Frequently Asked Questions About SC Personal Injury Lawsuits

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim? What if the driver who hit me is uninsured? Why do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

We answer these questions and many more in our collection of frequently asked questions. Unlike many websites that provide brief yes-or-no answers to important legal questions like these, we provide detailed answers to help you get a better idea of your rights, your options, and what you can hope for in the future.

If your questions are not answered here, feel free to connect with us through our website, or call us at 843-488-5360, to speak directly with us about your legal concerns.

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  • How can a lawyer help me settle my Myrtle Beach personal injury claim?

    Many injury claims are settled before they ever reach the inside of a courtroom. Some insurance company are often prepared to resolve the claim and move on to avoid costly, time-consuming litigation. A settlement is an agreement between the injured and the insurance company whereby the insurance company agrees to provide a specific amount of compensation to the injured. In return, the injured cannot pursue any further legal action related to the accident or injury. Settlement agreements are very common, as they give both sides the ability to move forward as soon as possible.
    How Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help The Derrick Law Firm
     
    However, while a settlement agreement can be a good option, it’s not always beneficial for the injured party, and not every insurance company is willing to pay out in good faith. When an insurance company refuses to pay fair compensation, an experienced injury attorney can help. Many injury victims have little or no experience with the law or insurance negotiations, so the information and guidance provided by an attorney can be vital.
     

    Five Ways a Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Attorney Will Help Settle Your Injury Claim

    Insurance companies are businesses that want to protect their bottom lines, so insurance adjusters will do whatever they can to save their employers money and pay out as little compensation as possible. But for victims and their families, this compensation is usually critical for medical care, wage replacement, home and vehicle modifications, and ensuring a successful future. Once a settlement has been signed, it is not typically possible to revisit the claim. So, it’s extremely important to negotiate an appropriate settlement right from the start. An attorney can help settle a claim as effectively as possible by:

    Valuing The Claim

    One common tactic of insurance companies is to quickly offer injury victims much less than they deserve and to pressure them into taking the settlement. An experienced attorney can identify this trick and provide injury victims with an accurate assessment of what the claim is worth. This will ensure that victims have adequate compensation to address their injuries, both now and in the future.

    Providing Evidence of Injury 

    An insurance company is more likely to provide a fair settlement when faced with strong, comprehensive evidence of the injuries sustained, as well as the physical and emotional impact of those injuries on the victim. An attorney can help provide medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions to support the claim.

    Providing Evidence of Liability

    Insurance companies are known for making any attempt to pass blame for the injury onto another party. An experienced attorney will investigate the incident and offer clear evidence of responsibility, including police reports, physical evidence, and witness statements.

    Negotiating 

    Many insurance companies hope that injury victims will simply accept any settlement offer at face value. Effective attorneys know that settlements can be negotiated, and they can act as a fierce advocate for an injury victim’s rights.

    Protecting the Settlement 

    When an agreement has been reached, an attorney will ensure that the insurance company provides compensation in a timely manner. In addition, a lawyer can help protect the victim’s interests from other parties who may seek to claim a piece of the settlement, including care providers and other insurance companies.

    Have You Suffered A Personal Injury Due To The Neglect Of Others?

    If you've been hurt due to the neglect of someone else you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.3165 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrels Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What should I do if a tourist caused my car accident and injuries in Myrtle Beach?

    In 2018, more than 20 million people visited Myrtle Beach, and tourism numbers have been growing in recent years. Many of these visitors are from out of state. A 2019 report from the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau reported that more than 80 percent of vacationers in the Grand Strand live outside of South Carolina. While it’s exciting to know that others want to share in the beauty and fun of Myrtle Beach, citizens also face challenges in hosting so many people unfamiliar to the area. Traffic accidents are one such issue. Drivers do not know the roads; they may be fatigued after a long drive; or they may be impaired after a night out. What should South Carolina residents do if they suffer injuries in a crash with an out-of-state driver?
    Tourist Accidents In Myrtle Beach The Derrick Law Firm

    South Carolina State Laws Concerning Traffic Accidents

    In any accident situation, those involved are typically bound by the laws where the crash took place. South Carolina is a fault state, which means that the driver who caused the accident and injuries is responsible for providing compensation for any damages related to the crash. Additionally, South Caroline follows the rules of modified comparative negligence, which stipulates that the victim will obtain compensation equal to the other driver’s degree of fault, as long as the other driver was more than 50 percent responsible for the crash. 
     
    It is possible that the driver who caused your crash lives in a state that follows similar rules, but there are different laws governing injury claims in different states. Regardless, when the accident occurs in South Carolina, South Carolina law will apply.

    Protecting Your Rights After a Crash

    An accident that happens while a driver is on a vacation is still an accident. The injuries are just as real, and victims deserve compensation. So, it’s important to follow a few critical steps if you are involved in any traffic crash:

    Seek Medical Care 

    Even if you think your injuries are minor or that you are not injured at all, it’s best to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries are not apparent immediately, and only an experienced provider can fully and accurately assess your health.

    Call The Police

    File an official report with law enforcement regarding any car accident. This police report can provide important information and critical opinions that are valuable to both insurance and legal claims.

    Retain Evidence

    Hold onto any evidence related to your accident. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas, write down names and contact information for witnesses, and keep any receipts or documents related to medical care.

    Discuss Your Case With An Attorney

    While some small claims can be resolved without an attorney, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, consult an attorney to ensure that you fully understand your rights. An experienced lawyer can provide the information you need and offer guidance to help you recover as fully as possible.
    Most insurance policies cover drivers when they travel out of state on vacation. However, when the driver who caused your injuries heads back home, you may feel like you have few options. But it is possible to hold that careless driver accountable, and an experienced attorney can ensure that victims are able to obtain all the compensation they deserve.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Can my family obtain pain and suffering damages in a wrongful death claim?

    When a loved one dies suddenly in an accident, family members have the right to hold the at-fault person accountable. A wrongful death claim can help family members obtain both a sense of justice for their loved one and compensation to address the family’s needs related to the death. This compensation can cover outstanding medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages that would have been earned by the deceased. In addition, it is possible to obtain compensation for pain and suffering.
    Wrongful Death Lawsuit The Derrick Law Firm

    Understanding Pain and Suffering

    Pain and suffering refers to a variety of physical and emotional hardships experienced by the plaintiff after the car accident. In the case of a wrongful death claim, it addresses the non-financial challenges faced by surviving family members because of the death. It can include the emotional and mental difficulties of grieving a loved one, as well as the anxiety, shock, insomnia, depression, and loss of enjoyment or companionship.
     
    It is important to note that the courts also recognize the pain and suffering of the deceased during the time between the accident and the death. This type of pain and suffering compensation would be obtained through a survival action, as opposed to a wrongful death claim. 

    How Is Pain and Suffering Determined?

    Some types of damages are straightforward; it is easy to add up all the medical bills and calculate the amount of loss. When it comes to pain and suffering, however, there is much more gray area. It’s harder to assign a monetary amount to an intangible. When determining an appropriate amount of compensation for pain and suffering, insurance companies often consider:
    Type of injury and treatment suffered by the deceased
    Type of treatment sought by surviving family member from a mental health expert
    Length of treatment
    Testimony of friends, relatives, and treating physician
    Consistency in reporting symptoms
    Willingness to discuss pain and suffering openly

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Can I choose my own doctor for treatment of a Myrtle Beach work injury?

    The South Carolina workers’ compensation system provides medical care to employees who are injured on the job. Under state law, workers have a right to “all necessary medical treatment that is likely to lessen [a worker’s] disability.” It is required, however, for injured workers to follow some guidelines when seeking that care.

    Choosing A Doctor Following A Work Injury The Derrick Law Firm

    Obtaining Treatment After a Work Injury

    At times, a worker is injured so severely that emergency medical care is needed. In these cases of severe or life-threatening injuries, workers’ compensation will cover treatment in an emergency room, which could include testing, medication, hospitalization, and even surgery.

    However, for less serious injuries, injured workers are required to seek care with a doctor selected by their employer or its insurance company. When a worker notifies his employer of an injury, the employer should provide information directing the employee to the appropriate care provider. Treatment by another provider won’t be covered by workers’ compensation benefits, and the injured employee has to pay those costs out of pocket.

    Changing Doctors for a South Carolina Work Injury

    If an injured worker is not happy with the care of the employer-selected doctor, it is possible to request a change. The worker should contact the employer (or its insurance company) to inquire about finding a new provider or fill out a form 50 to request a hearing with the state’s workers’ compensation commission.

    Have You Been Injured On The Job?

    If you've been hurt at your job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • How long do I have to file a Myrtle Beach truck accident claim?

    In many legal claims, those involved must consider what is known as a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations sets the period in which a person must file a legal action. If this deadline is missed, the courts will not hear the case.

    Understanding a Statute of Limitations

    Statutes of limitations exist to protect citizens from the ongoing threat of a lawsuit. Generally, a victim with a legitimate claim would pursue legal action against the person responsible in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, it’s easy for evidence to be lost over time, memories are less sharp, and witnesses are difficult to locate. These limitations encourage timely, accurate resolutions.

    South Carolina’s Truck Accident Deadlines

    In South Carolina, any claim for injuries resulting from a traffic accident must be filed within three years. It’s important to note that the clock starts for claims involving injuries on the date of the accident. If the claim involves a wrongful death, generally, but subject to some exceptions, starts on the date of death. 
    Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Statue of Limitations The Derrick Law Firm

    Pursuing an Injury Claim After a Myrtle Beach Truck Accident

    Three years may seem like plenty of time to file a truck accident claim, but it’s best to file soon after the crash. Injury claims require:

    Investigation 

    An effective, experienced lawyer will investigate your accident to gather as much evidence as possible that will support the claim. It can take some time to gather police reports, locate and talk with witnesses, and secure experts.

    Medical Care

    Injury victims need time to seek medical care and for their care providers to make a diagnosis. Future medical care and costs can be a significant factor in many truck accident claims, so it’s important to have as much information as possible.

    Paperwork

    Filing a claim can involve a significant amount of paperwork, both for the actual filing and in support of the claim. Locating, completing, and gathering documents can take time.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Truck Accident?

    If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in South Carolina, our experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to help right away. Contact us online, or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What kind of evidence do I need for a Myrtle Beach personal injury claim?

    When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s understandable that your first thoughts are not about preserving evidence for a future legal claim. Especially if you believe the other driver was clearly at fault, protecting your rights soon after a crash may not enter your mind. However, it’s important to retain as much evidence as possible after the accident. The at-fault driver and his insurance company will likely try to deflect blame and shift liability to you. To ensure that you’re protected and able to obtain all the compensation you deserve, there are some key pieces of evidence that should be retained.
    How To Preserve Car Accident Evidence The Derrick Law Firm
     

    The Evidence Victims Need to Support an Injury Claim

    In general, accident victims should try to obtain any type of evidence that can help paint a clear picture of what happened when the accident occurred. The more evidence, the stronger the victim’s legal claim will be. Some common, helpful items include:
     

    Photos

    If possible, take photos of everything related to the accident scene. This can include the vehicles, the street or intersection, surrounding areas, and any signage or lighting near the road. If the other driver appears impaired, it may be useful to take a photo or video of his behavior, but only do so with extreme caution. Do not put yourself or anyone else in further jeopardy by agitating an impaired person.
     

    Witness Information

    Ask anyone who may have witnessed the accident for his name and contact information. Witnesses can be contacted later to support your claim or provide further details.
     

    Police Report

    Police reports are public record, and accident victims can obtain a copy. While it may not be admissible as evidence, the police report can be understood as an unbiased description of the circumstances of the accident, including the police officer’s perspective about who was at fault for the crash.
     

    Property Damage Records

    Keep all receipts and appraisals related to any damage that was done to your property in the accident. This can include both your vehicle and any other items inside the car at the time of the crash.
     

    Medical Records and Bills

    It’s important to maintain a file that contains all your paperwork from medical appointments related to the accident, including those from hospital stays, office visits, rehabilitation appointments, and medications.
     

    Personal Journal

    While a personal journal isn’t considered legal evidence, it can serve an important purpose. Write down what you remember about the accident, and track the progress of your recovery. Over time, memories can fade, and details can be lost. A journal can help victims provide specific and timely information when asked.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • If my loved one died in a car accident, can I file a wrongful death claim?

    In South Carolina in 2017, a person was killed in a car accident approximately every nine hours. A car crash is a sudden and devastating experience for thousands of families every year in this state, and the surviving family members of those killed are left with many questions. During this difficult time, it can be hard to know how to move forward. In addition to the burden of grief and life adjustments, many families wonder if they should try to pursue legal action. Often, family members aren’t sure of their rights or what a wrongful death claim could accomplish. Filing a wrongful death claim The Derrick Law Firm

    Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim

    In South Carolina, a wrongful death claim is a legal suit filed by surviving family members when a person is killed by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. Essentially, it is the personal injury claim that the deceased, had he lived, could have pursued against the person responsible for his injuries.

    For family members, a wrongful death claim can accomplish two main goals. First, it can bring a measure of justice and closure. When the law acknowledges the negligent behavior of the at-fault driver and holds him accountable for that action, families can feel secure in knowing that they stood up for their loved one.

    Second, a personal injury claim can provide compensation for surviving family members to help them remain financially stable through this time. In many cases, the deceased performed vital family duties such as wage earning or providing child care. Without that person, life can be very difficult for surviving family members. A wrongful death claim can help ease that burden.

    Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

    Typically, a wrongful death claim is pursued by the spouse and children of the deceased. If there is no spouse or there are no children, the parents of the deceased may file a claim. In some cases, those considered heirs would be eligible to file a claim. Families can take many forms, so it’s important to talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney to understand exactly what your rights may be.

    Determining If You Have a Wrongful Death Claim

    It is possible to file a legal claim when another person’s negligent action (or lack of action) directly results in another person’s death. The surviving family members would have to demonstrate that their loved one would likely still be alive if not for that careless action. Common causes of car accidents that result in wrongful death claims include:

    • Drunk drivers
    • Distracted drivers
    • Drowsy drivers
    • Speeding
    • Aggressive drivers
    • Road rage
    • Pedestrian accidents

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If you're loved one has died due someone else's negligence you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843-484-0707 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • How do I find the right lawyer to help with my motorcycle accident claim?

    When looking for an attorney for any type of personal injury legal claim, it’s important to develop a strong attorney-client relationship. Most injury victims have little experience with the law, and navigating the legal process can feel stressful and overwhelming. Even finding the right lawyer to represent you may seem difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. There are steps you can take to ensure that you find the right motorcycle accident attorney who will help you obtain the compensation you need to fully recover.
    How To Choose The Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer The Derrick Law Firm

    Meet With Potential Attorneys and Ask Questions

    To begin your search for an attorney, find names of potential attorneys by asking friends and family, checking the local bar association website, or doing a simple internet search. This can give you a few names of attorneys who might be right for you. Then, set up a meeting. Most injury attorneys offer free consultations, so accident victims can meet with the lawyer, ask questions, and better understand their claim.
     
    At the consultation, ask questions that will give you an idea of what the attorney does, what to expect, and what kind of rapport you may develop. Some helpful questions to ask include:
     
    • What kind of experience do you have with motorcycle cases?
    • How long have you been practicing law in Myrtle Beach?
    • What is your fee agreement?
    • What do you think of the claim?
    • What challenges might you face with this claim?
    • How do you handle client communication? Who will I talk to if I call to share information or get updates on my claim?
       

    Understanding the Unique Aspects of a Motorcycle Claim

    In addition to getting your questions answered, you need to know if your motorcycle accident attorney is prepared to address the unique challenges of this type of legal claim because there is a widely accepted bias against motorcyclists. Law enforcement, other drivers, and insurance companies often assume that the motorcyclist is to blame for the accident. However, most motorcyclists are safe, responsible drivers, and they deserve the respect and fair treatment afforded others on the road. The right attorney should be ready to address this prejudice to obtain the best possible outcome.
     
    Also, motorcyclists typically suffer more severe injuries than others involved in traffic accidents. Motorcycles offer little protection in a crash, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger cars. Given the seriousness of motorcycle injuries, the compensation provided by a legal claim can make a significant difference in the lives of motorcyclists and their families, especially because they often face expensive medical bills and lost wages. The right attorney for these claims must understand both the current circumstance and the likely future prognosis for victims and their families. Once a claim has been settled or decided by the courts, it is not typically possible to revisit the claim to obtain further compensation.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Motorcycle Accident?

    If you've been injured in motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Should I talk to an attorney before agreeing to an accident insurance settlement?

    After an accident, it’s common for an insurance company to contact injury victims quickly. The agency will get in touch right away and seem to be understanding of the victim’s difficult situation. Often, the insurance company offers a settlement award right away. When this happens, many victims are unsure of what to do. Taking the money can seem like a good idea, but it may not be the best decision in the long run. Consulting an attorney can help victims and their families understand their rights and options, so they make the best decisions for the future.
    The Derrick Law Firm Speak To A Lawyer Before Agreeing To Insurance Settement
     

    4 Reasons to Speak to an Injury Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement 

    While the law doesn’t require an attorney to represent accident victims who are considering a settlement offer, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer because:


    Insurance Companies Are Not On The Victim’s Side

    Insurance companies are out to protect their own interests, and that means providing as little compensation as possible for victims. However, an attorney will be your advocate. He will examine your situation and demand compensation based on your current and future medical bills, lost wages, probable household modifications, pain and suffering, and property damage.
     

    It Won’t Cost Victims Anything Upfront

    Our attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement, which means we don’t get paid unless we are successful with your claim. When we are successful, our legal fees come directly from the settlement award, and victims pay only nominal fees out of pocket.
     

    Once Injury Victims Agree To A Settlement It Cannot Be Changed.

    It is not typically possible to change the terms of a settlement agreement after the fact. Often, these early settlement offers are much lower than a victim deserves. An experienced attorney can gather the information necessary about the accident, as well as the victim’s current and future prognosis to determine how much compensation is needed for a complete recovery.

    An Attorney Can Ease The Stress Of The Settlement Process 

    While simply accepting the settlement and moving on may seem like the easiest path to recovery, accepting a settlement that doesn’t meet your needs can actually make life more difficult. An experienced attorney knows what victims deserve and can ensure their rights are protected. He can take on the frustrations of dealing with the insurance company while victims focus on what’s really important—their physical and emotional recovery.
     
    Most injury attorneys offer free consultations, so victims can gain a better understanding of their situation and their options. If an insurance company is offering you or someone you love an injury settlement, protect your interests by speaking with an experienced attorney. 

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • If I am injured in a work-related car accident, can I obtain workers’ compensation benefits?

    Car accidents are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S. And while it’s true that many of these crashes involve those who work in driving-related fields, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 55 percent of workers who died in crashes in 2017 were not employed as vehicle operators. The risks for car accident injuries are real for employees in nearly all fields, and it is possible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina if you suffer injuries in a car crash while on the jobWorkers' comp for accidents while driving on the job The Derrick Law Firm

    Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Crash

    The medical care and wage replacement benefits provided by workers’ compensation are available to any worker who suffers an injury, as long as he is an employee of the company and the injury occurs in the course of his job. This can include injuries sustained in a car crash when driving on work-related business. Driving for a job can encompass many situations, including:

    • Making deliveries
    • Picking up job or office supplies
    • Transporting another employee or client
    • Running an errand for the employer
    • Driving for a living
    • Traveling for work

    South Carolina’s Coming and Going Rule

    It is important to note that driving for work does not include the daily commute. In what is known as the Coming and Going Rule in South Carolina, drivers are not typically covered under workers’ compensation if they are injured in an accident while they are driving to work from home or back home after the workday ends.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.