Accidents causing catastrophic injury can happen on Walterboro’s roads, workplaces, businesses, homes, or shopping areas. Catastrophic injuries change your life in a moment. They cause long-lasting or permanent effects on your physical abilities, mental capacity, emotional state, and financial stability.
Finding the Value of Your Settlement
It can be hard to calculate the dollar amount of your losses if you do not understand how personal injury law works. Most victims do not consider the future complications their injuries will probably cause and the additional medical care those complications will require. They also struggle to know where to begin when quantifying suffering and emotional costs.
Your Walterboro catastrophic injury lawyer has the experience and expertise to value your case fairly, ensuring you will get the financial support you need for a stable future. Every victim’s situation is unique, and your lawyer will recognize any case-specific damages. In most cases, you can expect your lawyer to pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses: Those already incurred and those you will continue to experience, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). Your lawyer will speak with your doctors and other experts, review all reports, bills, and other relevant documentation to calculate full compensation.
- Wage losses: You can see reimbursement for missed income and for lost future earnings, including retirement benefits, should you be unable to return to work. If you can work, but only fewer hours, or in a position where you earn less, your attorney will determine what you would have made in your pre-accident employment and seek recovery for the difference.
- Additional injury-related expenses: You may need to modify your living environment to suit your changed abilities or limited mobility. Your lawyer will factor these and any other expenses into your settlement amount.
- Property loss: If your property, such as a vehicle, was damaged or destroyed in the accident, your lawyer will value those losses and seek recovery.
- Non-tangible losses: These include your emotional suffering, loss of quality of life, and physical pain.
Seeking Punitive Damages
Punitive damages do not compensate you for losses. Rather, by requiring the at-fault party to pay for their acts of negligence, they work as a punishment.
Not every case warrants pursuit of punitive damages. Your catastrophic injury lawyer in Walterboro will advise you of your options.
Holding the Right Party Accountable
You need more than proof of injury to collect a settlement. You must prove the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, failed in that duty, the failure caused your accident, and your accident caused you measurable damages.
A duty of care is a requirement, or obligation, to keep others safe. Store owners owe their customers a duty of care to keep their aisles free of obstacles and their floors dry to avoid falls or slips. Each driver owes other drivers sharing the road a duty to obey traffic laws, drive carefully, and avoid driving while distracted or intoxicated.
Though an at-fault party may seem obvious to you, things are not always as they seem. If you file against the wrong party, you lose the chance to collect. Your Walterboro catastrophic injury attorney from Shelly Leeke Law Firm will investigate the accident fully to ensure you file appropriately.
In investigating your accident, your catastrophic injury attorney in Walterboro will also collect evidence proving that the at-fault party’s breach in duty of care, and not some other factor, caused the accident and your subsequent injury. You cannot collect a settlement without proving causation.
If you are hurt in a car accident and the driver who hit you was drunk, your lawyer must show that the driver’s intoxication and negligence were the primary cause of the accident. If the defendant argues that it was caused by a broken traffic light or a driving error on your part, your attorney must be prepared to defend against these claims. Similarly, if you suffer from chronic pain and your pain becomes worse following an accident, you must show the accident caused the increase in pain.
In these or other situations, your lawyer should have the investigative skills and connections to find the evidence needed to support your claim. Among many other potential sources, your attorney may gather:
- Witness statements
- Reports from your doctors and medical experts
- Input from experts in other areas related to your accident
- Photos or video of the accident and accident scene
South Carolina Laws and Your Claim
Under South Carolina law, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. It is best to contact a catastrophic injury attorney in Walterboro as soon as possible after the event. This way, your attorney will have time to investigate, determine the at-fault party, and file appropriately.
With prompt access to your case, your lawyer can gather evidence while it is still fresh. Sometimes, if a year or two passes between your accident and your lawyer’s investigation, witnesses are harder to track down, and photo or video evidence is erased or unavailable.
To file a claim, South Carolina law requires victims to show they are less than 51% to blame for the accident. If they meet that standard, they can file, but the settlement amount collected is reduced in direct proportion to the level of fault they bear, if any. This means if you are 15% responsible for the accident, you receive 15% less of the total settlement amount.
The at-fault party’s representatives will work hard to deflect responsibility and put as much blame as possible on you. Fortunately, your Shelly Leeke catastrophic injury attorney in Walterboro is more than capable of standing up to these shameful attempts. We will fight to protect your settlement.
An Expert Walterboro Catastrophic Injury Attorney Will Manage Your Case from Claim to Settlement
Your health and recovery are where you need to focus your energy after sustaining a catastrophic injury. By promptly securing representation from an expert Walterboro catastrophic injury lawyer from Shelly Leeke Law Firm, you can put all the legalities of your case in your lawyer’s capable hands.
Reach out today to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to providing you with the superior representation you deserve.