We’re sorry to hear you may have been injured. Are you trying to understand how to file a personal injury claim? In South Carolina, there are a few particulars you need to know.
First, it’s important to document anything along the way. It can be hard to remember when you’re injured, but good records will help you. First, if you’ve been hurt, seek help and get treatment. Once you’ve had medical care, it’s important to understand the laws as each state has different rules such as statute of limitations.
If you or someone you trust is able to, take pictures of the scene, as they’ll help your case. Any receipts, medical bills, or other piece of paperwork or document should be saved in a safe place. There are two different aspects when it comes to injury. Did it happen at work? Or did it not happen at work. That matters, because it comes down to which type of insurance will cover you.
If it happened at your workplace, there’s most likely a liability and workman’s compensation path you need to follow. If it’s a personal injury that didn’t happen at work, then regular insurance or commercial insurance of the negligent party will most likely cover your expenses.
The smart thing to do is speak with an attorney. They can help you with the steps involved and make the process easier and more streamlined for you. They’re used to dealing with situations like this. You’ll also need to give a statement to any authorities and the insurance company.
South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations in most cases of personal injury. There are extenuating circumstances, like not realizing you were injured right away. Say your symptoms set in a few days after your accident. Rather than the statute of limitations starting the date of your accident, it would start on the date you discovered you were injured.
So, let’s do a quick repeat of things you’ll want to do:
- Get medical help
- Report your injury to any authorities needed (ex: work related)
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident for negligence issues
- Keep records of medical expenses, statements, or any other documents
- Contact a personal injury lawyer if you feel you’ll need one
- Give a statement to the insurance company
Lawsuit vs. Claim
We’re not going to get into the details of filing a lawsuit. If you’re considering a lawsuit, seek the expertise of a law firm who handles these cases. Instead, let’s talk about claims. This is when you put a claim in with the insurance company due to an injury, or you negotiate with the insurance company of the negligent party. Either way, a personal injury claim is the first step in getting things taken care of.
What is considered personal injury in this case? It can be bodily damage, property damage, or emotional damage. Earlier we mentioned the statute of limitations. This is where the three-year period comes in. If you wait until after that time has passed, and then file a claim, it will be denied. You’ve passed the allowed amount of time South Carolina says you have to put in a claim.
Who’s at Fault? It Matters
There’s a rule in South Carolina that looks at who is at fault. Are you partially responsible for your injury? In this case, the assessment of the case changes. You may not be able to get the full amount of your expenses covered. This is called comparative fault.
If you’re less than 50% at fault, you still may get some compensation, but the moment it goes over that 50% amount, and you were actually the biggest part of the reason you got injured, you may not be compensated at all.
There are also financial limitations in place in the state, so if you have questions regarding a personal injury claim in South Carolina, it would be smart to at least speak with an attorney who can guide you in what to do next.