Types of Personal Injury Claims That We Handle

The large majority of personal injury claims stem from negligence, but other legal questions and concerns can exist depending on the type of claim you have. The following are some common causes of personal injury claims that our firm handles.

Auto Accidents

Vehicle accidents happen every day in or around the Mt. Pleasant area, and they can change a victim’s life in a single instant. One second, you are simply commuting home from work, and the next, you are in a world of chaos, feeling pain with a wrecked car and wondering what to do next. Often, other negligent drivers cause crash-related injuries, but so can other, less-obvious parties. You want a lawyer who knows how to investigate the cause of your crash and gather the evidence needed to support your liability claims.

Truck Accidents

Truck accident claims are similar to other auto accident cases, but they can be much more complex. Commercial trucks are highly complicated machines that require more care and attention to operate safely. The industry also involves technical federal regulations that do not come into play in consumer auto accident cases. A single error by a truck driver can cause widespread devastation due to chain-reaction collisions, cargo spills, and more. Trucking companies are often liable for crashes, as well, and you can expect these companies to have legal teams and insurance companies fighting liability whenever possible.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are mostly exposed when they travel, and even helmets cannot provide absolute protection from head and brain injuries. This means that motorcycle accidents can often result in catastrophic injuries, which can lead to claims with particularly high values. Insurance companies regularly challenge the damage amounts for injured motorcyclists, so you need an attorney from the Hughey Law Firm who handles high-value claims regularly.

Hospital Negligence

When you go to the hospital, you expect medical professionals to help diagnose and manage your health condition – not to make the situation even worse. However, doctors and nurses can sometimes make serious mistakes that rise to the level of negligence and cause preventable injuries and complications. Reports indicate that medical negligence, including in hospitals, is the third-leading cause of death in recent years, and many more patients suffer avoidable infections, treatment errors, surgical errors, medication errors, bedsores, and slips and falls in hospitals.

Nursing Home Injuries

When you or a loved one goes to live in a nursing home, you expect staff to provide the necessary level of care and attention. Nursing homes, however, are often understaffed and getting more crowded by the day, which can lead to mistakes or even intentionally wrong behavior that leads to injuries. Neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse all take place in nursing homes in and around Mt. Pleasant, and residents can suffer many types of harm as a result.

Slip and Fall Injuries

You might not consider slip and falls to be a serious type of accident, but they have the potential to result in surprisingly serious injuries. Whether you are grocery shopping, visiting a friend at an apartment complex, walking across a parking lot, or getting seated at a restaurant, hazards can exist that cause you to slip and fall, and victims cannot always catch themselves. Slips and falls commonly cause concussions, fractures, back injuries, broken hips, and soft tissue injuries.

Premises Liability

Property hazards can result in other types of accidents in addition to slip and falls, such as falls from heights, getting hit by falling objects, electrical accidents, toxic exposure, and more. In these cases, the business or property owner should be liable for harm resulting from their negligence.

The U.S. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control says accidental injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages one to 45 years old. Injury-related deaths affect everyone, regardless of someone’s age, race, or economic status. Unfortunately, the problem continues to grow.

Several government and research organizations report the following statistics about injuries.

  • In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said there were 231,991 injury-related deaths.
  • Unintentional falls were the leading cause of injuries. More than 9,194,403 people fell in 2016.
  • Almost 2,732,012 million Americans died in car crashes in 2016.
  • Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. according to John Hopkins University. Almost 250,000 people die due to medical malpractice every year.
  • An average nursing home reports 100 to 200 falls per year.
  • Dogs bite an estimated 4.7 million people annually.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries contribute to 30 percent of all deaths.

Hughey Law Firm Gets Results in Mt. Pleasant

Hughey Law Firm fights to get our clients justice in personal injury law cases. We’ve seen the physical and financial devastation our injured clients face. Additionally, our legal team knows how these incidents impact families. When you hire Hughey Law Firm, you get seasoned professionals that will argue your case effectively. We’ve won more than $160 Million in claims on our clients’ behalf.

Nathan Hughey, the firm’s senior lawyer, leads our team. He has argued before the South Carolina Supreme Court, and holds a license with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

How Our Mt. Pleasant Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You

Anyone has the right to handle an injury claim on their own, but a trusted injury attorney handling your claim can:

  • Evaluate your rights – Determine who caused your accident and whether you might hold someone else liable for your losses.
  • Identify all liable parties – Sometimes, the liable party seems fairly obvious, but it can be more complicated. Liable parties can involve individuals, employers of negligent employees, manufacturers, business and property owners, among others.
  • Calculate damages – Having a clear and accurate understanding of your past losses, future estimated costs, and intangible losses is critical to getting full financial recovery.
  • Handle the insurance process – Insurance companies are businesses, so they are looking to maximize profits by limiting payouts. Any communications can go against you, and insurers are certain to try to convince you to accept an offer that is much too low. Having a lawyer handling the process helps to guarantee that you receive what you deserve.
  • Take your case to court when needed – In particularly complicated or high-value cases, the insurer might make reaching a favorable settlement impossible. In this situation, the right lawyer will not hesitate to escalate the matter and pursue a lawsuit in civil court.

Our legal team can do all of the above, taking the stress off of you and allowing you to focus on your physical recovery from your injuries.

Hughey Law Firm knows how difficult it is for Mt. Pleasant’s injured victims to repair their lives after a severe injury. Survivors face enormous challenges because of their injuries. Some victims must deal with permanent physical and psychological problems that incapacitate them. Others struggle with painful disabilities that can cause them to lose a physically demanding job. Most injured people must pay expensive medical and other bills related to the accident.

Has a negligent person harmed you? Fight for justice. Schedule a free consultation with Hughey Law Firm. Our Mt. Pleasant personal injury attorneys will help you get the justice you deserve.

Contact us or call (843) 806-0979.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

What Should I Do if I Get Injured?

If you get injured in any accident, the first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. Unless the ambulance rushes you to the emergency room, snap a few photos or take some video of the accident scene, as you can use them as evidence in a legal case. If there are any witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information so you can contact them for a statement later if necessary.

It can be overwhelming to be involved in an accident that results in an injury but don’t apologize or admit fault at any point, even if you’re just trying to be polite. The defense will use anything you say after the accident against you if you decide to file a lawsuit.

After seeking medical treatment, if you believe someone was at fault for your accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible for a consultation. A legal expert will talk to you about what happened, gather information about your injury, and help you decide whether it’s worth it to you to pursue legal action.

What Kind of Injuries are Considered Personal Injuries?

In a legal sense, personal injury is a type of injury that usually occurs because of:

  • Car accidents – if an automobile accident injured you, the other driver’s negligence could have caused it. If the other driver was intoxicated, distracted, or otherwise not properly operating their vehicle, you may seek compensation from them.
  • Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents – if you slip on ice, trip on a loose piece of carpeting, or get injured from a fall on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. The person responsible for caring for the property did not take all the necessary steps to protect you.
  • Intentional acts – if you got hurt because someone attacked you, assaulted you, or purposely tried to cause you harm, you can receive compensation.
  • Dog bites – an owner should always keep their dog under control and under a watchful eye. If a dog gets off-leash or out of a fenced enclosure and bites you, you can pursue the owner for compensation. Dog bites can cause puncture wounds, broken bones, infection, and more.
  • Nursing home injuries – if you or a loved one experienced mistreatment, abuse, or an injury during a stay at a nursing home, seek legal help. These injuries are often ongoing, and other patients may be suffering as well.
  • Defective products – when get injured by an improperly manufactured or assembled product, you can take legal action against the manufacturer.

These are the most common types of personal injuries, but this list isn’t exhaustive. If you were injured in some other accident and believe there is a party at fault for your injury, consult a legal expert to learn more about your rights. They will know if you can file a claim and what steps you should take next.

What Kind of Personal Injuries Are Common in Charleston, South Carolina?

Bike accidents are one of the most common accidents in Charleston. Bicycling is popular here. Many people bike for pleasure, exercise, or transportation. But the problem is that the city doesn’t have a great infrastructure for cyclists. This means it’s more common for cars to hit cyclists because arterial roads lack bike lanes. Bike accidents can result in concussions, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and more.

Like many places in the United States, car accidents and slip and fall accidents are also some of the most common types of accidents. Like bike accidents, these can result in injuries like broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

You should never have to face your injury and its ramifications alone. It can be seriously distressing to deal with doctors, bill collectors, and the other consequences of your injury. A trusted Charleston personal injury lawyer can give you legal counsel that will help you make the right choices. A great lawyer is with you every step of the way and can help to take your mind off some of your worries.

Even if you aren’t sure you have a case, talk to a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. They can help you explore your options and lend you a compassionate ear as you decide on the next steps together.

How Do I Know If I Can Make a Good Legal Case?

If you aren’t a legal expert, it can be tough to know if you have a case on your hands. But luckily you don’t have to make a tough decision like this on your own. Contact an attorney to set up a free consultation where you can go over your situation in detail. From there, the attorney can tell you who you can seek compensation from and how much you can expect.

Getting injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness is a basis for a legal case, but many cases aren’t so cut-and-dry. This is why it’s so important to talk to a legal expert. A good personal injury lawyer will have years of experience working with people just like you. They understand what you’re going through and only want to see you get compensated for all the trouble you’ve been through.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Charleston?

The statute of limitations varies by state, but in South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years. You have three years from the date of your injury in which to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. This helps you because sometimes you won’t feel injuries until days or weeks after the accident happens, or your medical treatment may take a while to complete. This is why you need a doctor’s checkup even if you feel you didn’t think the accident hurt you.

What Damages Can I Receive?

If an accident injured you, you can receive damages. Damages are the compensation you can receive as a result of the lawsuit.

These funds can help you pay for:

  • Medical bills – if you require an emergency room visit, hospital stay, or a doctor’s appointment after your accident, you can collect money to help you pay for these.
  • Lost income – if you had to take time off of work due to your accident or injury, you can be compensated for the wages you lost during this time.
  • Reduced earning capacity – if your injury is ongoing or chronic, you may not be able to work as much as you were once able to for the foreseeable future, which can result in lower wages. This reduces your earning capacity.
  • Ongoing medical care – in the cases of many serious injuries, victims may need ongoing treatment like physical therapy, surgeries, or other medical care. You can receive damages to help you pay for this.
  • Noneconomic damages – these are harder to prove, as they are more subjective. An experienced lawyer, however, can prove pain and suffering due to the accident, mental anguish (i.e. ongoing mental health conditions like PTSD), and loss of enjoyment in court, and you can receive compensation for these, too.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the damages you can collect, but it gives you a general idea of what to expect.

What if I had a Pre-Existing Condition Before the Injury?

Many people with pre-existing conditions hesitate to seek compensation for an injury. They feel like it will be harder to prove that an accident, not the pre-existing condition, caused the injury. However, this should never stop you from seeking damages. Many times, injuries from accidents can exacerbate or aggravate pre-existing conditions.

These cases can be complicated, so consulting an attorney is usually best. They can help you find all the right medical documents and evidence needed to prove your case in court.

How Much Can I Expect to Receive?

It’s hard to estimate exactly how much you can receive from a personal injury case without knowing the exact details of your case. Even after a careful review, a personal injury lawyer will be able to give you only a rough estimate based on similar cases they worked on in the past. It’s important to remember that an attorney can’t promise to recover a certain amount of damages for you. If a lawyer makes a promise like this to you, it could be a red flag.

It’s also important to remember that nearly all personal injury attorneys will take on cases like yours at no charge, only collecting a fee once your case settles. Every attorney charges a different amount, but it’s usually somewhere around 30 percent of your settlement.

How Long Will the Process Take?

Lawsuits can take months or even years, which is why it’s so important to seek legal action as soon as you are able. A lawyer can’t tell you how long your entire case will take to conclude, but they can give you an estimate based on their experience. Very few personal injury cases go to trial, and most settle out of court. This means that the defendant or an insurance company will offer you an amount of money to prevent the trial from going to court. An expert attorney can help you decide on a fair amount of compensation, so you don’t get taken advantage of.

Once the case settles, you should receive a check within a few weeks of signing a settlement agreement.

How do I Find a Good Charleston Personal Injury Attorney?

When looking for a personal injury attorney in Charleston, South Carolina, you may be overwhelmed by your options. But before you choose the first lawyer you come across, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, look for an attorney with plenty of experience dealing with personal injury cases. It’s a great idea to read reviews and testimonials if they are available and browse the firm’s website to learn more.

Hughey Law Firm has years of experience taking on cases similar to yours. Our goal is to get you compensation for your injury so you can get back to your life. We understand that you’re going through a difficult time, which is why we are happy to talk with you during a free consultation. During this consultation, you’ll talk with one of our expert team members so we can learn how we can help you.

We have built a reputation on trust and experience, and are proud of the respect we’ve gained in the Charleston community. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Injured victims should be familiar with South Carolina’s comparative fault rule. This system awards personal injury damages based on the percentage of fault of each litigant has. The defendant’s responsibility must be 60 percent or more for plaintiffs to collect damages. You won’t collect any damages if you share equal blame, or more fault than the defendant.

Additionally, judges can reduce your compensation if you share some responsibility for the injury based on your percentage of fault.

Personal injury cases have a lower level of proof than criminal cases. For example, a jury could acquit a defendant of a criminal charge if the burden of proof is too low to qualify as beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, however, the plaintiff must only meet a preponderance of evidence standard: personal injury plaintiffs can present the same evidence and still collect judgments.

Defendants try to reduce their liability by claiming the victim was partly to blame. Some companies will send insurance investigators or lawyers to visit with the plaintiff. These professionals may appear to sympathize with the victims, but often ask people to sign written or oral statements before they hire legal counsel. The company’s attorneys use this evidence to undermine the plaintiff’s case.

Don’t provide a statement to anyone before hiring your own legal team. Refer any company representative that wants to speak with you to your attorney.

Personal injury law allows victims to sue for injuries they received due to accidents, negligent acts, or other incidents. The law’s purpose is to make injured victims “whole” through financial compensation. Relatives of decedents can also bring wrongful death lawsuits against liable defendants.

There can be several liable parties in personal injury lawsuits.

Types of personal injury lawsuits can include:

  • Assault and battery: A defendant can be liable for any physical attack they commit against others.
  • Car accidents: These incidents make up most personal injury cases. They occur when careless drivers don’t follow road safety rules.
  • Dog bites – Most states hold dog owners for any injuries their pet may cause other people. South Carolina’s Code 47-3-110 addresses dog bites.
  • Medical malpractice: Healthcare professionals that don’t provide competent care may be negligent under the law.
  • Nursing home abuse: Doctors, nurses, and other workers can be liable for patients’ injuries and deaths.
  • Product liability cases: Plaintiffs can sue companies that sells a defective product that injures them.
  • Slip and fall accidents: These incidents fall under premises liability law. An owner has a duty to keep their property safe. If they don’t, a plaintiff can sue them if the owner’s carelessness harmed them.

South Carolina has a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. You have three years to file your case from the date of the injury, according to S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-3-530. Those who don’t file in time can lose their chance to sue for damages. You should seek legal counsel when someone has injured you. Contact an expert personal injury attorney like the Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant.

South Carolina requires plaintiffs to meet four areas in proving personal injury claims. Victims must prove defendants are negligent for their claim for damages to succeed.

1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.

The defendant’s care of duty depends on the case. For example, a physician has a responsibility to oversee a patient’s care. Doctors that don’t follow a proper standard of care may harm someone. Hurt patients can file a medical malpractice case against the defendant.

Another type of personal injury tort cases involves premises law. Property owners must keep their premises free from hazards. Those that don’t remove dangers from their area are liable for negligence. For instance, companies must clear ice from sidewalks on their premises. If a person slips and falls on the ice, they can sue the property owner for negligence.

Other cases can involve drivers that fail to follow South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles laws. A plaintiff can sue a reckless driver if their negligent actions caused an accident.

2. There was a breach of duty.

Their breach of duty will depend on the circumstances of a care. For example, licensing boards require doctors to follow protocols for medical procedures. They must also administer treatment for conditions before they become serious. For example, a diabetes patient may need insulin when their blood sugar spikes. Doctors who don’t follow standard protocols may have breached their duty to a patient.

3. The victim must show the defendant’s breach of duty harmed them.

A breach of duty shows the defendant failed to meet a legal responsibility. The plaintiff must prove the defendant’s actions resulted in serious damages to their body, property, or other areas. The victim must substantiate their claims with witnesses, medical records, and other proof.

4. Tangible damages resulting from the defendant’s negligence.

The victim must suffer significant damages because of the injuries they received. They can be economic or non-economic losses.

The most serious injuries that injured victims can suffer are catastrophic ones. These injuries are severe injuries to the brain, spinal cord, limbs, or vital organs.

The following are some of the catastrophic injuries victims can endure:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Amputation;
  • Eye injuries;
  • Back injuries;
  • Burns;
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI);
  • Paralysis (paraplegia and quadriplegia);
  • Organ damage;
  • Shoulder injuries; and
  • Foot injuries.

You can collect several types of damages in a personal injury case.

General Damages – This compensation redresses the defendant’s negligent actions. You must establish a clear link between their injury and the defendant’s behavior, General damages may include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Medical costs
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Lower quality of life
  • Emotional distress

Special Damages – This compensation covers monetary losses you incurred due to the defendant’s actions. These include out-of-pocket expenses. Special damages can include:

  • Replacing or repairing any lost property
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of irreplaceable items

Other Damages – Decedents’ families can sue for damages if their relatives died or suffered serious disability due to a negligent, reckless, or intentional act. These damages can include:

Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant can handle your case on a contingency basis. We’ll only collect our fees from any judgment or settlement you receive if we win your case.