Catastrophic personal injuries often lead to pain and anguish, as well as missed work and loss of income. These types of injuries often require extensive medical care, resulting in insurmountable medical expenses. You deserve maximum compensation so that you can recover from your injuries successfully. To learn more and for a free case evaluation, please call the experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, at 803-799-9400.
- What is a Personal Injury Claim?
- Finding Out If You Have a Personal Injury Case
- The Injury Claim Process
- Personal Injury Compensation
- Who is At-Fault?
- Choosing our Injury Attorneys
- Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
- Your FREE Case Review
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury is a dispute that arises when someone suffers a serious injury caused by someone else. A personal injury case can involve any part of the body – some of the most common injuries in these types of claims are:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Burn injury
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Dog bites
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Construction accidents
- Catastrophic events
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Occupational illness or terminal disease
These types of injuries are often the result of vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and accidents at unsafe premises. The lawyers at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases.
Finding Out If You Have a Personal Injury Case
The only way to know for sure whether you have a personal injury claim is to contact our experienced lawyers. We will review the details of your case with you, at no charge and without obligation involved. We want to learn about the circumstances of your injury and, similarly, we want you to be able to learn about us.
We put all of our resources and knowledge to work in your case. We have an extensive network of experts and investigators to utilize in your case, and we offer the individualized services and attention you deserve.
The Injury Claim Process
Each case will go a little differently. Rely on our compassionate attorneys to be at your side, every step of the way. Here are some of the most basic phases in a typical claim process:
- Consultation. Meet with our attorneys to find out if you have a case. We'll let you know if there is anything you should bring along, such as medical bills, police reports or letters from an insurance company. You may want to think about and write down your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget to bring up anything on your mind.
- Hiring our attorneys. If you have a case and move forward with our representation, we will explain what happens next, including what you can expect in the weeks and months ahead.
- Resolving your claim. We will begin the process of pursuing maximum compensation for the claim. The exact path is different in each case.
- Staying in touch to find out what's happening. We are available throughout the process to answer any questions or concerns, and to provide updates on where your case stands.
The injury lawyers at our firm are personally committed to providing outstanding client service. We make sure you get the communication you need and deserve.
Personal Injury Compensation
Success can never be guaranteed in a claim, but we pledge to fight tirelessly for the best possible outcome. As you can see from our current verdicts and settlements, when compensation is recovered, it is often awarded for damages including:
- Medical expenses, present and future
- Loss of wages and other income
- Pain and suffering
You deserve to be compensated for each and every way the injury has impacted your life. Catastrophic injuries can be truly life-altering.
Who is At-Fault?
Part of what we do is hold the person responsible for your injury accountable. Examples of liable parties in injury cases include:
- Other motorists
- Other professionals
- Other people
- Government agencies
Although these are some common examples, each case is unique. When you visit our attorneys for your consultation, we will review the details of what happened. We know how to determine who is liable for causing your injuries.
Choosing our Injury Attorneys
There are many injury lawyers to choose from in South Carolina. How do you know which one will be the best fit for you? Please consider the factors below as you consider an attorney for your personal injury case.
Experience: Your lawyer should have years of experience handling personal injury cases. Experience informs your attorney as he or she works to resolve your case with the best possible outcome.
Resources: You should be treated with individualized attention, but your lawyer should have the resources and access to experts that is common with large firms. At Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, we have extensive resources to put to work in your case:
- Courtroom experience
- In-house media and technology department
- Network of highly qualified experts
How you are treated: Don't underestimate the importance of how you are treated. You should feel good about the communication between you and your lawyer. You should feel as though you are receiving individualized attention and that your questions and concerns are being heard.
Results: All the experience in the world isn't significant if the lawyer cannot demonstrate any results. Ask the attorney to show you past verdicts and settlements that have been achieved in cases similar to yours.
Testimonials and client reviews: The value of past clients' experiences cannot be overstated. Testimonials and reviews are first-hand accounts of what it is like to work with the law firm, and although results cannot be guaranteed, you can get a good idea of the kind of results the lawyer is capable of producing.
We handle cases individually and thoughtfully, with the care they deserve. Our attorneys handle all aspects of the case, including preparing it to go to trial if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
What damages can I recover for a South Carolina personal injury claim?
When you are injured because of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your financial loss and also for other damages, if they are a direct result of your personal injury. Typically, compensation is awarded to pay you for things including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What are financial losses in a personal injury claim?
Each case is unique, but a "financial loss" may refer to any of the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses, including prescription drug expense
- Past, current, and future lost wages, if you are unable to work due to injury
- Loss of future income or earning potential
- The cost of hiring others to take care of you and your home if you are unable to
- Home modifications if needed to accommodate disability due to injury
- Vehicle purchase or modifications if needed to accommodate disability due to injury
- The cost of hiring others to take care of you and your home if you are unable to
- Property that was damaged as a result of someone else’s negligence
Can I recover for pain or other non-financial results of a personal injury claim?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to collect compensation for:
- Emotional and mental distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Is there a limit on how much compensation I can collect in a personal injury claim?
There are laws in South Carolina that limit compensation in certain circumstances. Both financial loss and other losses may be limited if the negligent party was a government entity or government employee. There also may be limits, depending on the circumstances, when the personal injury is from a medical malpractice claim or a nursing home abuse or neglect claim. Of course, what you can collect also depends on the financial worth of the negligent party, the insurance coverage available, and many other circumstances.
What are the damage caps?
By statute, there are three types of damage caps in South Carolina. There are caps on damages against charitable institutions and governmental entities, and also caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice and nursing home claims.
How do the governmental damage caps work?
If an injury is caused by the negligence of a governmental employee or entity, the total recoverable damages in a lawsuit are capped at $300,000 per claim and $600,000 total for an adverse event. If a government employee, in the scope of his employment, is at fault in a car wreck injuring several people there is a $300,000 damage limit for each person and a total limit for all claims of $600,000.
Different rules apply if a government physician is negligent. In that case the cap for total damages is $1.2 million.
These caps apply no matter the severity of the injuries and even if medical bills and economic loss far exceed the cap.
If there is a death, damages may be recovered up to $300,000 under the South Carolina wrongful death statute but, if there is conscious pain and suffering or medical expenses incurred prior to death, a separate claim of up to $300,000 may be made.
How does the damage cap apply to charitable institutions?
The damage caps apply to charitable institutions – non-profits – the same as it does to governmental entities.
However, in the case of non-profits, if there is proof that an employee acted with conscious disregard, a claim may be pursued against the individual irrespective of the caps. Recovery against any personal assets or any private insurance may also be available.
What is the cap on non-economic damages?
In lawsuits for medical malpractice or against a nursing home there is no limit on claims for economic loss but there is a cap on claims for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, mental distress, disfigurement, impairment, or grief and sorrow in a wrongful death case.
The non-economic damage cap started as $350,000 in 2006 and increases or decreases each year according to the Consumer Price Index. The cap in 2011 was $403,115.
The non-economic damage cap is applied per claimant. Where there are multiple at fault parties the total cap against all parties is $1,209,345.
Does my spouse have a claim?
Depending on the circumstances and the severity of your personal injury, your spouse may be able to collect compensation for the impact on the marital relations and relationship. This is called a loss of consortium claim.
What if I was also negligent? Can I still recover compensation for my injuries?
Depending on how your negligence compares with the negligence of the third party, you still may be able to collect compensation but in a reduced amount.
Your FREE Case Review
Ready to find out if you have a personal injury claim? For a FREE case evaluation, please call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda at 803-799-9400. We proudly fight on behalf of people from across the state of South Carolina, and we have offices in Kingstree, Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Marion.