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Personal injury law is a critical tool for those who have been injured due to the actions of another person. Working with a Sumter personal injury lawyer, though, can often be critical to ensuring that you take full advantage of that tool. Personal injuries are caused by a broad range of incidents, such as car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. What makes an injury a personal injury is that someone is hurt as a result of another party’s negligent behavior.
When these injuries happen, they create costs, and those who suffer them must bear these expenses. Medical bills often result when a physical injury is involved. There could also be lost wages from missing work due to the injury, property damages, and a host of psychological costs as well.
The party responsible for the injury owes the injured for these losses, and a personal injury claim is often the most effective means of making that happen. With help from a team like Axelrod & Associates, someone who’s been injured can be certain that a comprehensive effort to get them their just compensation can be pursued.
Whether your case ends up going to trial or resolved in a negotiated settlement, working with a Sumter personal injury lawyer can often be crucial to getting fair compensation for what you’ve had to endure. In that pursuit, your lawyer can perform a few different critical tasks.
Your lawyer often needs to begin with a full investigation of the circumstances that led to the injuries that you suffered. The primary function of this investigation is to understand who is at fault for the injury and then gather evidence in support of that claim.
However, the defendant may attempt to claim that you were actually at fault for the injuries. This could later be used to reduce or eliminate your damages award from a trial. An attorney can, therefore also look for evidence that can be used to defend their clients from any allegations that they were at fault.
Furthermore, your lawyer in Sumter, SC can gather proof that your injuries were directly caused by the accident and are as severe as you claim. This can defend against accusations that you’re exaggerating the injury or that it was not caused by the incident that started the case.
A settlement has some distinct advantages, primarily as it can eliminate the risk of a judgment not going your way, which may happen in a trial. It could also get you the funds months or even years sooner than otherwise may be the case. However, to agree to a settlement, it must be for the right price.
Letting a lawyer negotiate for you can be valuable, as it often leads to the other side taking the situation more seriously. When a lawyer negotiates on your behalf, it makes it perfectly clear that going to court is an absolute possibility if an agreement cannot be reached. This could push negotiations in a positive direction.
Finally, a personal injury lawyer is responsible for representing their clients in court and making their case. We can demonstrate the liability that the other party has and how that created the costs you’re now seeking compensation for. We can also defend against claims that you are liable for the incident.
To win a personal injury claim, you and your attorney must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. It’s proving this that makes the other party liable for the costs that you face. To do this, your lawyer can use whatever evidence may be helpful, including:
Demonstrating negligence requires proving three components:
In a personal injury claim, your lawyer must prove that the costs that you are seeking restitution for are a direct result of the injuries that you suffered. This is usually shown using bills and other documentation. The compensation for these costs is paid out in two forms of damages.
Economic damages are those which are generally easy to calculate because of their clear financial element. They cover losses like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Future costs are covered as well. If your injuries will require ongoing treatment, that’s addressed through these damages. Additionally, if your injuries are going to prevent a return to work, the lost earning capacity will also be addressed.
Non-economic damages are those which are not as clearly identifiable, as they are often more emotional and psychological in nature. These include pain and suffering, a loss of enjoyment in life, or mental anguish. The money isn’t a cure for these losses but may be able to help manage the impact they make.
A: Generally, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims in South Carolina is three years. This means that, in most cases, you must file a claim within three years of whatever incident led to the injury.
However, there are exceptions that could extend the window, such as if a minor child was involved or injuries were discovered later. There are also those that could shorten the timeline, for instance, if the government is liable. It’s important to work with a lawyer to understand what deadlines are relevant in your case.
A: There are times when a fair settlement can’t be reached, and it’s necessary to go to court. You might also be able to obtain more compensation in court. However, in many cases, a settlement may be desirable, as it often results in much quicker payment than going through a full court case. It also eliminates the element of risk that’s involved in taking a case to trial. Which option makes sense in your case will depend on the specifics of your situation.
A: Punitive damages are meant to serve as a kind of punishment for the actions of the defendant, and they generally aren’t awarded in most personal injury claims. To be awarded, there must be something about the defendant’s actions that was malicious or otherwise egregious, which is not the situation in most personal injury claims. Your lawyer can give you an idea of whether they are a possibility in your situation.
A: Comparative negligence rules allow the defendant to argue that you were at fault for your own injuries. The court will then assign a percentage that they believe reflects all parties’ share of fault. If you are more than 50% at fault, then you will not be able to collect any damages at all. For any share less than 50%, your damages award will be reduced proportionately to your share of the fault.
A personal injury that’s caused by someone else’s negligence can be difficult to process. As you look at all the bills adding up and take stock of everything that the injury has cost you, it’s easy to feel like there’s something fundamentally unjust about the situation. You’re not wrong to feel that way, and that injustice is why the civil code addresses these situations. These costs are the responsibility of those who caused the injuries, and the law provides a means of holding them accountable for that.
Usually, though, it’s going to be someone’s insurance company that you will seek restitution from. However, they will work hard to keep from paying you the compensation you deserve. The risk of going to court can often help nudge these negotiations in the right direction and, if necessary, serve as an effective means of seeking everything that you’re owed.
You’re much more likely to put the right pressure on these companies, and be prepared for the possibility of going to court, by working with a Sumter personal injury law firm like Axelrod & Associates. We work hard to get our clients fair compensation for everything that they’ve endured. Contact us to discuss your personal injury situation.
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