personal injury victim meeting attorney

Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident, you are likely overwhelmed by what to do next.  After seeking necessary medical care, it’s a good idea to reach out to a personal injury attorney for advice.  

South Carolina law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation against negligent parties at-fault for accidents.  Often, this means pursuing a negligent party’s insurance company for financial damages.

In this case, is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you? South Carolina personal injury attorneys respond, “Yes.”

No one wants to be on the hook for someone else’s financial losses, especially not an insurance company. You will need someone on your side to get the compensation you deserve. 

Top 7 Reasons to Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

1. Thorough Investigation

Experienced personal injury attorneys have vast resources and a network of investigators to vet your case thoroughly and assemble the merits of a winning claim.  

This includes determining negligence, collecting evidence, identifying assets, and examining insurance liability protection. 

2. Objectivity

After an accident, you will face many emotions and fears. Insurance companies and opposing counsel in personal injury claims will exploit your weakened emotional state to their benefit. 

An objective attorney savvy to the opposing party’s tactics can prevent you from making decisions under duress that are against your best interests. 

3. Legal Expertise and Experience

The laws and restrictions governing personal injury claims can be complex. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will know how liability laws and insurance regulations will impact your case. Hiring an attorney experienced with previous personal injury cases and case law history is critical to your claim’s success. 

4. Faster Resolution

Personal injury attorneys work diligently to get you a quick and fair settlement award so you can continue on the path of healing and recovery with much-needed financial resources.  Skilled in negotiation, your lawyer will make the best effort to avoid a costly and protracted trial. 

5. Higher Settlements

Statistically, personal injury victims represented by legal counsel win higher settlement awards than unrepresented parties, even after attorneys fees.  

6. Arbitration, Mediation, Litigation

Attempting to settle a personal injury lawsuit can include a multifaceted approach. Sometimes, settlement negotiations fail, and arbitration or litigation is necessary.

When you work with a personal injury attorney from the start, your attorney can be well-versed on the details of your case and prepared for the opposing party’s tactics and strategies. 

7. You Have Nothing to Lose

Many personal injury attorneys work on contingency. “Working on contingency” means that an attorney collects fees only if the attorney wins a settlement award for their client.  

Generally, in a contingency fee arrangement, attorneys are paid from the settlement. No upfront fees or retainers are required. 

Consult a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you owe it to yourself to seek legal advice.  Personal injury laws allow for compensation to victims who have suffered an injury at the hands of another’s negligence.

Let a South Carolina personal injury attorney guide you through your injury claim and advise you on how to get the compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm today.

truck in rearview mirror of red car

Three Things You Should Know About Truck Accident Claims

If you got injured or a close relative died because of a truck accident, you need to know how these personal injury or wrongful death claims are different from standard car collision compensation claims. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can take care of your case and answer your questions. You should not have to battle a billion-dollar insurance company while you are recuperating from your injuries or dealing with the grief of your loss.

Here are three things you should know about truck accident claims:

Truck Accidents Tend to Involve More Severe Injuries and Fatalities

Tractor-trailers are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, even if they are not carrying cargo. When a large truck collides with a smaller, lighter vehicle, the car is likely to sustain far more physical damage than the truck. As a corollary, the people inside of the car often experience more severe injuries and more fatalities than the driver of the tractor-trailer.

Because of their greater mass, large trucks need more linear distance to come to a stop. When a truck driver speeds or tailgates, there is an enhanced risk of a collision, even greater than when a car follows other vehicles too closely.

Truck Drivers Have to Follow Federal Safety Rules

Because large trucks present a more significant danger to health and safety than passenger cars, Congress created federal legislation to protect the general public from the risk of truck accidents. Many crashes happened because of truck drivers who lacked the physical ability to respond in time to urgent situations on the road because of fatigue. Also, some truck drivers resorted to taking over-the-counter or illegal drugs to stay awake and alert while operating tractor-trailers for long hours without adequate rest.

Truck drivers and their employers, trucking or transportation companies, have to comply with legislation that limits the number of hours a driver can work with taking a break. Both the driver and company must keep accurate and current records of their work hours. If either party did not keep the mandated logbook or the records show a violation of the work hours limits, that information could be valuable evidence in a truck accident injury claim.

Injury Claims From Truck Accidents Often Involve More Than One Insurance Company 

Sometimes both the truck driver and the trucking company carry their own liability insurance. In this situation, you might consider yourself fortunate to have two potential sources that could pay your claim. In reality, however, the multiple insurers will likely blame each other. A personal injury lawyer can sort out these competing interests and protect your right to fair compensation for the harm you suffered. IT can be challenging to handle this situation if you try to handle your injury claim on your own without an attorney.

These are but a few examples of things you need to know about truck accident claims. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can negotiate directly with the at-fault party’s insurer and work tirelessly to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact our office today.

attorney personal injury settlement

How Do You Know If You Have a Good Settlement Offer?

Most personal injury claims are settled between the victim and the insurance company for the party who caused the injury. Settling an injury claim with the insurance company generally means that you give up your right to demand more money or file a lawsuit regarding the injury. Therefore, you want to make sure that the settlement offer is fair. Because the settlement is final, you may want to talk with a South Carolina personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company.

What Factors Affect the Value of a Personal Injury Claim?

The insurance company considers numerous factors as it decides how much to offer you to settle your injury claim. Some of the factors that could influence its decision include:

  • The total cost of your financial damages, including loss of income, medical bills, personal care, therapies, and other out-of-pocket expenses
  • The type and severity of your injuries
  • Whether you sustained a permanent impairment or disability 
  • The expenses and costs of defending a personal injury lawsuit
  • Any potential weaknesses in your cases, such as allegations of comparative fault, preexisting conditions, or delays in medical care after the accident
  • Whether you hired a personal injury lawyer, and if so, your attorney’s trial experience and record

If an insurance company believes that it could be liable for a high-value claim, it might make a quick, low settlement offer to avoid paying a larger amount. When an insurance company pressures you to accept a settlement offer before you complete medical treatment, it could a warning sign that your claim may be worth a large amount. It is not in your best interest to settle the claim until your doctor completes treatment and advises you of any permanent impairments or disabilities. 

What Is a Good Settlement Offer for My Injury Claim?

Settlement offers are based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. The best settlement offer compensates you for all economic losses and your pain and suffering damages. However, the insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible to resolve your claim. Your goal is to receive the highest amount possible for your injury claim. Therefore, a settlement offer usually falls somewhere between those two amounts.

To know whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair, you need to know the value of your damages.

To calculate economic damages, total all of the financial losses, expenses, and costs related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery. Examples of economic damages include: 

  • Burial and funeral expenses for a wrongful death
  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctors’ bills, medications, therapy costs, ambulance bills, medical equipment, etc.
  • Personal care and assistance with daily activities, including household chores
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Travel expenses to and from appointments with medical providers
  • The cost of modifying your home or vehicle because of a disability or impairment
  • Decreases in future earnings and cost of medical/personal care because of a disability

The insurance company will require proof of all economic losses. 

Calculating “pain and suffering” or non-economic damages is more challenging. You must put a price on the emotional distress, pain, discomfort, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages also include compensation for scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities. In most cases, the more severe the injury, the higher the value of pain and suffering damages. If you are unsure how to value non-economic damages.

Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney for Help

Calculating the value of a personal injury claim can be difficult. If you are unsure how much your claim is worth, talk with a South Carolina personal injury attorney before accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer. A lawyer can offer an honest analysis of your claim to help you decide if the settlement offer is reasonable. Contact our office today.

slip and fall accident

What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries?

Slip and fall accidents account for some of the most frequent injuries treated in South Carolina emergency rooms. While some slip and fall injuries are minor and immediately apparent, many are not visible and may be life-threatening. 

South Carolina personal injury attorneys urge all slip and fall victims to protect their health by seeking a thorough medical exam following the incident. Attending physicians will assess your physical condition after the fall and advise you regarding common slip and fall injuries and their symptoms.

What are the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries?

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and in any condition, and can easily wreak havoc in victims’ lives through resulting injuries. Five of the most common slip and fall injuries include: 

Bruises and Soft Tissue Injuries

Bruises and soft tissue injuries often appear days or weeks after a slip and fall accident. While mild bruising generally heals on its own, other soft tissue injuries may cause severe pain and require medical treatment.  Soft tissue injuries include torn ligaments, ripped tendons, wrist, and ankle sprains.

Cuts and Abrasions

Cuts and abrasions are generally considered among the milder injuries suffered in slip and falls. However, they can also indicate more serious underlying injuries and should be attended to by medical professionals. Cleaning the wounds promptly will reduce the risk of infection and determine if stitches are required or if other associated injuries such as broken bones or internal trauma exist.

Hip Fractures and Dislocations

Hip injuries are fairly common in slip and fall accidents, particularly in older fall victims. Hip fractures and dislocations often require surgery and physical therapy for complete recovery, both of which are painful, prolonged, and costly. 

Head Injury

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are among the most devastating slip and fall injuries suffered by fall victims.  Because these injuries are not immediately evident, the risk of life-threatening complications is high. TBI symptoms are often undetected or mild at first, leading to a devastating delay in much needed medical diagnosis and treatment.  

Back Injury 

Back injuries run the gamut from compressed and dislocated discs to severed spinal cords resulting in paralysis.  If you suffer a slip and fall injury and experience any pain in your neck or back, you must immediately seek medical attention.  It is best not to move and receive medical attention on-site or to be transported by emergency responders to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. 

Contact a South Carolina Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Today

If you or someone you love has suffered a  South Carolina slip and fall accident, seek medical treatment immediately.  Your health and well-being are your first priority.  

After you have been attended to by medical professionals, you may experience feelings of confusion and anger, questioning what caused the fall, and if anyone is responsible. 

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you sort through your questions and determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Contact our office today for a comprehensive case assessment with a qualified South Carolina personal injury attorney. Together, we will review the facts of your accident and strive to win you the compensation you deserve to aid in healing and recovery. 

bike accident

What to Do if You’ve Been Hit by a Car While Riding Your Bike

When it comes to cyclists and cars sharing the road in South Carolina, cyclists are considerably more vulnerable than their counterparts. In response, bicycle lobbyists have been active in promoting stronger protections that ensure cyclists can safely enjoy their hobby amongst other road users.

But what do you do if you’ve been hit by a car while riding your bike? 

South Carolina personal injury attorneys offer a few tips to follow after a bike accident with a car.

Top 10 Tips After a Bike Accident With a Car:

1. Remain calm and get your bearings. 

Remain calm and alert to the situation and your surroundings. Behaving emotionally or irrationally could distract you from essential safety measures and necessary next steps following the collision.

2. Get out of the roadway. 

You’ve already been hit once and are likely injured as a result. The faster you can remove yourself from the danger of additional vehicle traffic, the better off you are. Leave your bike and other belongings and pull yourself to safety. 

3. Stay quiet.

Do not apologize or admit fault. Do not speak to any insurance representative of the other party.

An at-fault party will attempt to deflect blame and use anything you say against you. The best thing to do is to politely remain quiet, answering only essential questions posed by law enforcement and other first responders.

4. Assess your injuries and call for emergency aid.

Take note of any personal injuries, photographing them if possible.  Request immediate medical aid and accept emergency medical treatment at the scene.

5. Exchange information with the driver of the vehicle.

Write down the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. Also, note the make, model, and license plate of their vehicle.

6. Gather witness information.

Collect witness names and contact information. Witness accounts of the accident can help prove negligence on behalf of the driver, and help substantiate an injury accident claim. 

7. Document evidence.

Write down any important details of the accident, including weather conditions, road conditions, road hazards, road safety signs, obstructions to visibility, surrounding conditions, or distractions.  

When possible, take pictures of the accident scene and surrounding area.  Take photos from many different angles and vantage points. If you don’t have a cell phone or other camera with you or cannot physically document evidence, ask a  bystander to do so on your behalf for later use of the information. 

8. Seek follow-up medical attention.

It’s imperative you seek comprehensive follow-up medical attention. A complete physical exam may reveal internal injuries or soft-tissue injuries undetected by emergency responders.  

Any delay in diagnosing or treating injuries could compromise a future claim for financial damages related to your injuries. 

9. Contact a personal injury attorney.

An experienced personal injury attorney can determine if you have a viable compensation claim resulting from the car vs. bike crash.  They will also represent you to the opposing party’s insurance company, helping to avoid any misstatements that could be later used against you in your lawsuit. 

10. Maintain a journal of evidence and medical records. 

Your bicycle crash lawyer will need as much evidence as you can provide for your car accident injury claim. Maintain a journal documenting any recollections of the events leading up to and after the car vs. bike collision. 

Also, document all injuries, treatment plans, and ongoing symptoms. Be sure to record the impact of physical injuries and psychological trauma on your daily life and relationships. These records are critical when seeking non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium. 

Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today

South Carolina motorists and cyclists must share the road responsibly for everyone’s safety. When accidents happen between cars and cyclists, severe injuries with lasting consequences often result. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car vs. bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault party. While money can’t erase the pain from an injury accident, it can help secure medical and other resources needed for recovery and healing. 

insurance company and client

How Insurance Companies Make Money – Everything You Need to Know

When you purchase an insurance policy, you are buying peace of mind that you have an umbrella of financial protection if something catastrophic happens. Insurance companies offer significant policy coverage against personal injury and property loss in exchange for low monthly premiums. This may leave you to wonder how insurance companies can afford to pay claims and still be profitable?

South Carolina personal injury attorneys regularly pursue high dollar awards against insurance companies for their clients and have made it their business to understand exactly how insurance companies make money.  Here is everything you need to know:

3 Ways Insurance Companies Make Money

Listed below are three ways on how insurance companies make money.

1. Underwriting Income

Insurance premiums are based on the risk of paying claims against sold policies. When insurance policies are sold, purchasers pay monthly premiums to the insurer. Greater risk to the insurer results in a higher premium to the insured. The insurance company’s pool of income from collected premiums is used to pay operating expenses, professional fees, and policy claims. 

  • Operating expenses including rent, utilities, employee payroll/benefits, etc.
  • Government taxes and professional fees
  • Policy claims  

The difference between collected premiums and these expenses is known as underwriting income. When an insured party proves a greater risk than anticipated, resulting in a reduction of underwriting income, the insurer will either raise the insured’s premiums, reduce or deny valid claims, or drop the insured from coverage altogether.  These are all common tactics designed to mitigate the insurer’s exposure to loss. 

Sometimes, it is the policyholder who opts to cancel their insurance policy. A policy cancellation results in the loss of monthly premiums from one client and the need to replace that client with another. However, the insurance company still walks away with a financial advantage.

2. Cancellations and Coverage Lapses 

When policyholders cancel or allow their policies to lapse, there are two immediate benefits to the insurer: the insurer’s liability is eliminated when the policy is canceled, and previously collected premiums translate to pure profit. For canceled policies with a cash value, such as whole life policy, insurance companies pay the client’s cash value from interest and investment gains while retaining the initial capital investment. 

3. Investment Income

Insurance companies transfer collected premiums into the financial market via tightly regulated, low-risk investment options. Known as “floating,” insurance companies generate interest and growth income from invested capital. 

Though insurance companies must maintain a certain amount of cash reserves to pay policy claims, their large pool of premiums allows for significant and diversified holdings in the financial sector. As with underwriting income, if investment income suffers a decline, the insurance company can raise policyholders’ premiums to cover the downturn. 

South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys

Insurance companies are in business to make money; and, they make a lot of money. Through underwriting income, policy cancellations, and investment income, insurers successfully grow their profits while protecting against loss by fighting property and personal injury claims. 

If you or someone you know has suffered property loss or personal injury in South Carolina, don’t face the insurance companies alone. Experienced personal injury lawyers easily recognize manipulative and bad faith practices of big insurance. 

Contact our office today to speak with a trusted South Carolina personal injury attorney who will fight for your right to fair compensation and win against big insurance.  

man repairing motorcycle after accident

What Happens After a Motorcycle Accident in South Carolina?

One of the ways to explore the many scenic destinations in our state is by motorcycle. If you ride one, you might want to know what happens after a motorcycle accident in South Carolina. A South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney can advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on getting better.

How We Establish the Other Driver’s Liability

We cannot automatically sue the other driver from the motorcycle accident because car drivers are not always at fault in these collisions. We have to prove all four of these factors to hold the other driver accountable for your losses:

  • The other driver owed you a legal duty. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on public streets has an obligation to drive safely and obey the traffic laws.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care. It is negligence when someone’s conduct fails to measure up to the legal standard. Let’s say that the other driver ran a stop sign and crashed into you when you had the right-of-way. That driver was negligent because he failed to drive safely and obey the traffic laws.
  • The negligence caused the accident. The collision happened because of the driver’s careless act of running the stop sign.
  • You must have quantifiable losses. Physical injuries satisfy this required element.

When we can prove all four of these factors, we can go after the defendant for money damages. Sometimes more than one person is at fault in an accident. South Carolina follows “modified comparative fault,” which means that if you were 51 percent or more at fault, you will not get any compensation from the other parties. As long as you were less than 51 percent to blame, you can qualify for money damages.

How Helmets Affect Your Right to Compensation

South Carolina law only requires motorcyclists under the age of 21 to wear helmets. Not wearing a helmet cannot impact the percentage of fault, regardless of your age. If you were not wearing a helmet and you were under 21, that fact could reduce the amount of compensation you can get from the other driver.

The Settlement Value of Your South Carolina Motorcycle Accident

We cannot say how much money you might be eligible to pursue until we talk to you and investigate your accident. The amount of compensation you could go after will depend on the facts of your situation. Every motorcycle accident is different.

Here are some examples of the types of compensation we have won for our clients:

  • Damages for lost wages can replace earnings you lost, whether wages, salary, self-employment or other forms of regular income, because of your injuries.
  • You can usually include the reasonable cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries in your claim.
  • You might be able to include in your claim the value of property damage, like the cost of fixing or replacing your motorcycle.
  • Pain and suffering damages address the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced because of the collision and your injuries.
  • Punitive damages can be an option in cases of outrageous conduct on the part of the defendant. For example, if we can prove that the at-fault driver purposely went after you and intentionally crashed into you on your motorcycle, we might have a claim for punitive damages in addition to the other compensation.

A South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney can answer your questions and handle your claim for compensation from the at-fault party. Contact us today.

personal injury case

What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

It is not possible to say how much your personal injury case is worth before we talk to you and investigate your claim. Every personal injury case is different. Two people in the same car accident could have wildly different injury claim settlement values.

A South Carolina personal injury attorney could handle your case so that you can focus on getting better. After we complete our investigation of your damages, we can begin to answer your question of “What is my personal injury case worth?”

Factors That Can Impact the Monetary Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

The amount of compensation you can pursue for your losses will depend on the facts of your situation. If you got hurt because of someone else’s negligence, these things can affect the money damages you could seek:

  • The extent and severity of your injuries. A person who fractures three vertebrae and gets deep facial lacerations and third-degree burns is likely to get more compensation than someone who sprains a wrist. Our legal system places monetary importance on the amount of harm a person suffers.
  • How much it cost to treat your injuries. The person with the sprained wrist might have a trip to the urgent care center, doctor, or emergency room, with limited follow-up. The individual in the other scenario will face initial treatment at an emergency room or trauma center. He will need specialized care and therapy for the broken back. His burns will need skin grafts and ongoing treatment for several years. He will likely need plastic surgeries to minimize facial scarring for the lacerations
  • How much time you missed from work. One of the common categories of losses in personal injury cases is lost wages. Whether you missed paychecks from hourly wages, salary, self-employment, or another form of regular income, you have a financial loss. The more income you lose, the higher this aspect of your claim can be. High lost income claims encompass both the length of time you could not work because of your injuries and how much money you usually earn.
  • Your intangible losses. Some types of losses do not tend to come with a paper trail that makes it easy to measure them in terms of dollars. Still, these things have value and meaning. Some examples of intangible losses are disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pain and suffering.
  • How well you recuperated after your medical treatment. Usually, a sprained wrist heals within a matter of weeks or months with no residual problems. The other injured person might have paralysis from the multiple broken vertebrae and disfigurement from the burns and facial lacerations. He might not be able to live independently or support himself through gainful employment. Personal injury cases that cause devastating changes to the injured person’s life tend to have high financial worth.

These are but a few examples of the many factors that can influence the monetary value of your personal injury case. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can evaluate the financial value of your personal injury case. Contact us today.