’ll give us here at the Tatum Law Firm the chance to earn your trust.
Personal injury cases can shift on a variety of factors. We would like to think that whatever happened could be replayed precisely and a judgment made on that basis. The reality is, though, that the situation will need to be pieced together. Lawyers from both sides will use a wide variety of things to make their case. Because all the evidence and information are so crucial to the situation, there is a lot you can do to help your case in how you handle things following an injury. Here are a few tips and ideas you’ll want to try to remember in both the immediate aftermath of the injury and the days and weeks to come:
When you are injured by an accident that is someone else’s fault, you deserve to be compensated for everything you’re dealing with. You’re likely looking at expenses like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages from missing work. In many cases, you might be dealing with some emotional or psychological disruption as well. These costs can add up and become burdensome quickly. The law, though, demands that you be compensated for everything you’re dealing with.
What you’re owed is meant to be paid out by insurance companies. Unfortunately, though, these insurance companies are less than eager to pay out what they’re supposed to. This means you’ll probably have to fight to get what you’re owed, but you don’t have to do it alone.
At the Tatum Law Firm, we are eager to fight on behalf of our clients. It’s our job to seek out what you’re owed. We investigate our clients’ cases to understand who is liable and how to defend against any reduction in damages by claims that you are liable. We will negotiate with the insurance companies to see if an agreeable settlement can be met. If that won’t work, though, we are always prepared to fight for our clients in court. If you need help with your Rock Hill personal injury claim, don’t hesitate to contact us today.