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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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 job.
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.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my truck accident claim?
After a crash, truck accident victims often find they face a stressful financial situation. Truck accident injuries can be extremely serious, requiring extensive medical care and preventing victims from working as they did before the crash. This reduces the income a victim can earn while being forced to address incoming medical bills, home and vehicle changes, and other associated costs. A personal injury claim can provide compensation to address these changing needs, but it’s natural that victims and their families often hesitate to reach out for legal help. Many people fear they cannot afford an effective attorney, especially at such a difficult time. However, there are fee agreements that can help those who suffer truck accident injuries hire the experienced advocate they need.
Understanding a Contingency Fee Agreement
Most personal injury lawyers understand that victims and their families face a difficult time after an accident, so they work on what is known as a contingency fee agreement. This agreement requires that the accident victim only pay the attorney if the claim is successful. Then, the legal fees are paid directly from the compensation awarded by the settlement (or the court if the claim goes to trial). From the start, the lawyer and the client agree on a specific percentage the attorney will collect after a successful case.
Other Costs Associated With a Truck Accident Claim
While accident victims do not pay lawyer fees, it’s important to note that there may be other, nominal costs associated with a claim that may still have to paid regardless of the outcome of the case. These can include:
- Court filing fees
- Document fees
- Postage or delivery fees
- Witness deposition fees
Typically, these costs are minimal and depend on the specific details of the claim as it progresses through the legal process.
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 if my insurance denies my Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident claim?
Often, motorcyclists are burdened with a stigma of irresponsibility. Even after they have suffered injuries in an accident caused by another careless driver, they may have to defend their actions to insurance companies and in court. It’s not unusual for an insurance company to deny a claim related to a motorcycle accident in hopes this stigma will be enough to reduce or eliminate their responsibility to provide compensation. However, motorcyclists have rights that can be protected, even when the insurance company tries to initially deny a legitimate claim.
Why an Insurance Company Denies Motorcycle Claims
Insurance companies are out to save money, and they will try to deny accident claims in order to do so. When it comes to motorcycle accidents, insurance companies may attempt to:
- Place blame for the crash on the motorcyclist
- Point to pre-existing conditions or old medical issues as the real reason for the injury
- Claim an injury simply doesn’t exist
- Claim the policy does not cover the accident situation
Injured Motorcyclists Have Rights to Compensation
While the insurance company may want injury victims to believe that an initial denial is the end of the road, it can still be possible to appeal the decision and obtain the care and compensation you need. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can work with victims to help them identify the cause of the denial and provide information to prove the legitimacy of the claim. This can include:
- Obtaining police reports
- Obtaining medical records
- Providing expert testimony
- Locating and filling out the correct paperwork
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster
In some cases, an insurance company simply sticks with its denial despite a clear and legitimate claim. This is called acting in bad faith, and it is against the law. For these situations, it can be necessary to file a legal claim against the insurance company to force it to uphold its end of the policy agreement. An experienced attorney can help motorcycle accident victims navigate this process and ensure that their claim is as strong as possible.
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.
How can I appeal a denied out-of-state insurance claim?
Myrtle Beach consumers have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing insurance. Many people choose to use a South Carolina-based company, but there are plenty of out-of-state insurance providers that are licensed to insure in South Carolina, as well. It is legal to use an out-of-state company, and when people choose this option, those companies have the same obligations as in-state insurers. Often, however, insurance companies will delay or deny legitimate claims. And when the policy holder is out of state, it’s important to understand your options for obtaining compensation if you’ve been in an accident.
Understanding Consumer Responsibilities in Myrtle Beach
First, it’s important to understand that consumers do have responsibilities when obtaining insurance. While it is acceptable to use an out-of-state insurance company, the company does have to be licensed to do business in South Carolina. A comprehensive list of approved companies can be found on the state’s Department of Insurance website. If you purchase from an unlicensed insurer, there is no guarantee that your policy will be honored.
Second, consumers have a duty to be honest with their insurance company. If you provide untrue information about where you live or the property that you own or other key elements of a policy, this could be considered insurance fraud. Not only would this negate your agreement, it is also a crime.
When an Insurance Company Won’t Pay Your Claim
When consumers follow the rules and file a legitimate claim, their insurance company has a duty to provide compensation as defined by the policy. Too often, however, these companies attempt to reduce their own liability by delaying or denying claims. When your insurance company is out of state, it can feel more difficult to fight back, but the same rules apply. An experienced insurance attorney can help accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve by:
Appealing the Denial
Claims are often denied due to application errors, policy ambiguities, lack of coverage, and simple errors. Insurance companies do have systems to appeal a denied claim. They may not make this process straightforward, but it can be possible to revisit your claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. An experienced attorney can investigate your claim, provide additional information, negotiate with the insurance company, and act as a tenacious, knowledgeable advocate.
Suing the Insurance Company
In some situations, an insurance company is acting in bad faith, and it is necessary to file a legal claim against the insurance company to force it to pay the compensation that is owed.
Have You Been Denied An Insurance Claim? Is Insurance Delaying Your Payment?
If you've been denied an insurance claim, or the insurance company is delaying your payment, you need to speak with an experienced 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.
What should I do if the at-fault driver of my accident calls me?
A car accident scene can be a stressful and chaotic place. Many accident victims have not been involved in a crash before and are unsure of what to do. They may realize later that they have unanswered questions or need further information. In some cases, the driver who caused the crash may reach out to those involved. However, Myrtle Beach injury victims should take care when it comes to any discussion with the at-fault driver and his insurance company.
Avoid Discussing the Accident With the At-Fault Driver
If the police were called to the accident scene and insurance companies are involved, there is no need for any interaction between the at-fault driver and those hurt in the crash. It is the job of the insurance adjusters to obtain the information they need from the appropriate parties and resolve the claim. Adjusters understand how the process works, and they know where to find the answers to any questions they may have.
If the at-fault driver does contact a victim, the victim should simply refer him to the insurance adjuster. There is nothing to be gained through a conversation with the other driver, and it can put victims at risk. Much like talking with an insurance adjuster, the at-fault driver may be fishing for information or comments that can be used to unfairly shift blame onto the victim.
Protect Your Rights by Limiting Communication
Additionally, while it can be tempting to try to work the matter out privately with the at-fault driver, this is rarely a good idea. Despite the hope that a personal arrangement can save either side money by keeping insurance premiums down, it is a risky endeavor. The other driver may not live up to his end of the bargain, and victims may find themselves in a very difficult position. Ultimately, victims may lose out on vital compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair and replacement.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, call the police to report the accident immediately.
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 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, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.
What types of accidents can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit in Myrtle Beach?
A wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina seeks to provide surviving family members with a sense of justice, as well as compensation, for the emotional and financial challenges they face after a loved one dies unexpectedly. State law defines a wrongful death as a death caused “by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” It goes on to explain that this type of claim is appropriate when “if death had not ensued, (would) have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages.” Essentially, it is the personal injury claim the deceased could have pursued had he lived.
Common Causes of South Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 169,000 unintentional injury deaths every year in the U.S. There are a wide variety of circumstances that can result in an accidental death and a wrongful death claim, but these lawsuits most commonly occur because of:
In 2017, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in a car crash. While not every accident may warrant a wrongful death claim, there are many times when another driver’s negligent behavior directly causes the death. In those cases, surviving family members may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. Drivers who are drunk, fatigued, distracted, or simply reckless can be held accountable for their actions.
Tractor-trailer truck accidents are particularly dangerous, and when crashes occur, it is most often the smaller vehicle passenger who is injured and killed. Drivers and trucking companies may be held responsible for the death when their careless behavior leads to a crash.
Pedestrians have rights to the roadways just as cars, trucks, and other vehicles. However, the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that one in every five traffic fatalities in 2018 was a pedestrian. In Horry County alone, there were 107 pedestrian accidents. Drivers can be held responsible when they do not adhere to the rules of the road and cause the death of a pedestrian.
In a beach resort town like Myrtle Beach, there is no shortage of fun activities for thrill seekers and those just looking for some active fun. The owners and operators of recreational businesses, however, also have a responsibility to ensure the equipment for the activities they provide are safe. Accidents that occur when boating, jet skiing, parasailing, and at amusement parks can have devastating consequences, and those responsible can be held accountable.
Product liability cases refer to situations when a defective product causes injury or death. Manufacturers, assemblers, and retailers have a duty to bring only safe products to the market, and they can be held accountable when they knowingly fail to uphold their responsibility.
Medical malpractice occurs when a care provider fails to perform his duty fully and appropriately. The general measurement for medical malpractice asks the question of whether or not another doctor, given the same information under similar circumstances, would have made the same decisions about care. This can include unacceptable errors during a surgery or other procedure.
After the death of a loved one, surviving family members may feel overwhelmed. They may want justice for their loved ones and need compensation to help them begin their own recovery, but they may not know where to start.
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 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.3165 to schedule a free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.
What should I do after being injured at my job in Myrtle Beach?
Across the United States in 2018, there were more than 2.8 million reported nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. In South Carolina, injured workers were provided more than $827 million in medical premiums paid for care related to their injuries. The workers’ compensation system exists here and across the country to ensure that employees who are hurt or fall ill on the job are able to obtain the medical treatment and compensation they need to recover as fully as possible. It can seem overwhelming, though, for those who have never experienced an injury and must navigate the system. There are five important steps to take after a work-related injury.
5 Things Injured Workers Should Do After an Injury
After a work injury, an employee may be hesitant to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, he simply might be unsure of what to do. In other cases, he may fear his claim will be denied. However, workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured employees regardless of fault, and employers are expressly forbidden from retaliating against a worker who has filed an injury claim. If you or someone you love suffered an injury on the job, it’s important to:
- Notify your employer. Make your employer aware of your work-related injury as soon as possible. By law, workers have 90 days to provide this notification, but it’s best to do so with hours or days of the injury. Provide the notice in writing, and keep a copy of the notice.
- Seek medical care. In South Carolina, employers are allowed to choose the care providers of injured workers, except in immediate, emergency situations. Your employer should offer a list of approved providers, so you can find a doctor who meets your needs. It is essential to see a doctor as soon as you can; failing to seek care for an injury undermines the seriousness of the claim.
- Retain all records and receipts. Keep any documents related to your work injury and your employment, including medical bills, injury reports, employer emails or evaluations, doctor notes, and anything else that may be considered during a workers’ compensation claim.
- Maintain a journal documenting your injury experience. It is often helpful to keep a personal record of your injury. While a journal may not be admissible as evidence, it can help keep your memory fresh and provide a vital timeline of events.
- Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Although the assistance of an attorney is not required in a workers’ compensation claim, an experience lawyer can help injury victims understand their rights fully and obtain all the compensation to which they are entitled. Many injured workers have never utilized the workers’ compensation system before, and an attorney can help you avoid common pitfalls that can hurt your claim.
Even if you aren’t sure if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, don’t wait to protect your rights. Our experienced lawyers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and take effective action, so you can get on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Call our Myrtle Beach office today, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch with a member of our team.
How much is my Myrtle Beach truck accident claim worth?
Navigating a legal claim shortly after a truck accident can be challenging for victims and their families. While still recovering from physical and emotional injuries, a victim may find filing an accident claim daunting. Many accident victims may wonder if pursuing a claim is worth it and how much compensation can be obtained from a personal injury case.
Understanding Accident Compensation in South Carolina
It’s important to know the types of compensation available to truck accident victims. In a personal injury claim, the law allows a victim to pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Factors That Affect the Value of a Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Claim
Compensation for an accident can be highly variable. The specifics of each unique accident dictate how much a claim is worth. Some of the main factors that affect the value of a claim include:
Typically, the more severe the injury, the more compensation is likely to be awarded. Those with serious and lasting injuries will likely incur higher medical bills and experience a significant change in their daily lives. Higher compensation is also likely if the degree of pain and suffering the victim experienced is severe.
If injuries will continue to affect a victim’s life, or he’ll need care and rehabilitation well into the future, compensation can be awarded for that distress.
Ability To Return To Work
In some cases, an injury makes it impossible for an accident victim to return to work—either at all or in the same capacity as before the injury. Any lost wages or reduction in earning potential could be addressed by the law.
Degree of Fault
South Carolina is a fault state that follows the rules of modified comparative negligence. This means, an accident victim can receive compensation equal to the at-fault driver’s degree of liability. For example, if you are speeding 10 mph over the limit at the time that a driver runs a red light and hits you, you may be found to be 10 percent liable for the accident and the at-fault driver 90 percent to blame.
Every truck accident claim is different, and an experienced attorney can examine the details of an accident and help victims and their families gain a better understanding of what a specific case might be worth. Given your unique circumstances, a lawyer can work to obtain all the compensation you need and deserve after the crash. Our legal team can answer your questions and help you more fully understand your rights.
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 Myrtle Beach, our experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to help right away. 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, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.
Do I need an attorney if insurance has denied my Myrtle Beach accident claim?
After an accident and injury, the last thing victims want to do is fight with an insurance company. When you’ve faithfully paid on your policy, it’s reasonable to expect that your insurance company will provide the compensation you need to recover. Receiving a letter denying these important benefits can be very difficult to manage during this stressful time. Many injury victims aren’t sure what to do, and many wonder if they need an attorney to obtain the compensation they deserve.
Getting Help From an Attorney After an Insurance Denial
While a lawyer is not required to deal with an insurance denial, an experienced insurance attorney can provide the guidance and action that victims need. Many injury victims have little experience dealing with insurance companies. They may not be prepared for the tactics insurance companies will employ, and they likely do not have a full understanding of their rights and obligations.
What a Myrtle Beach Insurance Lawyer Can Do for You
Insurance companies will try any number of tricks to avoid paying on your claim. The right attorney can recognize these tactics and navigate the system to ensure that injury victims obtain the compensation needed to recover as fully as possible. The right attorney will:
Investigate The Denial
It may not be clear as to why your claim was denied. An attorney will review the denial to determine its validity. In some cases, your clam may have been rightly denied. In many other cases, the reasons for the denial can be contested.
Gather Supporting Documents
It may be that additional documentation is needed for your claim. An experienced attorney can gather medical records and other important documents for the insurance company. A skilled attorney knows what information will change the course of your claim and how to find it.
Draft An Appeal
Different insurance companies and different states have varying procedures for appealing a denied insurance claim. An attorney can begin the appeals process by working within the set framework of your unique situation. An initial letter can set the tone for your appeal and provide a clear message to the insurance company.
Negotiate With The Insurance Company
Appealing an insurance denial and handling the back and forth with the insurance company can be overwhelming for victims who are also dealing with their injuries. An attorney can ease that burden by acting as a victim’s advocate and negotiator.
File A Lawsuit If Necessary
In some cases, insurance companies simply won’t provide the benefits a victim deserves. When they fail to uphold their duty, it may be necessary to file a claim in court. An experienced attorney can provide the guidance necessary to be successful.
Getting an attorney involved in your insurance denial may seem daunting, but the right lawyer can make all the difference in your claim. With experience and knowledge of the system, he can help victims and their families obtain the compensation they need to recover as fully as possible. Even if you aren’t sure that a lawyer can help your situation, our legal team can review your case and provide some answers.
Have You Been Denied An Insurance Claim? Is Insurance Delaying Your Payment?
If you've been denied an insurance claim, or the insurance company is delaying your payment, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843.443.4004 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.
How long do I have to file a Myrtle Beach car accident claim?
After a car accident, most injury victims hope their claim will be resolved quickly and successfully. Often, this is true, and victims are able to move forward and get back to their regular lives. However, in some cases, accident victims must file a legal claim in order to obtain the compensation they need and deserve after a crash. While South Carolina law provides the right to file these claims, it also specifies a time limit to do so. This is known as the statute of limitations.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations prescribes a specific amount of time in which a victim can pursue a legal claim against the responsible party of an accident. In South Carolina, victims have three years to file a claim. After this time period has passed, a court will likely dismiss the claim, and the victim will not be able to obtain any compensation.
For car accidents, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the accident for claims related to injuries and property. If someone was killed as a result of the accident, the time period to file a wrongful death case begins on the day of the death, which may not necessarily be the day of the accident.
Statute of Limitations Applies to South Carolina Legal Claims
It’s important to note that these rules pertain to legal action taken through the state system, not private auto insurance. If an accident victim needs to utilize his own insurance or that of the at-fault driver, it typically needs to be done fairly soon after the accident. Often, insurance companies expect to hear about an accident within days.
Filing a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Injury Claim
While three years may seem like plenty of time to file a legal claim, it’s best to be prepared and get started as soon as possible. Accident victims may assume their claim will be resolved quickly through insurance and, in doing so, lose valuable preparation time. An effective injury claim needs to be investigated and examined. Information and documents need to be gathered from a variety of sources, and legal paperwork must be carefully completed. This can all take time.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s best to seek the advice of an injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a claim or expect insurance to take care of things, an experienced attorney can make sure all your rights are protected. Compensation after a crash can be critical for medical care and lost wages, so don’t leave your future to chance. Have a conversation with an attorney who can help you fully understand your situation. The lawyers at The Derrick Law Firm offer free, no-obligation consultations to help accident victims get started with these important decisions. Call our Myrtle Beach office at 843.488.3165 today.