Personal Injury HILTON HEAD, SC

Hilton Head Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Claims in the South Carolina Lowcountry

Sustaining an injury due to someone else's negligence can be a physically, emotionally, and financially taxing experience. Whether you've been involved in a car accident, slipped and fell on someone else's property, or suffered from medical malpractice, understanding the process of filing a personal injury claim is crucial. 

At Bauer & Metro, P.C., we understand what you are going through. Our Hilton Head personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. We have a long track record of success in some of the toughest, most complex cases, and we are known throughout the local community for our commitment to our clients. 

To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, call (843) 920-2844 or contact us online using our secure request form.

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Understanding Personal Injury Claims 

South Carolina’s personal injury laws allow anyone who has been injured due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another to seek financial compensation from the liable party. To do so, you must file a personal injury claim. 

To file a personal injury claim, you’ll have to prove each of the following: 

  • You were injured, and your injury led to measurable damages
  • The defendant had a legal responsibility to take/avoid certain actions to avoid causing injury or harm (duty of care) 
  • The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care, either through negligent or wrongful conduct 
  • Your injuries were the result of the defendant’s negligent or wrongful actions or inactions 
  • If you were partly at fault, you were not more at fault than the defendant in causing your injuries

Here are some of the other common legal theories for personal injury claims in South Carolina:

  • Strict Liability: Strict liability holds defendants responsible for certain actions regardless of fault or intent. This theory is often applied in cases involving defective products or inherently dangerous activities. For instance, if a product is unreasonably dangerous and causes injury to a consumer, the manufacturer may be held strictly liable for the harm caused.
  • Intentional Torts: Intentional torts involve deliberate actions that cause harm to another person. Common intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In these cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant intended to cause harm or knew that harm was likely to occur as a result of their actions.
  • Premises Liability: Premises liability holds property owners or occupiers responsible for injuries that occur on their premises due to hazardous conditions or negligent maintenance. This may include slip and fall accidents, inadequate security leading to assaults, or injuries caused by falling objects. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions for visitors, and they may be liable if they fail to fulfill this duty.
  • Wrongful Death: Wrongful death claims arise when a person's death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. These claims allow certain surviving family members to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one's financial support, companionship, and other damages.

In most cases, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. Failure to file a lawsuit within this time frame can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.

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Compensation in Personal Injury Claims 

The exact types of damages you can recover, as well as the overall value of your case, depend on the specific details of your case. 

However, many people who file personal injury claims seek compensation for the following: 

  • Medical expenses, including future care costs
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy 
  • Counseling services related to mental health issues caused by the incident
  • Lost income/wages, including future lost earnings 
  • Loss of earning ability due to temporary or permanent disability
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Loss of love, affection, companionship, and consortium

In rare cases, it is possible to seek punitive damages. Awarded in some cases involving gross negligence or wanton/willful misconduct, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for such behavior, rather than compensate the victim for specific losses. 

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How to File a Personal Injury Claim

If you have been involved in an accident or otherwise injured by the negligent, wrongful, or reckless conduct of another person or party, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your right to file a personal injury claim. 

Here are some things to do before filing a personal injury claim in South Carolina: 

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health and wellbeing should be your top priority. Get immediate medical attention for your injuries. This not only ensures your wellbeing but also creates important documentation of your injuries.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Obtain contact information from witnesses and keep records of all medical bills and expenses related to your injury.
  • Report the Incident: Notify the appropriate parties about the incident. For example, after a car accident, you should report the incident to the police and your insurance company. After a slip and fall accident, inform the property owner or manager about what happened. 
  • Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney: It is highly recommended that you seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. We can guide you through the entire process, protect your rights, and help maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Your attorney can assist you in preparing and filing a personal injury claim. This typically involves drafting a formal complaint that details the incident, the responsible party, the injuries sustained, and the damages sought.

Though every case is different, the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in South Carolina often goes as follows: 

  • Serving the Defendant: Your attorney can serve the defendant with the complaint, notifying them of the lawsuit being filed against them. The defendant will have a specific timeframe to respond to the claim.
  • Discovery Phase: During this phase, both parties exchange relevant information and evidence pertaining to the case. This includes documents, witness statements, and expert opinions. Your attorney may depose key witnesses and request additional evidence from the defendant.
  • Negotiation and Settlement: Your attorney can engage in negotiations with the defendant's insurance company or legal representatives. They work to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries and damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial.
  • Trial: If your case goes to trial, your attorney can present your case to a judge and/or jury. They can argue on your behalf, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments to support your claim.
  • Judgment and Compensation: If you win your case, the court will issue a judgment in your favor. The court may award various types of compensation, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and future medical costs. Your attorney can help you enforce the judgment and seek the compensation you are entitled to.

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When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer 

You should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer if you were injured in any way by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another. Personal injury cases can be very complex, and the process of filing a claim can be lengthy, complicated, and expensive. An attorney from Bauer & Metro, P.C. can help ease the stress you are under and guide you through the process with as little hassle as possible. 

Our Hilton Head personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you with your case. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can answer your questions, address your concerns, and begin building a powerful, persuasive case on your behalf. In South Carolina, you have just three years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit (in most cases), so we urge you to contact us without delay.

You can call our office at (843) 920-2844 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is completely free and entirely confidential. 

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