As you limp out of the emergency room with a brand new set of stitches in your leg, you’re glad you swapped contact info with Fido’s owner, because someone needs to pay for the medical bills and the pain that you are being put through…
But now what? Do you call the police? Do you contact their insurance company? Do you send a demand letter? Do you file a lawsuit?
If someone else’s negligence has caused you harm, consulting with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Myrtle Beach is the first step to recouping the money you spent on medical bills, lost wages from missing work, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Commonly asked questions about PI law to help you determine if you’ve got a case.
1. What is personal injury law?
If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, PI law protects you and ensures that you are reimbursed for expenses related to your injury.
PI law prevents people from “taking matters into their own hands” by settling disputes in the courtroom. It helps ensure that people are not taken advantage by negligent or nefarious individuals or corporations, and ideally it allows people who have been wronged to find some measure of Justice.
Personal injury law also serves as a deterrent for people or corporations who put profits over the safety of others and it serves as a reminder to all to take care not to hurt the people around us.
2. How do I find a personal injury lawyer?
Word-of-mouth referrals are a great place to start when searching for a PI lawyer. You can also learn a lot of information about attorneys from their websites, media reports, and the SC bar’s website.
Most importantly, you should schedule face-to-face consultations with several attorneys to find the attorney you feel most comfortable with and can trust.
3. What is a personal injury claim?
PI claims have two parts—liability and damages. First, the person who caused you harm must be proven responsible or liable for your injuries. Second, the injury you sustained and the resulting medical bills, suffering, wages lost and any other damages must be attributed to the defendant’s negligence.
A PI claim might be in the form of a demand letter to the defendant or their insurance company, or it may be in the form of a lawsuit filed and served on the defendant. Either way, it is a demand for the money that is owed to you that is supported by the evidence, witnesses, and documentation of your case.
4. How much compensation will I get for a personal injury case?
Every case is unique, and compensation varies depending on the nature of your injuries, the nature of the incident that led to the injuries, whether you played any role in causing the injuries, who the defendant is, who your attorney is, and what jurisdiction your case is filed in.
Depending on the details of your case, you may receive compensation for many different categories of damages including:
- Medical treatment;
- Lost wages;
- Lost or damaged property;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Loss of consortium (ability to have a healthy relationship with spouse); and
- Punitive damages.
5. What does a personal injury attorney do?
A PI case can be overwhelming. You’ll likely find yourself dealing with doctors, experts, insurance companies, defense attorneys, judges, and court officials. Your attorney provides you support by:
- Determining how much your insurance claim is worth;
- Negotiating with insurance companies;
- Negotiating with the opposing attorney;
- Drafting pleadings and motions;
- Researching the law; and
- Keeping you informed about your case.
Most importantly, your PI lawyer’s job is to win your case whenever it is legally and ethically possible and to get you full compensation for your injuries.
6. Is a car accident a type of personal injury?
Yes. Auto accidents are the most common type of PI case. If a driver is not following the rules of the road and you are hurt because of his or her negligence, you should contact your personal injury lawyer immediately to begin the process of getting compensated.
7. Is an insurance claim a type of PI case?
Insurance is the source of compensation in most PI cases. Once your attorney has gathered the evidence that you will need to prove your claim, they will either send a demand letter to the insurance company or they will file a lawsuit that the insurance company will defend against.
8. Is medical malpractice a type of PI case?
Yes. If a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide competent care and you are injured as a result, you may be able to sue the doctors, hospital, or other providers.
9. Do personal injury cases settle after depositions?
PI cases can be settled at any time, from the first demand letter through the trial of the case pre-verdict. Some cases settle after the verdict in order to avoid a lengthy appeal process.
Some cases are settled quickly, but most defense attorneys will not settle the case until discovery has been completed including depositions of the witnesses. In many SC counties, mediation is mandatory – many cases will settle during the mediation process.
10. Should I accept a personal injury offer?
Whether or not you should accept a personal injury offer depends on many factors including the strength of your case, the extent of the damages you suffered, and what the defense is offering. This is a decision that should be made with the help of your PI attorney who is familiar with your case and the likelihood that you will be successful at trial.
11. How much are personal injury attorney fees?
Each attorney sets his or her own fees in their fee agreement, but most personal injury fees are paid on a contingency basis. For example, your attorney fees may be ⅓ of your recovery, or they could be more in a complex case. You will also be responsible for all expenses in your case.
Schedule a consultation with your personal injury lawyer to discuss the details of your case and to find out how much you can expect to pay.
12. Is there a personal injury settlement calculator?
You can find several PI settlement calculators online; however, most do not give an accurate depiction of the compensation you’re entitled to receive. To make sure you’re awarded the most from your claim, review your case with an attorney who is familiar with the facts of your case.
Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Coastal Law has offices in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, and Columbia SC. Helping people who have been injured is what we do, and our personal injury attorneys are available to answer your questions about how to get compensated in your case.
Call us today at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation about your case.