If you or a loved one is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit due to a car crash, slip and fall, or any personal injury in Columbia SC, you may be wondering "What is my lawsuit worth and should I even file a case at all?" The answer comes down to "damages" and calculating  what your injuries have cost you and your family monetarily, physically, and psychologically
 
In a personal injury lawsuit, financial damages are paid to an injured person (the plaintiff) by the people or company legally liable for the incident (the defendant, usually covered by an insurer). A settlement can occur after a negotiated agreement between the parties, their insurance companies, and their lawyers.  Alternatively, a judge or jury can award damages following a court trial in which a party is found liable. 
 
In this article, we are going to look at the different kinds of damages typical in most personal injury cases and how a personal injury damages award can be influenced by the plaintiff's action (or inaction).
 
 
Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
 
Many personal injury damages are classified as "compensatory," this means that they are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for what was suffered due to the accident or injury. This involves putting a dollar amount on all the consequences of an incident. Some compensatory damages are relatively simple to quantify such as reimbursement for property damage and the injured plaintiff's medical bills. But it's a lot more challenging to put a monetary value on pain and suffering or the inability to enjoy regular life events because of physical limitations caused by accident-related injuries.
 
Here's a list of the various kinds of compensatory damages that are standard in many personal injury cases.
 
Income
You may be awarded compensation for the accident's impact on your salary and wages. This includes income you've already lost and also the money you that you would have been able to make in the future, if not for the incident. In personal injury legalese, a damage award based on later  income is described as compensation for your "loss of earning capacity."
 
Emotional suffering
Typically linked with more severe accidents, emotional distress damages are intended to compensate for a personal injury plaintiff for the psychological impact of an injury. For example, fear, anxiety, and even sleep loss due to the accident. In some states, emotional distress is part of any "pain and suffering" damage that is given to a personal injury plaintiff.
 
Medical treatment
A personal injury damages award usually covers the cost of medical care associated with the accident, reimbursement for medical treatment you or a loved one have received any compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you'll require in the future due to the accident.
 
Pain and suffering 
You may be entitled to receive compensation for pain and severe discomfort that you have suffered caused by the accident and its immediate aftermath and also for any ongoing pain that can be associated with the incident. 
 
Property loss 
If any cars or other items were damaged because of the accident, you'd probably be entitled to compensation for repairs or reimbursement for the fair market value of the property that was lost.
 
Loss of consortium 
In personal injury lawsuits, "loss of consortium" damages usually refer to the impact the injuries have on the plaintiff's relationship with their spouse. For instance, the lack of companionship or the inability to keep a sexual relationship also some states consider the separate impact on the relationship between a parent and their children when a person is injured. In some instances, loss of consortium damages is given directly to the affected family member rather than the injured plaintiff.
 
Loss of enjoyment 
When injuries produced by accident keep you or a loved one from enjoying day-to-day activities including exercise, hobbies and other recreational activities, you may be entitled to get "loss of enjoyment" damages.
 
 
 
Punitory Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
 
In cases where the defendant's behavior is considered particularly outrageous or extremely careless, a personal injury plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages along with any compensatory damages award. 
Punitive damages are given to the injured plaintiff. The goal of these types of costs is to punish the defendant for their conduct. 
 
Contributory negligence
 In the handful of states that follow the concept of "contributory negligence" for personal injury cases, you may not be capable of recovering any compensation at all if you're considered partially to blame for the incident.
 
Related negligence 
If you or a loved one is at fault (even partially) for the accident that caused your injuries, the odds are that any damage award will reflect that. This is because most states adhere to a "comparative negligence" standard that combines damages to a degree of fault in a personal injury lawsuit.
 
 
After the accident: failure to decrease damages. 
The law in most states expects the plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits to take sensible measures to reduce or "mitigate" the financial impact of the harm due to the accident.  This is the case in South Carolina, including Columbia SC. If an injured plaintiff unreasonably allows damages to continue (by failing to get necessary medical treatment after an incident and causing their injuries to become much worse), a damages award might be diminished. 
 
 
Bill Connor is a Personal Injury Attorney in Orangeburg South Carolina.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, call The Bill Connor Law Firm today! 

 
 
Accidents can happen at any time.  No matter how good the driver, a person can still be involved in a crash and sometimes left with a totaled vehicle and serious personal injuries. This is particularly the case in Columbia, South Carolina which was ranked the second worst in the nation for drivers. While your insurance is intended to protect you against financial consequences that could break the bank, you could still end up on the hook for medical bills and car repairs. Being informed about what do if in an accident before it happens is the smart way to protect yourself. Here's a list of things you need to know if you or a loved one is involved in an accident in Columbia SC.
 
The first thing you want to do when a collision occurs is to check for injuries among those involved. That includes all passengers who were riding in your vehicle and everyone in the other automobile. If there has been any apparent physical injuries, immediately call 911. It's also important to remember that an internal injury can potentially be life-threatening and waiting to get help could make the situation worse. You should get checked by EMS after a car accident have record of your physical condition and ensure you don't have injuries you are unaware. 
 
Then, of course, you should always report the accident to the authorities.  This is the case even when an accident seems relatively minor. An officer will come to the scene to fill out a report, or you may be able to file one at your local precinct. This is important to have the record for your insurance claim or if anyone were to bring a claim against you. 
 
When completing the report, it’s crucial to be as detailed as possible and include everything you can remember. It’s also a good idea to get a copy of the report for your records, in case you end up in court later on.
 
Always take pictures of all the cars involved in the incident as soon as possible, noting any damage and how they’re positioned including photos of the area, including traffic signs or signals, lane markings, trees and anything you believe may have aided to the crash. Make a note of where in Columbia the accident occurred, the time of day, which direction you were heading and how fast you were going if possible.
 
Sometimes the other driver will tell you they don’t want to get their insurance company involved, but it's essential that you exchange the relevant information make sure to get their full name, address, and phone number as well as the name of their insurance company. Write down the car’s make, model and tag number and make sure they have all of your information as well. You should also get the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident which may be needed later on as proof.
 
If it’s possible, you should call your insurance company while you’re still at the scene of the accident. The agent you talk to should be able to tell you what you need to do next to file a claim. They should advise you in what kind of things you don’t want to do, which would include admitting guilt or signing anything that hasn’t first been reviewed by your insurer.
 
Once you’ve alerted the insurance company and begin the claims process, continue to document everything that happens. If you were injured, for instance, it’s a wise idea to keep copies of your doctor’s reports and medical bills.
 
It’s also vital to hold on to any receipts for all car repairs you pay for out-of-pocket. If the other motorist or their insurance company tries to contact you, remember to make a note of the call and politely refer them to the adjuster who is managing your claim or your lawyer. 
 
When a car accident happens, it’s up to the insurance companies to try and determine who ’s liable and what each party is responsible for financially. While it’s generally in the best interest of both sides to settle, there are situations where one person may decide to take the dispute to court. You should always speak with an experienced attorney following a car accident. 
 
Never make an admission of fault at the scene of the accident, as they admission can and will be related in court to your detriment.  Insurance companies will normally not settle claims in favor of a party who made an admission.  Even if you think you may have done something wrong, the other driver may be more at fault. 
 
The more you know, the more prepared you will be if you are involved in an accident. 
 
 
 

 

When someone you know has been injured, it can be frustrating and leave you feeling overwhelmed, confused and uncertain in how to proceed or what to do.  One of the most important things to do is find a qualified Personal Injury Attorney serving the Columbia SC area. This greatly helps you to proceed with most types of injury claims, and can be a very valuable resource throughout the injury claim process. Not only will you no longer have to worry about all the aggravating details of proceeding with a claim on your own but you will be able to rest easy knowing that The Bill Connor Law Firm is here for you to make sure you get the proper treatment you deserve. 
 
Personal Injury Claims including the physical, mental or emotional injuries which are a result of negligence on behalf of another individual such as a person or business. Personal injury claims should be made as quickly as possible since most states have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a claim.  The normal South Carolina statute of limitations is three years for most situation, but can be as little as two years if it involves a government entity.
 
There is a wide range of accidents bringing grounds for a personal injury claim in Columbia SC. The four most well-known types of accidents are automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, premises liability, and product liability (also known as defective products). Your lawyer will be able to assist you in figuring out who was at fault in the accident and whether or not you have a viable case. 
 
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be complex, so it's always best to consult with a personal injury lawyer before proceeding. An attorney will evaluate your injury claim and be able to guild you through every step of the claim process. Moreover, most personal injury lawyers are paid by contingency, and therefore not paid unless they resolve the case with money going to you. 

 

Semi-Truck Accident Claims in Columbia SC

A vehicle collision with an 18-wheeler in Columbia SC is a traumatic experience, which can leave victims with critical, life-changing injuries.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured because of a semi-truck accident in Columbia SC, it’s crucial to know what to do after you've been involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer.  Importantly, how to prepare your personal injury insurance claim for greatest compensation.
 
When a big rig hits your vehicle, the first and most important thing to do is call 911 for help (ask someone else to call if you’ve been injured).
The dispatcher will need to know your location and that you’ve been in an accident with a semi-truck.  The dispatcher will also need to know all the require help you need, so tell the dispatcher if anyone else is hurt, trapped, or if anyone has been thrown from their automobile. The dispatcher will need to know if there are any hazards at the scene such as, leaking fuel, if there are any downed power lines, or if the semi-truck that hit you is carrying any dangerous cargo.
 
Never to refuse medical care. When medical help arrives, the police will begin to secure the scene, and medical responders will evaluate each person for injuries. It is critical not to refuse medical treatment at the scene for multiple reasons. Some injuries are apparent, for example, bleeding wounds and broken bones, but there could also be potentially life-threatening injuries, like internal bleeding or head trauma, which are not apparent.
 
Sometimes shock and excitement can mask injury symptoms. You should tell the paramedics about every symptom, no matter how small. If the paramedics want to take you directly to the hospital go with them to be on the safe side. Rejecting or delaying medical treatment after an accident will harm any future legal claim for compensation.  The insurance company may use your rejection or delay to deny your injury claim, alleging that your wounds are not associated to the collision.
 
If you did not go to the hospital from the scene of the accident, then you should at least have a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If your doctor is unable to see you the day of the crash then try to find the closest emergency department or urgent care center.
 
Always make sure you (or someone else depending on the situation) get the truck driver's information.
Always exchange information with the truck driver including full names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and any other relevant contact information. You can also ask to see the other person's driver’s license. Many states require drivers to show their driver's license after an accident. Semi-truck drivers should have a different driver’s license, so pay close attention.
 
Other important things to remember when involved in a wreck with a tractor-trailer in Columbia SC, is that you’ll need specific information concerning the truck, including:
 
The license plate number of the cab
The name, address, and contact information of the truck driver, if another person other than the driver owns the cab of the truck then get their information as well. 
The trucker's insurance information
The company that the driver works for
Gather evidence from the accident such as pictures and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses
 
If you can try and collect as much additional evidence as you safely can including:
 
Pictures: Use your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the accident. Always include photos of the truck and your car and the point of impact on the vehicles.
Also, try to take photos or videos of skid marks, road conditions, and damage to the surrounding area.
 
Notes: Write down your observations of the accident, be as detailed as possible. You can even make a note on your cell phone just as long as you record the information while it’s fresh in your mind. Make sure to write any admissions that the truck driver may make such as “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” The same goes for any witnesses who may have heard admissions the driver made.
 
Witness reports: Witnesses and their observations are valuable. The police may not have had a chance to speak with everyone that saw the incident. Try to get the contact information from all the witnesses.
 
It's important to remember that witnesses aren’t legally obligated to talk to you or the police but if you find a cooperative witness, ask them to write down what they saw and heard and also to sign and date their written statement.
 
Evidence gathered at the accident scene is crucial because it can help your injury claim, but don’t try to collect evidence if you've been injured. Your well being is the most critical thing and delaying medical treatment or aggravating your injuries will not help your insurance claim.
 
Severe injury and wrongful death claims following semi-truck accidents are complex and expensive claims, and insurance companies won’t pay large settlements without first putting up a fight. They will try to come up with any reasons to deny your claim or reduce your compensation. You will need a skilled personal injury lawyer to get the insurance companies to pay the fair value of your claim. Insurance companies generally make lower offers to claimants who don’t have an attorney. Let The Bill Connor Law Firm fight the battles for you so that you don't have to worry about dealing with the insurance companies and all the aggravation associated with dealing with a claim.
 
Never make an admission of fault at the scene of the accident, as they admission can and will be related in court to your detriment.  Insurance companies will normally not settle claims in favor of a party who made an admission.  Even if you think you may have done something wrong, the other driver may be more at fault. 
 
 
Your lawyer won’t get paid unless you do and there’s no obligation. It doesn't cost you anything to find out what The Bill Connor Law Firm can do for you.

 

The Bill Connor Law Firm

1408 Russell St

Orangeburg, SC 29115

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