Mount Pleasant, SC Personal Injury Lawyer

While people may file numerous types of lawsuits, one of the most common is the personal injury lawsuit. These kinds of claims typically stem from some sort of bodily harm, but other claims may be included.

Personal injury claims must involve physical harm to the plaintiff. Many cases are the result of an accident, although acts of intentional harm are also possible. Damages may be substantial depending on the extent of your injuries. You can claim damages for financial losses, emotional or psychological suffering, and possibly more. Many personal injury cases are filed against people, but businesses, organizations, or a combination of multiple parties might be involved. Whomever you sue, you should talk to a lawyer about getting started soon, as plaintiffs generally have only 3 years to file a case. Before we file the case, we need to gather evidence supporting your claims, which might come from almost anywhere and vary from case to case. It is best to hire an experienced lawyer to help you handle all this and more.

Get a private, free case evaluation from our personal injury attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (803) 219-4906.

What Kind of Claims are Personal Injury Claims in Mount Pleasant, SC?

Personal injury law is one of the broadest areas of law in our legal system. So many different cases fall under this vast legal umbrella, and it is crucial that you hire a lawyer who has experience with your specific type of claim.

What exactly makes a case a personal injury case? People sometimes confuse personal injury cases for cases involving any claims of a personal or private nature, but this is incorrect. The truth is that personal injury claims involve physical harm or injuries to the plaintiff caused by the defendant. Injuries do not have to be intentional. Many personal injury cases stem from accidents.

Auto accidents are arguably the most frequently filed personal injury claims. Most of us have probably been in a car accident before or know someone who has. They are as dangerous as they are frequent, and drivers are often badly hurt. If you were injured in a car crash, our personal injury lawyers can help you sue the person responsible so you can cover your numerous costs and damages.

Another somewhat common personal injury case relates to something called premises liability. These cases involve accidents and injuries that happen because of dangerous conditions on someone’s property. The property owner may be held liable under certain circumstances. A common example is a slip and fall accident. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a wet floor can cause someone to fall and be badly injured.

Product liability is another type of personal injury claim. It is related to injuries resulting from dangerously defective goods and products. For example, someone might be injured when they use their new lawnmower because the guard covering the blades was faulty and detached, causing the person using the mower to be badly lacerated. We can sue the manufacturer of the defective good for your damages.

Damages Available in Mount Pleasant, SC Personal Injury Cases

Your damages reflect the losses and painful experiences you went through because of the accident and your injuries. Damages tend to vary greatly from case to case, and a thorough investigation of your accident might be necessary to determine the true extent and value of your damages.

Economic Damages

A major factor in the calculation of damages is financial costs. Being injured in an accident is not only painful and frightening, but it can also be very expensive.

Hospital bills might be a huge contributor to your economic damages. Even if your injuries are relatively minor, health care can be costly, and a single visit to the hospital might be far more than you can afford. If your injuries are more severe, you might need more extensive medical care, and your medical expenses might be incredibly high.

Plaintiffs in personal injury claims often experience injuries serious enough to prevent them from working. You might need to take time off from work to recover, or your injuries might be so serious that you cannot work for the foreseeable future. You can claim the value of your lost income, including income you might continue to lose after the case is complete.

Property damage might also be significant, depending on how the accident occurred. For example, in car accident cases, plaintiffs often claim the high costs of repairing or replacing their damaged vehicles. Similarly, you can claim the value of personal belongings lost or damaged in the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Not all damages are based on costs and money. Non-economic damages reflect the painful experiences you went through because of the accident and your injuries. These injuries tend to be highly subjective, and assigning a monetary value to them can be challenging.

One example of non-economic damages is bodily pain. Injuries can be very painful, even downright excruciating. Not only that, but the pain might not subside for a long time. Some injured victims live with long-term or even permanent chronic pain. They should be substantially compensated.

Emotional distress is another important factor, especially if the accident that caused your injuries was traumatic. Perhaps it was a near-death experience that left you mentally and emotionally devastated. Accident survivors often live with depression, anxiety, or PTSD symptoms.

We should also consider any reduction in your overall quality of life. For example, if someone loses an arm because of an accident, they can sue for the costs of medical care and loss of their quality and enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, punitive damages might be on the table. These damages are different from those mentioned before. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish a defendant for their outrageously bad behavior. Keep in mind that proving these damages is very difficult, and they tend to be rare.

According to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-32-520(d), punitive damages may only be awarded if we can prove by clear and convincing evidence that your injuries resulted from the defendant’s wanton, willful, or reckless conduct. This is far beyond ordinary negligence found in most personal injury claims.

The jury may consider a wide variety of factors when they decide punitive damages. The defendant’s culpability, past similar conduct, the deterrent effect of punitive damages, and more may all play a role in how the jury decides.

People Who Might Be Responsible for Your Personal Injuries in Mount Pleasant, SC

Determining who is responsible for your personal injuries can be simple or very difficult, depending on the situation. An individual person might be to blame for an accident. Maybe their employer or a larger organization bears some responsibility. Some combination of responsible people and parties is also a possibility.

If you were injured, a good place to start investigating is with the individuals present during the accident or incident. For example, if you slipped and fell because of a wet floor or some other hazardous condition, we should look into who owned the property where you were hurt. If you were hurt in an auto accident, we should look into the other driver or drivers.

Businesses and organizations can also be sued for damages in personal injury cases. For example, if your slip and fall accident occurred in a grocery store after an employee mopped the floor but neglected to put up a wet-floor sign, we can sue the store. If an individual person is responsible for your accident and they were on the job when the accident happened, we might sue the business or organization that hired them.

How Much Time You Have to File a Personal Injury Case in Mount Pleasant, SC

One thing many people do not consider after experiencing an accident is the time they have to sue. Lawsuits typically do not follow accidents and injuries immediately. There is some time between when plaintiffs and their lawyers plan and prepare the case. However, we have only 3 years from the accident to file your case in court, according to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(5). This can be a tight timeline for many plaintiffs, as lawsuits take a lot of time and effort to prepare.

In certain cases, plaintiffs can have the statute of limitations tolled, and the filing deadline pushed back. According to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-40, plaintiffs who were under a “legal disability” at the time they were injured may be eligible for tolling. A legal disability includes plaintiffs who were minors at the time of the accident or were experiencing mental conditions or disorders that hindered their ability to understand their injuries and rights.

When the statute of limitations is tolled, it means a certain period of time is not counted toward the limitation period. So, if you were younger than 18 during a car accident, the 3-year limitation period would not even start until you turn 18, effectively giving you more time. Similarly, a person under a mental condition or disorder may have the statute of limitations tolled until their condition is removed.

Finding Evidence to Back Up Your Personal Injury Case in Mount Pleasant, SC

Evidence to back up your claims is a critical element of your case. Without evidence, there is almost no way for your claims to succeed. Our team has handled personal injury cases before and has experience gathering evidence.

First, we should speak to witnesses who might have been present when you were injured or have other first-hand knowledge of the incident. For example, if you were injured because of a defective lawnmower, we might have your spouse or partner testify regarding how they saw you use the mower when you were hurt.

We should also use photos and videos from the accident if any exist. Many people take pictures of the accident scene immediately after it happens, which is pretty common in car accident cases. We should also look for video footage from security cameras if any were nearby when you were injured.

It might also be important to gather your medical records from when you were treated for your injuries. Your medical records might help us establish the extent, severity, and cost of your injuries so that your damages are fairly compensated.

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case in Mount Pleasant, SC

When filing a lawsuit, your attorney is your go-to resource for all your legal needs. An attorney experienced in personal injury law can help you quickly and efficiently navigate your case through the courts. From filing the complaint to filing pretrial motions to maneuvering through complex courtroom procedures, your attorney will be by your side, making sure everything goes according to plan.

Your lawyer can also help you with complex issues of substantive law. Not all personal injury cases are identical or adhere to the same laws. Different claims might be governed by different statutes of limitations, evidentiary requirements, and more. Your lawyer should assist you.

How to File a Personal Injury Case in Mount Pleasant, SC

Starting your personal injury case begins with a formal complaint we must submit to the court. The complaint must contain specific details about how you were injured and why we believe the defendant or defendants are responsible. If any information is lacking, vague, or otherwise insufficient, your case might be in jeopardy before it even begins.

We must include information about your damages, including how much money we believe they are worth. If some damages are left out of the complaint, they may not be compensated later. Review all your costs, injuries, and painful experiences related to your accident and injuries with your lawyer.

We also need to include information about evidence in the complaint. While we do not need all possible evidence or even enough evidence to meet our burden of proof, we need at least enough to prove that you have a valid cause of action.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, SC

Get a private, free case evaluation from our personal injury attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (803) 219-4906.