Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyer

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If you or someone close to you is hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to compensation. However, before you move ahead with filing a personal injury claim, you should talk to an experienced Bluffton personal injury lawyer. They can explain South Carolina law to you and the factors that may impact your claim.

A Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyer Will Manage the Most Complicated Aspects of Your Case for You

Our Bluffton personal injury lawyers are well-experienced in handling circumstances ranging from minor accidents to catastrophic injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice. Although some accidents may be straightforward and free from complications, every personal injury case can come with a number of challenges, including:

  • A challenge or denial to your claim: There is a chance that the insurance company will attempt to argue that your injuries aren’t as bad as they look or seem. If you wait to see a doctor, they may also say that a treatment schedule delay means you are actively contributing to the progression of your injuries.
  • Arguments that you are to blame for your injuries: Though the at-fault party appeared careless, you might be unfairly accused of culpability or partial liability. Our attorneys can collect evidence from vehicle accidents and other incidents that occurred in Bluffton, then present the case facts and safeguard your rights.
  • Low-ball settlement offers: Your insurance carrier may submit an unreasonably low settlement offer. In addition, it may not cover your future expenses and eventual losses.
  • Uncertain or multi-party liability: You may be unaware that multiple drivers or commercial entities could be accountable for your damages. If you fail to take the required steps to investigate your case thoroughly, you may pass up significant financial gain.

Our compassionate lawyers understand the difficulties you and your family may be going through due to a loss of income, mounting medical care costs, and an ongoing fight to restore your health.

When you hire our team, we will negotiate and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. So while you focus on healing, you can trust our lawyers to handle all of the legal parts of your case.

Types of Personal Injury Cases Our Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyers Handle

Various types of accidents can give rise to a personal injury claim. The most common situations include:

  • Car accidents: Car accidents frequently happen in Bluffton and often result in severe injuries. When you suffer a car crash, your body is thrown forward and backward, which can cause whiplash, neck pain, back pain, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage, head or brain trauma, and other injuries.
  • Truck accidents: Trucking companies must maintain their vehicles properly so they don’t harm others. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. When trucks collide with one another or pedestrians, they can cause severe property damage and injure people.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians cannot protect themselves when they are hit by cars or trucks. They can sustain broken bones, internal organ damage, and other life-threatening injuries.
  • Injured at work: Workers who are injured while performing their jobs can file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. This type of claim usually covers medical bills, lost wages, and disability payments.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists face unique risks when they ride on the road. They can fall off their motorcycles if they lose control, get struck by a car, or run into obstacles. These crashes can lead to severe injuries.
  • Dog bites: Dog owners should know how to prevent dog attacks. If a dog bites someone, the victim has grounds to sue the owner for negligence.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical professionals must provide competent care to patients. When they fail to do so, victims can seek monetary compensation from the negligent doctor, pharmaceutical company, or healthcare facility.
  • Nursing abuse and neglect: Nursing home residents have a right to receive proper care. When assisted living facilities violate these rights, victims or their families can pursue civil claims against them.
  • Bus accidents: Bus drivers have a duty to operate their buses safely. When they fail to meet this standard, bus passengers may be able to bring a negligence suit against them.
  • Wrongful Death: Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed due to the negligence of another person or entity. The victim’s family can then bring a lawsuit against the responsible party to recover damages for the loss of the deceased.

A seasoned Bluffton personal injury lawyer could investigate the cause of the collision or personal injury and determine if the injured party may be eligible for compensation. For example, if you were involved in a truck accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against them.

Call us today to discuss your options if you’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident.

What Are the Personal Injury Filing Deadlines in Bluffton?

South Carolina Code §15-3-530 gives most personal injury victims three years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit with the civil courts. Therefore, understanding and adhering to the filing deadlines outlined by state law is vital. Failure to do so may result in losing your right to pursue a claim.

If an injury victim does not file their lawsuit before the close of this three-year window, the state’s civil court system may refuse to hear their case.

We know how difficult it is to recover financially when you’ve suffered an injury. That’s why we ensure that every client receives the best representation.

What if You don’t Discover Your Injuries Right Away?

There are several exceptions afforded by South Carolina law to individuals who do not discover their injury immediately.

The Discovery Rule, for example, permits an injured individual to start the statutory clock on the date they discovered their injury or the date by which they reasonably should have discovered it.

A Bluffton personal injury lawyer can provide counsel and advice to accident victims. They do this to ensure filing deadlines and conformity with state-designated time limits.

Bluffton Shared Fault Rules

If it turns out that an injury victim bears some degree of legal liability for their damages, they may still be able to recover financial compensation. This is because South Carolina law adheres to the modified comparative negligence rule in cases involving shared fault.

This reduces the amount of compensation someone is entitled to by the amount equal to their percentage of fault. However, if someone is found to bear more than 50% of the legal blame, they may not be able to collect anything from the other at-fault party.

What Types of Damages Are Awarded in Bluffton Personal Injury Claims?

There are different types of compensatory damages that a Bluffton personal injury or vehicle accident lawyer could help you recover in a personal injury claim, including economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

You may receive compensation for including out-of-pocket expenses and economic damages, including:

  • Medical bills, including medical care and ambulance rides: If you need emergency treatment after being involved in a car crash, you will likely incur medical bills. These costs include doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and physical therapy sessions.
  • Loss of income: If you missed work as a direct result of your injuries, you might be compensated for lost wages.
  • Property damage costs: If you experience property damage due to the negligent actions of others, you may be compensated.
  • Repair bills: If you need repairs done to your home or car after an accident, you could receive fair compensation based on the cost of these repairs.
  • Future expenses: If you expect to incur future medical costs, you may be compensated accordingly.
  • Damage to your vehicle: If you were forced to replace your car because another driver was responsible for its damage, you might be compensated according to the value of the replacement vehicle.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to damages, there are certain non-economic losses that you may be eligible to recover. For example, your lawyer may also seek intangible losses or non-economic losses like:

  • Loss of consortium: A spouse or domestic partner may also be able to seek compensation for loss of companionship and affection.
  • Emotional trauma: Someone close to you may experience mental anguish if they were present during the accident.
  • Mental anguish: A loved one might feel anxiety or depression if they knew about the accident but did not witness it.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: You may be able to recover from the loss of enjoyment of life if you suffer serious injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: This includes physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and any other type of harm caused.
  • Loss of quality of life: Your family may lose the ability to enjoy everyday activities like going on vacation or spending time with friends and relatives.

Punitive Damages

Furthermore, an injured party could seek punitive damages in certain situations where the liable party acted with gross or malicious negligence.

Unlike economic and non-economic damages designed to reimburse a loss, punitive damages punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing and may only be awarded in qualifying circumstances.

Limits on Injury Damages in Bluffton, SC

In South Carolina, S.C. Code §15-32-220 establishes a cap on non-economic damages in most medical malpractice cases. This cap specifically limits financial recovery to $350,000 per defendant and $1.05 million overall. The statute further provides that these caps will increase annually based on inflation.

However, there are no such limitations placed on punitive damages. As a result, these awards can reach millions of dollars.

Another damage cap law that applies to personal injury cases in South Carolina is S.C. Code §15-32-530. Under this statute, punitive damages are limited to $500,000 or three times the actual damage amount, whichever is greater.

Injuries Caused by Car Accidents and Other Forms of Negligence

Our law firm has years of experience representing clients who have experienced personal injuries caused by a negligent party. Those types of damages include:

Family members of a person killed due to negligence have the legal right to initiate a wrongful death case against the party or parties they believe were responsible for the death of their loved one. You can use this lawsuit to cover funeral costs, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to your family member’s fatal accident.

Car Accidents Are One Of The Most Common Types of Personal Injuries

You can apply personal injury law to any injury that one person or entity causes to another person. This is especially true if the injury was caused by negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior, or by an action covered by strict liability.

Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury accidents caused by negligent behavior. If you were involved in a crash caused by negligent drivers, it was likely caused by:

  • Reckless driving: Aggressive driving can lead to reckless driving, which involves driving too fast, not paying attention, or ignoring traffic laws. This behavior puts both you and other motorists at risk.
  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving includes texting, talking on cell phones, eating, adjusting radio stations, and other activities diverting attention from the road. Distracted drivers claimed more than 3,000 lives in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Drugged and drunk driving: Alcohol and drug consumption can impair judgment and reaction time. Drivers with alcohol in their system are more likely to become distracted, make mistakes, and cause crashes. In addition, drug users are more likely to experience drowsiness, confusion, impaired vision, and memory loss.
  • Speeding: Speeding is one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities and was a factor in 29% of motor vehicle deaths in 2020, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Inexperienced drivers: If a vehicle owner allows a reckless, incompetent, or inexperienced driver to drive their car, and that person caused your accident, the vehicle owner may be liable for damages.
  • Improper lane usage: Improper lane usage such as crossing lanes without signaling, changing lanes without checking blind spots, or failing to yield right-of-way at intersections can lead to collisions. These negligent behaviors often occur when drivers are tired or distracted.
  • Mechanical failures or vehicle defects: Mechanical failures or vehicle defects such as faulty brakes or brake lights, steering problems, worn tires, defective headlights, and malfunctioning airbags can contribute to car wrecks. Automobile manufacturers, parts suppliers, or mechanics could be held liable for your accident injuries.
  • Driver fatigue: Fatigue or sleep deprivation can occur due to physical or mental causes. Fatigued drivers may feel sleepy, tired, or unfocused, which can negatively impact a driver’s decision-making skills and reactions. Unfortunately, this type of negligent driving is all-too-common with professional drivers, including bus drivers, rideshare operators, and truck drivers.

Contact our office immediately if you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver you suspect was negligent. We can help you determine if you have legal rights against the other driver or property owner involved in the crash.

What to Look for in a Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been harmed in an accident at work, on the road, or have been the victim of medical malpractice, consider hiring a Bluffton personal injury lawyer to argue for your legal rights.

When seeking an injury lawyer, first verify if the attorney holds a license that allows them to practice law in your state. Next, it is crucial to read law firm evaluations and confirm that previous clients have positively interacted with your candidates.

Ensure the personal injury lawyer you hire has both expertise and a track record of winning cases comparable to yours.

When you’ve settled on a skilled personal injury attorney, schedule a conversation regarding payment and costs before any work is done. Most legal professionals like ours will provide a free initial consultation where they will learn more about your situation and explain their fees.

Because most accident attorneys (like ours) work on a contingency-fee-basis, they only receive payment when the case or trial has concluded.

It is essential to have a complete understanding of these specifics before your case begins, so you are not taken by surprise later on. Finally, the personal injury attorney in South Carolina you select should be somebody with whom you have complete faith and with whom you can have open and honest conversations.

Discuss a Possible Claim with a Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyer

One of the best things you can do after being injured in an accident or incident in Bluffton is to contact a Bluffton personal injury lawyer representing your interests against the negligent party.

A knowledgeable injury lawyer at Schiller & Hamilton will provide you with pertinent and valuable information regarding your personal injury claim and help get you started on the right path to recovering the compensation you deserve from the guilty parties.

Call our personal injury law firm to schedule a case consultation and discuss your claim with a qualified legal representative.

FAQs About Personal Injury Lawyers

What do attorneys use to determine negligence in personal injury cases?

Negligence is the basis of a personal injury case. To recover damages from another party, it is necessary to prove that they are guilty of negligence and that their wrongful behavior directly caused your accident. Your personal injury lawyer in Bluffton will collect evidence that determines the other party’s degree of negligence and helps establish the amount of recoverable damages owed to you.

The evidence you can use to determine negligence includes photographs, witness testimony or documentation showing that the other party violated their duty of care toward you at the time of the accident. For example, photographs of a car accident scene can help a Bluffton personal injury attorney explain that another driver breached their duty of care by disobeying traffic laws, therefore causing your accident through an act of negligence.

What does a personal injury lawyer do?

When you are recovering from a severe personal injury, you should not have to face the burden of resolving a legal case on your own. Our personal injury lawyers in Bluffton, SC, can handle every aspect of your case on your behalf, giving you ample time to rest and relax while we strive toward a favorable outcome.

The team at Schiller & Hamilton works to strengthen your personal injury claim by:

  • Investigating the cause and circumstances of your personal injury
  • Collecting evidence that proves fault for the accident
  • Completing and submitting paperwork with accuracy
  • Negotiating with the insurance company and other lawyers
  • Taking your case to court if necessary

Involving a personal injury lawyer early on in your case ensures that you have guidance and support at every step of the process. From filing your initial claim to negotiating the final settlement, we are ready to commit to securing the compensation you deserve.

How much does a personal injury lawyer in Bluffton cost?

When you contact our team at Schiller & Hamilton, your initial case evaluation is free. We pride ourselves on being open and honest about whether or not you should pay for a lawyer to help you with your case. If you choose to hire us, we will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the amount you pay depends on the amount you recover through your personal injury claim.

The standard rate among attorneys working on a contingency fee basis is 33% to 40% of your total settlement, depending on factors such as litigation. Our personal injury lawyers in Bluffton are no different from our standard rates. The value of experienced legal representation can make up for this cost, as individuals who choose not to work with a personal injury lawyer often encounter pitfalls that hamper their ability to recover the full amount owed to them.

It is also important to consider that insurance companies intimately understand the process and may not hesitate to take advantage of a vulnerable claimant. Having a knowledgeable legal team at your side can greatly even the playing field when approaching these negotiations.

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