The personal injury attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm have extensive experience negotiating, litigating, and settling a wide array of personal injury cases, including traffic accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Our legal team also has experience handling cases that involve elder abuse, workplace accidents, defective products, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. We have a network of experts spanning multiple fields, including medicine, engineering, failure analysis, and accident reconstruction.
If you, your child, or another family member has been injured by the carelessness or intentional behavior of another party, the Hughey Law Firm and our diverse network of specialists will fight on your behalf to get the best possible outcome for your case. Call one of our skilled personal injury lawyers at (843) 881-8644 to discuss your eligibility for compensation.
What Types of Personal Injuries Might Result in a Lawsuit?
A variety of injuries caused by the negligence of another person, business, or governmental entity may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit. In Florence, South Carolina, alone, car accidents were responsible for 5,033 collisions in a recent year that killed 30 (nine involving a drunk driver) and injured 1,495.
Personal injury lawyers most often represent clients who have suffered the following types of injuries:
- Birth injuries;
- Burn injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Medical malpractice injuries;
- Slip-and-fall injuries;
- Electrocution injuries; and
- Injuries that result in a wrongful death.
Potentially Liable Parties in Personal Injury Suits
The court may find multiple parties at fault in a personal injury lawsuit. South Carolina is a tort liability state, but it has insurance requirements like many no-fault states that apply to car accidents. South Carolina residents have the choice to certify that they do not own a vehicle; otherwise, they must carry 25/50/25 insurance coverage, which includes:
- $25,000 bodily injury or death per person;
- $50,000 bodily injury or death per accident; and
- $25,000 property damage.
If the driver of a motor vehicle is involved in a traffic accident, he or she will typically file a claim with his or her own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance. Once meeting the threshold limits of their insurance policy, victims might choose to file a personal injury lawsuit to fill the gap between costs and what insurance covers.
Like other personal injury cases, when a motor vehicle case goes to trial, a wide range of parties might be at fault if they acted negligently. Below are some examples of potentially liable parties:
- Motor vehicle drivers who are driving while fatigued, driving under the influence of controlled substances, or breaking other traffic laws
- Businesses who poorly maintain their equipment, retail space, or other property, including a lack of security that might lead to assault
- Employers who retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or employers who foster a hostile work environment
- Individuals who abuse or harass others at home, at work, or in a medical care facility
- Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers who design, market, or sell a defective product; fail to warn consumers of dangerous aspects of a product; or fail to provide instructions for use
Seeking Compensation for Loss in Personal Injury Lawsuits
In South Carolina, the court may award compensatory and punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Punitive damages are rare in South Carolina, and the court only awards them in extreme cases that involve egregious acts of intentional harm and negligence. The court may award punitive damages equal to compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. Compensatory damages are most common and give victims the opportunity to recover losses that they have incurred because of their injury. Courts most often award compensatory damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Those who have filed a personal injury lawsuit may recover medical costs, which include the cost of ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, x-rays, prescription medication, rehabilitative services, assistive devices, and counseling in cases of emotional abuse and psychological injury. If the accident results in a long-term disability or chronic condition, or if a lawyer is negotiating a settlement before a victim’s recovery is complete, the victim may claim future medical expenses related to his or her injury.
If injured victims miss work as a result of their injuries, they may seek compensation for their lost wages. If the injury results in a long-term disability that prohibits a return to work or requires that the victim change professions, he or she might be able to recover compensation for the loss of future wages or lost earning capacity, as well.
Pain and Suffering
Sustaining an injury, especially one that is severe, leads to great physical and emotional pain for victims. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim’s age, and incurred losses, the court may also award damages for pain and suffering.
Modified Comparative Negligence in South Carolina
South Carolina courts apply a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. This notion of shared fault means that if a court determines that a plaintiff contributed to his or her injury, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s damages award by that percentage. If the court determines that a plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault for his or her injury, South Carolina law prohibits the victim from collecting damages. This modification provides defendants with an incentive to shift blame to the victim to reduce how much they must pay in the end.
Defendants might employ a variety of strategies in an attempt to shift blame in a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to denying that any negligent behavior occurred, the defense might claim that the victim was driving recklessly if his or her injuries stem from a motor vehicle accident. Defendants also may claim that a victim who slipped and fell at a business could have reasonably avoided the accident. If defective products are involved, the defense may claim that the victim didn’t read the instructions or use the product properly. An experienced personal injury lawyer is skilled at defending these attacks and counterclaims and will focus on ensuring that the court holds at-fault individuals accountable for their negligence.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Florence
If you, a child, or another family member has sustained an injury due to another party’s negligence or intent to harm, call the Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. If you retain us, we will guide you through the complex legal process, investigate your case, interview witnesses, and enlist the expertise of our network of specialists. That way, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.