South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
A serious injury is a life-changing event.
It can be overwhelming and you might wonder how you'll get your life back on track.
John Peace and the Peace Law Firm can help.
Our team will fight to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
Let's talk today - consultations are free.
Learn More About Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina and North Carolina
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), approximately 550,000 people in our state seek medical assistance for injuries each year.
For victims and their families, dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident can be deeply challenging. Medical bills may be piling up and you could miss time at work. You may have options available. Through a personal injury claim, injured victims can seek financial compensation for their damages.
At the Peace Law Firm, our Greenville, SC personal injury lawyer commits to helping injured victims protect their legal rights and maximize their financial recovery. We know how to hold negligent defendants and insurance companies accountable. If you or your loved one is facing injuries from an accident in Greenville, SC, please contact us for a free review of your case.
Personal Injury Cases We Handle
SC injury lawyers know that personal injuries happen through various kinds of accidents. Fortunately, we have experience litigating all kinds of personal injury cases, including:
- Car accidents,
- Slip and falls/premises liability,
- Pedestrian accidents/hit and runs,
- Truck accidents,
- Dog bites,
- Wrongful deaths, and
- Whiplash injuries/concussions.
Even if you don’t see your specific situation covered here, we’ve probably seen it before. Reach out to our personal injury lawyer in Greenville, SC to learn more about our experience with your kind of personal injury case.
The Steps to Take After An Accident
Following a serious accident, it is imperative that injured victims know the proper steps to take to protect their well-being and their legal rights. Sadly, many victims make avoidable mistakes after an accident. Even a relatively minor error could undermine your personal injury claim. If you or your loved one was in an accident and is dealing with injuries, please be sure to do the following three things:
1. Report the Accident
Immediately report all accidents that result in serious injuries to the appropriate parties. In car accidents, for example, South Carolina Code § 56-5-1260 requires you to contact the local police department or the South Carolina Highway Patrol if you’re the driver of a vehicle that causes injury or death. The statute also requires that you do this “by the quickest means of communication.” For example, for a Greenville car accident, you would have to report the car accident to the Greenville Police Department over the phone. Make sure you also notify the responsible insurance companies.
2. Seek Medical Attention
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you need to see a doctor. Certainly, in some situations, the victim will need emergency medical care. Though, even if you believe that your injuries are only ‘moderate’, you still need to get yourself checked. You cannot bring a personal injury case without valid medical records.
3. Render Aid and Exchange Information (Where Required)
In some situations, you’ll have to give aid and/or your personal information to other involved parties after the accident. In the context of car accidents, for example, South Carolina law requires you to render aid and exchange your information after some car accidents. Specifically, South Carolina Code § 56-5-1230 requires you to give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other parties involved. The law also requires you to help anyone who’s been injured in the accident if it is necessary. This might include carrying the person, calling 911, or making travel arrangements for medical care.
4. Document the Scene
If you are able, take pictures and video of the scene of the accident. This includes things like vehicles, the surrounding area, skid marks, traffic signs, and injuries. It's also important to collect contact information for any witnesses. Your attorney can use this information to strengthen your claim.
5. Contact a Lawyer
Serious injuries require professional representation. Do not go up against the defendant and their insurance company alone.
Whether your injuries come from a slip and fall, a commercial truck crash, or any other type of accident, you need a qualified personal injury lawyer on your side. Talk to a lawyer before giving a statement to any insurance company: your lawyer will protect your rights.
Handling Insurance Companies
An insurance company is almost always involved in a personal injury case. This means that it is almost inevitable that an insurance company will contact you shortly after the accident. When that happens, you’ll hear the voice of a representative who seems caring, concerned, and interested in helping you out.
Don’t fall for this trick.
Insurance companies never profit from paying out for accident claims. In fact, paying out on insurance claims is one of their greatest expenses. This means that they are never on your side. On the contrary, they are incentivized to minimize your losses however they can. They have a variety of tactics to do this. One strategy insurance companies use is persuading accident victims to sign meager settlement agreements right after an accident. They are also willing to intimidate accident victims to get their way.
Consequently, follow these five key strategies when dealing with insurance companies.
Speak as Little as Possible
Insurance claim representatives can use your own statements after an accident to deny you coverage or minimize your compensation. For that reason, they’ll try to trick you into talking as much as possible after an accident, hoping that you’ll make a mistake in the process. Avoid that trick by saying only what is strictly necessary. Calmly and clearly communicate the essential facts of the accident. Do not voice any observations about the accident, admit fault, or make accusations.
Do Not Sign Any Documents
An insurance company will probably ask you to sign various statements and documents after an accident. Many of these documents restrict your right to pursue a claim against the insurance company or the other parties to the accident. Therefore, do not sign anything without first consulting an attorney. If you are given documents to sign, tell the insurer that you’ll get back to them after you speak with your lawyer.
Save any emails from insurance representatives. Make notes of your phone calls with them. Ask them to send you written follow-up messages or summaries of phone calls. Store these records in a safe place.
Retain a Personal Injury Attorney in SC
It’s simply not a good idea to go up against an insurance company on your own. They have training and extensive practice in persuading or fooling people into giving up their rights. Instead, contact an attorney right after your accident. Doing so will save you a lot of trouble and maximize your chances of getting fair compensation. Ideally, you’ll have hired a lawyer by the time an insurance company reaches out to you.
South Carolina Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
In South Carolina, one must file personal injury lawsuits within three years. (SC Code § 15-3-530). If the accident caused injuries, and you do not open your case before the deadline, then the Court will dismiss your case. While three years may seem like plenty of time, you should never wait to take legal action. Evidence drives personal injury cases.
When you hire a Greenville personal injury attorney immediately after your accident, it will be far easier to gather the evidence that you need to put together a strong legal case.
How to Establish Liability in South Carolina
South Carolina's comparative negligence rule guides most personal injury claims. To hold a defendant responsible for an accident, you must prove that they were at ‘fault’ for your accident. Fault is generally based on negligence. To establish negligence, you must prove that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty of care;
- The breach of duty contributed to the accident; and
- You suffered real injuries.
What actually constitutes negligence? It depends entirely on the context surrounding the accident.
If a defendant acted in a reckless or careless manner, they can generally be liable for any resulting injuries. Some examples of negligence include a driver running a red light and causing an accident or a driver hitting a pedestrian because they aren't paying attention.
Other examples include things like a business failing to mop up a spill, thereby exposing customers to a major slip and fall accident risk. If you're facing serious injuries, speak to a Greenville personal injury attorney immediately.
Your attorney will be able to conduct a comprehensive investigation of your claim. They will determine who, if anyone, is legally responsible for your injuries.
Compensation Available for Injured Victims
Under South Carolina Code section 15-38-15, injured victims may be able to hold a negligent defendant liable for the full extent of their damages. A personal injury settlement should account for both direct financial losses (such as a hospital bill) and for intangible, non-economic damages (such as the victim’s pain and suffering).
Notably, insurers handle the majority of personal injury lawsuits. These companies fight aggressively to pay out as little as possible in compensation to injured victims. In settlement negotiations, insurers consistently undervalue personal injury damages. At the Peace Law Firm, we have the skills and legal experience needed to help plaintiffs maximize their recovery.
We can help you seek damages for:
- Emergency medical care;
- Medical bills;
- Rehabilitative therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Long-term disability; and
- Wrongful death damages.
Few personal injury cases actually go through a full trial. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of personal injury claims settle outside of litigation.
When we take on a personal injury claim, our legal team works tirelessly to get our clients a full settlement offer. We are always willing to take a claim to court if the defendant or their insurance company refuses to offer our client fair compensation.
Contact Our South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today
At the Peace Law Firm, we represent injured victims. If you or your loved one faces serious injuries from an accident, we can help. To schedule a free, fully confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today by calling (864) 485-6970 or contacting us online. Our law firm is in Greenville and we serve victims in South Carolina and North Carolina.