South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

Like all other places, in South Carolina, accidents happen every day to people from all walks of life. Being injured in an accident can be a chaotic and terrifying experience. Being injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness can be even worse.

There is a need for financial assistance to deal with the expenses of being injured. However, there is also the need for someone to take responsibility for the pain that they’ve caused and the desire to hold someone accountable. Hughey Law Firm is devoted to helping injured victims get the compensation they deserve and holding responsible parties accountable for the consequences of their actions.

About Hughey Law Firm

In 2007, a fourth generation South Carolinian named Nathan Hughey ventured out to start his own law firm. Having spent five years as a defense attorney that served nursing homes and insurance companies, Mr. Hughey decided to use his knowledge and experience to fight for the rights of injured individuals. Since the firm’s inception, he has assembled an impressive team of lawyers, experts, and support staff. The team’s dedication has obtained more than $150 million in settlements and awards for its clients.

Hughey Law Firm has received these honors during its time of service:

  • The Martindale-Hubble Client Distinction Award, which is given to fewer than 4 percent of the more than 900,000 attorneys listed.
  • The Martindale-Hubble AV Rating for Nathan Hughey, the highest possible rating in legal ability and ethics.
  • A Platinum Level membership with Successful Verdicts.
  • Membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for having obtained individual settlements equaling more than one million dollars.
  • Selection by Top Rated Lawyers as a top attorney in the area of transportation law.
  • A superb rating from Avvo, as well as a top rated personal injury lawyer, and a Client’s Choice award.
  • The National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 trial lawyer for Nathan Hughey and Stuart Hudson.

At Hughey Law Firm, the team’s commitment has gained a wealth of success. However, because every case is unique, past results do not guarantee any potential compensation for future clients.

Hughey Law Firm is devoted to giving back to the communities where its clients live and work. The firm is dedicated to giving back with monetary donations, as well as the devotion of time and money to important causes. Some of the causes that Hughey Law Firm has been involved with include:

  • Inner-city churches.
  • Community centers.
  • Programs to benefit autistic children.
  • Funding to hire defense lawyers for individuals who have been wrongfully accused.
  • Funding for programs that benefit abused children.
  • Pro bono cases where the Hughey team’s knowledge and resources are provided for free.

Our Successes

As stated, we have garnered more than $150 million in settlements and awards for our clients. Some of our successes include:

  • $5,425,000 for a client who suffered catastrophic injuries when a commercial truck hit his passenger pickup.
  • $3,375,000 in a wrongful death case that involved an individual who escaped from a group home and was struck by a drunk driver.
  • $2,025,000 for a client who was injured when a commercial truck struck his motorcycle.
  • $2,000,000 for a wrongful death case in which a man was killed by a drunk driver.
  • $1,650,000 for a Lowcountry man who was severely injured by a reckless driver.
  • $1,625,000 in a premises liability case for a woman who was seriously injured when a deck collapsed at a Cherry Grove vacation home.
  • $1,500,000 in a premises liability case for a client who was injured at a club.
  • $1,375,000 in a wrongful death case where an autistic boy escaped from a group home and was killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver.
  • $1,050,000 in a premises liability case where a client was injured due to a negligently designed parking lot.
  • $1,000,000 in a nursing home case where the client suffered bedsores as a result of neglect.

Remember, every case is individual. The award and settlement amounts listed here are not necessarily representative of the amount you may receive in your individual case. The value of your claim can only be estimated through analysis of the specific facts of your case.

Our Practice Areas

Accidents can happen during nearly every type of activity. We have experience in the following types of cases:

We regularly represent clients who have experienced a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. We also help clients who are having trouble getting their own insurance company to provide coverage for a claim.

We happily provide services to communities throughout South Carolina. We serve clients from the following areas:

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is an area of the law that protects individuals who were injured or harmed by another’s actions or failure to act. As explained by the American Bar Association, the two fundamental aspects of personal injury law are:

  1. Liability: Liability is legal responsibility for damages caused to another person or entity.
  2. Damages: Damages are the expenses incurred and impacts caused by the injury.

While negligence is the most common basis for a personal injury claim, another ground for a claim may be an intentional act, such as assault. Also, strict liability may form the basis of a claim when a person or entity is liable for injuries even though the accident was not the result of negligence or intentional harm. For example, manufacturers are strictly liable for harm caused by defective products and dog owners are strictly liable for harm caused by their dogs.

To prove liability, injured victims must show:

  • The defendant owed them a duty of care. The level of care owed depends on the circumstances and the type of accident. In car accidents, for example, the duty of care that one driver owes to another is the duty to safely operate his or her vehicle in accordance with traffic laws.
  • There was a breach in the duty of care. A breach refers to the action of another that contributed to the accident. Using the car accident example, the breach in the duty of care could involve speeding, drinking and driving, or any other unsafe or illegal driving behavior.
  • The breach caused the accident and resulting damages.

Individuals in South Carolina who were injured by a negligent or intentional act, or an act someone else is strictly liable may be entitled to seek compensation. Injured parties may file a legal claim against the at-fault party in civil court. However, personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the date that the injury occurred.

Filing a personal injury claim serves to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. Unlike charges brought in criminal court, civil cases do not rely on a state prosecutor to make the case, nor do they result in a conviction. Instead, they require the plaintiff to prove that someone else is liable for their damages and demonstrate to the court what those damages are. Personal injury cases are often complex, featuring strict deadlines, requiring a deep knowledge of the law and the formalities of the court.

In a successful case, the parties must display strong negotiation skills and aggressively present evidence to prove the claim. Experienced attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Should you decide to pursue legal action, it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney to become educated about the process.

Keep in mind, the vast majority of personal injury cases are not decided in a courtroom, but rather outside of court through settlement negotiations. In fact, only 4 to 5 percent of personal injury cases proceed to litigation in a courtroom. Litigating a personal injury claim can be extremely time consuming and costly. When it is clear who was at fault, it is typically more attractive for the responsible party to resolve the claim with a settlement.

There is no “average” time that it takes to obtain a settlement, nor is there an average settlement amount for personal injury cases. Each case is unique and so is each path to resolution. Settlement negotiations can progress over days, weeks, or even years. Often, the highest payouts are received by clients who are patient enough to wait for them.

Types of Damages that Personal Injury Cases May Recover

Accident victims may be entitled to recover financial compensation for a variety of damages through a personal injury lawsuit, including:

  • Economic damages, also known as special damages, which are monetary expenses related to an accident injury. Economic damages include medical expenses such as ambulance costs, hospital stays, physician’s services, surgery, x-rays, medications, and physical therapy. Injured victims may also seek compensation for future medical expenses if your injury results in long-term or permanent injury. Damages also include the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property, such as a vehicle that was crashed in a car accident case. If an injury prevents a victim from returning to work, they may be entitled to lost wages or loss of future earning capacity if the injury leaves them unable to perform the same job duties as before the accident. Any other injury-related out of pocket expenses may also be included in the calculation of economic damages.
  • Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, which are impacts to victims’ lives caused by their injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include physical pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of the enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of companionship or consortium.
  • Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for particularly reprehensible behavior. Punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of actual damages or $500,000—whichever is greater.

What to Do if You Were Injured in an Accident

Immediately following an accident, you can take steps to help strengthen your personal injury case.

Some important steps include:

  • Taking photographs of the accident scene. If the accident involved vehicles, a photo of the damage to all vehicles can be helpful. If the accident involved a premises liability matter, take photos of the hazardous property feature.
  • Obtaining names and contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • Filing a report with the police, the owner or manager of the property, or others, as required, depending on the type of accident.
  • Seeking medical treatment for your injuries.
  • Avoiding communicating with insurance representatives for the at-fault party, accepting a settlement agreement that is offered early after the accident, or posting about your accident on social media.
  • Collecting documentation to prove your expenses, including medical bills, pharmacy receipts, car repair bills, and receipts for rental cars used while your car was being repaired.
  • Journaling the impacts that your injuries have had on your life. A mental health professional can help you determine what these impacts are and the extent of their impact on your quality of life.
  • Hiring an attorney.

South Carolina Personal Injury FAQ

Most people rarely sit around thinking about hiring a South Carolina personal injury lawyer until they need one. Individuals may find they need representation after sustaining an injury in an accident caused by another’s careless or reckless actions. Injured victims often face extensive expenses as they learn to cope with the impacts of their injuries.

Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys can help guide you through the uncertainty following a devastating accident.

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the personal injury claims process in South Carolina.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a specific variety of a tort claim. A successful personal injury claim requires an injured party to demonstrate that the negligent or intentional acts of another person or entity caused his or her injuries. Further, the injured party must substantiate the expenses and damages they have incurred as a result of their injuries. A personal injury claim operates in the civil court system. As such, the process differs from criminal court proceedings.

Criminal court proceedings involve an individual being arrested or served with a summons to appear in court to defend themselves against allegations of criminal behavior. Government officials prosecute criminal cases, determine guilt, and impose punishment for crimes.

A personal injury lawsuit does not involve an arrest or an investigation by law enforcement or other governmental agency. The purpose of the lawsuit is not to punish a liable party for his or her wrongdoing, but rather to seek compensation for losses caused by another’s careless, reckless, or intentional act.

Typically, injured parties file personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault party’s insurance provider. As most liable parties cannot afford the costs of accident-related expenses, insurance policy coverage is a more reliable source of compensation.

What types of accidents are covered by personal injury law?

Personal injury law is an umbrella term that applies to many different types of accidents, for example:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving passenger cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, commercial motor vehicles such as semi-trucks or buses, motorcycles, boats, aircraft, bicycles, or pedestrians.
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect, including physical injuries caused care providers at home or in assisted living communities.
  • Premises liability cases, including slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, elevator or escalator accidents, dog bite cases, or negligent security. Owners of private or commercial property, as well as agencies tasked with managing and maintaining public property, have a legal obligation to ensure the property is safe for visitors.

What types of damages can I recover through a personal injury claim?

A personal injury claim entitles injured victims to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

Common economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment at the accident scene or in the emergency department, emergency transportation services, hospitalization, diagnostic testing, physician or surgical services, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • You may seek lost income due to injuries that prevent you from returning to work or that force you to miss work to attend injury-related appointments.
  • You may recover loss of future earning capacity if an injury renders you unable to perform the work-related tasks you performed before the accident.
  • The cost of repairing or replacing personal property, such as your vehicle if the injury occurred as a result of a car accident.

Injured victims may also be entitled to seek compensation for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to impacts on victims’ lives incurred as a consequence of their injuries.

Some of the non-economic damages that may be recovered include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Public humiliation or embarrassment
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium, which is a damage filed on behalf of an injured person’s spouse for loss of physical intimacy and companionship due to the injuries sustained.

If my own actions partially contributed to causing the accident, can I still file a lawsuit?

As long as an individual’s contribution to causing the accident is not more than 50 percent of the fault, they are still entitled to file a personal injury claim. However, any settlement or award will be reduced by the proportion of your contribution to causing the accident.

My injury occurred at work. Can I file a personal injury lawsuit against my employer?

For work-related accidents, injured parties seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages through a workers’ compensation claim. However, in circumstances involving work-related injuries caused by a third-party who is not your employer or a coworker, you may still file a personal injury claim.

Why isn’t the at-fault party’s insurance company required to pay the claim? Why does it have to be a legal process?

Sometimes, the at-fault party’s insurance will pay a third-party claim without hesitation. However, insurance companies are in the business of making money. To protect their financial assets, insurance providers aim to avoid responsibility for large payouts. Representatives often use tactics to lower their financial liability. For example, representatives may delay communication, shift liability, attempt to show a different source caused the injuries, or discredit the severity of the injuries.

Experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys are distinctly familiar with insurance company tactics, and may assist injured victims by communicating and negotiating with representatives of their behalf. Through their knowledge of personal injury law and experience with the claims process, they are skilled at countering insurance companies’ attempts to devalue injured victims’ claims.

Can more than one party be liable for my injuries?

In an accident, there is a possibility that multiple parties may share liability for the resulting damages.

For example:

  • A car accident involving an at-fault employee who was driving a company car at the time of the accident and acting within the scope of his or her employment may implicate his or her employer. If the employee is liable for the accident, the employer may share liability for negligently hiring an unqualified employee.
  • A rear-end car accident caused by brake failure associated with a manufacturing defect may deem a mechanic or parts manufacturer liable for accident-related damages.
  • A nursing home abuse case involving a staff member causing injury to a resident may deem the facility liable if the facility failed to provide the at-fault caregiver with adequate training.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations permits injured parties to file a personal injury claim within three years of the date of the accident. However, certain exceptions apply, and allow filing after the three-year limit. Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys can advise injured parties whether they are eligible for filing.

If I file a lawsuit, do I have to go to court and testify?

Not all personal injury lawsuits go to court. Statistically speaking, personal injury claims are far more likely to be settled outside of court. However, litigation is always a possibility in South Carolina personal injury cases. When choosing a South Carolina personal injury attorney, injured victims should ensure he or she is comfortable and confident presenting the case in court.

What is the average personal injury settlement?

Because each case presents unique circumstances, injuries, and damages, there is no “average” settlement amount across all personal injury cases.

However, these factors may affect the value of a claim:

  • The amount of insurance coverage the liable party has, as this is most likely the source of compensation. While it is possible to sue an individual without insurance and even win an award, collecting that award may be very difficult if the at-fault party cannot afford to pay the damage award. When appropriate, a South Carolina personal injury attorney may look carefully at the details of the case to determine all potentially liable parties and the corresponding insurance resources that may be accessed.
  • Victims’ overall health before the accident. Victims who have underlying or preexisting health conditions should prepare to counter insurance representatives’ attempts to attribute their injuries to those conditions.
  • The victim’s age. While one life is not worth more than another, in personal injury cases, the victim’s age can impact the amount of compensation recovered. An individual who is in the middle of their career likely earns quite a bit more than a young person who lacks years of employment experience. Individuals with developed careers may receive more compensation for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. An older person at the end of his or her career or already in retirement may not collect compensation for future earning capacity.
  • The severity of the injuries. The more severe an injury is, the more medical treatment it requires, and the more the injury will likely result in impacts on your daily life. Increased impacts resulting from a victim’s injuries may increase the value of their claim.
  • The injured party’s level of patience. The negotiation phase of the claims process can require a significant amount of time to reach a meaningful agreement. If you are willing to settle for far less than your case is worth, you likely will find that the process goes quickly. However, if you refuse to accept a low offer, you may find the process takes a substantial amount of time. Many times, the highest settlement offer only comes when the case goes to court. Under those circumstances, insurance companies face the prospect of not only paying the high cost of litigation but also an award in your favor.

A South Carolina personal injury attorney can establish the value of a claim based on the expenses and impacts incurred to ensure injured victims obtain a fair amount of compensation.

How long will it take to settle my case?

That depends on the complexity of the case.

In some cases, the settlement process may last longer than others, including due to:

  • The recovery time required for the victim to reach maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point in which injured victims have recovered as fully as possible. To fully and accurately evaluate the costs of injury-related expenses, a South Carolina personal injury attorney may recommend that victims wait until they have progressed through recovery. By waiting, treatment providers may better predict the costs of future medical care.
  • The length of the negotiation process. If the value of the case is high, parties may spend a significant amount of time establishing proof of the damages incurred.
  • Investigating the accident, collecting evidence, and deposing witnesses may delay the resolution of a personal injury claim.
  • Waiting for a court date.
  • Litigating the case. The parties can offer and accept settlements even after the trial begins, as long as the jury or judge has not rendered a verdict.

Are personal injury settlements taxable?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, personal injury settlements are not considered income. Therefore, injured victims do not have to pay taxes associated with a settlement award. However, there is an exception for punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate injured victims for losses related to their injury, but rather they are a form of punishment used to deter especially egregious behavior in the future. As a result, punitive damages are subject to taxation.

Do I need a South Carolina personal injury attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit?

Injured victims may represent themselves throughout the claims process, however, consult an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney. Attorneys spend many years educating themselves in the law and training to represent their clients as best as possible. The legal system is complex, as is the medical system. Proving injuries requires knowledge of both these systems, as well as an understanding of the insurance industry.

An experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer’s guidance, experience, and expertise provide injured victims with invaluable peace of mind. By allowing a South Carolina personal injury attorney to handle the legal complexities of their cases, injured victims can fully focus on recovering from their injuries.

Let our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys help you understand your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Why Should Call the Hughey Law Firm Today?

We are proud of the quality of service we provide for our clients. When appropriate, some of the actions we may take on our clients’ behalf during the course of a personal injury case include:

  • Answers to client’s legal questions and thoughtful guidance as to the legal options available to them, based on the facts of their case.
  • The determination of all liable parties in the case and the insurance resources they possess that can be used to compensate our client.
  • The establishment of a value to an individual’s claim, based on the severity of their injuries, the expenses they have incurred, and the impacts that the injuries have had on their life.
  • The timely filing of the lawsuit in the appropriate court.
  • The pursuit of evidence that will prove and support claims, including the collection of evidence from the defendant as well as depositions of key witnesses.
  • The reliance on a network of professionals, including doctors, accident reconstruction specialists and other experts whose knowledge can help build the case.
  • Skilled negotiation with insurance companies in an attempt to obtain a settlement on our client’s behalf.
  • Candid discussions with clients regarding the pros and cons of any offered settlements.
  • Preparation for litigation of the case, including attendance at all pre-trial conferences and hearings.
  • Collection of the settlement or award.
  • Continued representation if the defendant in a case pursues an appeal.

If you were injured in an accident, our attorneys can help you decide how to proceed in your case. Contact us or call us today at (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation and case evaluation.

South Carolina Areas We Serve

Mount Pleasant, SC

A Mount Pleasant personal injury can occur from a number of sources. Included in this list are auto accidents, work-related injuries, acts of negligence and much more.

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Charleston, SC

A Charleston personal injury can occur at any time due to any number of circumstances.

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Summerville, SC

A Summerville personal injury can occur from a number of sources. Included in this list are auto accidents, work-related injuries, acts of negligence and much more.

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Columbia

As the capitol of the state of South Carolina, Columbia sees a lot of motorists, which means there is a much higher rate for auto accidents.

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Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is one of the largest tourist destinations on the east coast. This means that each summer, millions of motorists travel into the city,

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Georgetown

Georgetown is located between Myrtle Beach and Charleston and with Highway 17 passing through the city; it becomes a heavily populated area for traffic.

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Conway

Conway, South Carolina is just mere minutes away from the bustling city of Myrtle Beach.

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Greenville

Greenville, South Carolina is home to a beautiful college campus but with college campuses come inexperienced drivers.

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Spartanburg

Spartanburg, South Carolina is the perfect place to make a pit stop for the night when driving down to the South Carolina coast.

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Lexington

A Lexington personal injury can occur from a number of sources. Included in this list are auto accidents, work-related injuries, acts of negligence and much more.

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Rock Hill

If you are a citizen of Rock Hill and have recently been in an accident involving automobiles, you may be eligible for Rock Hill auto accident compensation.

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Florence

Florence, South Carolina sees a lot of traffic as visitors from all over the country travel by car to the coast of South Carolina.

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Kingstree

A Kingstree personal injury can occur from a number of sources. Included in this list are auto accidents, work-related injuries, acts of negligence and much more.

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Orangeburg

If you have sustained an Orangeburg personal injury, you know the amount of stress you are under to pay your medical bills, get back to work and continue supporting your loved ones.

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Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is nestled between the cities of Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. With so much commuter and visitor traffic coming from all directions,

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Aiken

Aiken, South Carolina is a city with a large population in a condensed area. With so many drivers on a few major roads, an Aiken auto accident is bound to happen.

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Bamberg

The open road is great to clear your head and collect your thoughts; unless, of course, you’ve experienced the tragedy of a Bamberg auto accident.

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Allendale

In the aftermath of an Allendale personal injury, you are left with medical bills, time spent out of work and sometimes even injuries that could last the rest of your life.

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Hampton

Sustaining a Hampton personal injury is a serious matter, especially if you choose to bypass the help of a trained attorney.

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Beaufort

Beaufort nursing home lawyers can help you and your loved ones if your family member or friend was hurt by nursing home abuse.

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Isle of Palms

We want everyone who visits the Isle of Palms to enjoy all that it has to offer. What we don’t want is for visitors to experience harm due to negligence on behalf of a business or property owner.

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Sumter

A Sumter personal injury attorney who cares more about you than your case number.

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Contact Hughey Law Firm

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