Even if you are a generally cautious person, accidents happen. Fortunately, most of these incidents do not result in severe consequences. However, an unexpected accident caused by a reckless party could devastate your finances, health, and relationships.
If you believe someone else’s negligence contributed to your accident, state law allows you to seek compensation for your losses. A Walterboro personal injury lawyer could help you determine whether you have a valid case against the negligent party. Reach out to our dedicated legal team at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda to begin fighting for restitution.
Common Accidents Caused by Negligence
Most personal injury cases are governed by the concept of negligence. Everyone has a duty to behave in a reasonable manner to avoid foreseeable injury to other people. When someone breaches that duty and causes harm to another person, they can be considered negligent. Some of the most common negligence-based accidents we handle include:
- Vehicle collisions
- Medical errors
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Roadway defects
- Bicycle accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Defective product accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
If you were injured in any of these types of accidents, you should reach out to a legal professional right away. A skilled personal injury attorney serving Walterboro could determine whether someone else was at fault and help you seek compensation through a legal claim.
Damages Available in Walterboro Injury Cases
When a person suffers an injury due to someone else’s negligence, they could be entitled to monetary damages. The legal term monetary damages refers to the money the at-fault party must pay to someone they injured through their negligence.
The two main types of monetary or money damages are compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are always available if the loss is proven, while punitive damages are only available for more egregious types conduct.
There are two categories of compensatory damages—economic or special damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to reimburse you for accident-related losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, future medical costs, and diminished earnings capacity.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for your mental anguish, physical pain, and reduced quality of life following the accident. A knowledgeable accident attorney could help you value your economic and non-economic damages in a claim.
Punitive damages are meant to punish at-fault parties for egregious behavior. Pursuant to South Carolina Code § 15-32-520, a jury may only consider awarding punitive damages if your lawyer demands it in the pleadings.
Punitive damages may be warranted if the at-fault party’s conduct was willful, wanton, or reckless. The proof requirement is high – clear and convincing evidence. A local legal professional can help you determine whether these damages may be sought in your personal injury case.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the timeframe you have to file a lawsuit. In South Carolina, you must file a negligence lawsuit within three years of the date you sustained the injury, although for some types of claims a discovery rule applies. A special discovery rule applies to cases where a foreign body like a surgical sponge is left inside a patient.
Different time frames apply to intentional versus negligent wrongs like false imprisonment or slander. These cases have to be filed within two years. When the negligent party in your case is a state or a local governmental entity, that statute of limitations is also only two years. It can be very difficult to know if an at-fault party is owned or employed by a state or local entity.
If a minor is injured, different rules apply to different types of cases in setting the outer time limit for filing suit. If the minor was injured through medical negligence, a case must be filed no later than seven years after the wrongful event or one year after the minor’s eighteenth birthday, whichever is earlier. There are also special procedures that have to be followed before a medical malpractice suit can be filed. In most other cases, a lawsuit on behalf of the minor must be filed within a year after his or her 18th birthday.
Determining the proper deadline to pursue a claim is very complex and those rules must be strictly complied with. Our diligent Walterboro attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda stay up to date with these laws and can make sure that you timely file your personal injury claim.
Seek Legal Help From a Walterboro Personal Injury Attorney
If you are recovering from an accidental injury, you should make healing your priority. Spare yourself unnecessary stress by working with our seasoned legal team at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda.
Our Walterboro personal injury lawyers have the skill to negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to court. Schedule a consultation soon to learn more about how we could help you.