What Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement in South Carolina?

Unfortunately, if you experienced an accident involving someone else’s negligence, the likelihood of you having an injury is high. If someone else’s negligence causes your injury, you may qualify to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.

Many people have heard about personal injury claims but aren’t familiar with the details. What is a personal injury claim? How much is the average personal injury settlement? Do you have to go to court? Do you have to hire an attorney? We’ll discuss these matters in this blog.

What Qualifies for a Personal Injury Claim?

Regardless of the type of accident, if someone else’s negligence causes the accident and you sustain injuries, you likely have a valid personal injury claim. Car or truck accidents, slip and falls, nursing home abuse, and boating accidents are examples of accidents that can lead to injuries.

In legal matters, negligence means that someone failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation. To hold that party accountable for your damages, you’ll need evidence to prove that:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care.
  • That party breached their duty of care.
  • You sustained injuries.
  • The breach directly caused your injuries and related damages.

You may need to investigate your accident to find evidence to support your claim. A personal injury attorney can handle those efforts for you.

How Much Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement? – The Misleading Averages

You can find multiple “average settlement” figures online, but there’s actually no such thing as an average settlement amount. Every accident is unique, and case-specific factors determine the amount of your settlement.

Our firm has helped clients win tens of thousands to millions in settlements and verdicts. Without the facts, we can’t estimate your case’s worth.

What Factors Affect Personal Injury Settlement Amounts?

In South Carolina, you may seek two types of compensatory damages. In rare cases, you may also receive punitive damages.

Economic damages reimburse you for accident- and injury-related expenses, such as your medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and property damage. This category is dollar for dollar, so such things as the treatment of your injury and the amount of time you miss from work directly affect the value of your personal injury settlement.

Non-economic damages compensate you for the impacts your injuries have on your quality of life. Pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or disability, damage to your personal relationships, and losing your ability to enjoy life are common. Since most of these are intangible, the amount you may receive typically hinges on how severe these conditions are.

Few cases qualify for this type of damage.

The competence of your personal injury lawyer

While hiring an attorney is not mandatory, those with legal representation usually receive substantially higher personal injury settlement amounts. The competence, experience, and dedication of the personal injury lawyer you choose can impact your chances of a favorable outcome.

Look for an experienced lawyer who focuses on personal injury law. Every attorney at the Maguire Law Firm knows the applicable laws that govern your case, and we know how insurance companies operate.

Shared fault

It’s common for more than one party to share fault for causing an accident. South Carolina uses comparative negligence laws with a 51% cap to govern these cases. If you are less than 51% to blame for your accident, you can seek compensation from other at-fault parties.

These laws also dictate how much compensation you may receive. Your personal injury settlement will be reduced by the same percentage as your degree of fault. For example, if you are 25% at fault, 25% of your total damages will be deducted from your payout.

What Actions Could Lower Your Personal Injury Settlement Amount?

While hiring the right personal injury lawyer could raise your payout, there are things you could do to inadvertently lower it.

Admitting fault

Fault directly impacts your eligibility to seek compensation and how much you can receive. Under no circumstances should you admit any degree of fault. Opposing insurance companies and courts can use these statements against you to reduce your potential payout.

Signing documents

Insurance company representatives may present you with documents for your signature. Do not sign anything unless you have read it and clearly understand what you are being asked to sign. These documents usually use complicated verbiage and hard-to-understand terms, and the fine print can cost you.

When you hire a personal injury attorney, all communications with insurance companies must come through us. We will review any documents and explain them to you.

Making social media posts

Insurance company attorneys can use anything you post on social media as evidence to reduce or deny your payout.

Don’t post about the accident on social media and provide the insurance companies with potential ammunition against you and your case.

Discontinuing recommended medical treatments

If you discontinue treatments before your doctor releases you, the insurance company may argue your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. This can lead to a decrease in your payout.

Personal Injury Settlement vs. Verdict — What’s the Difference?

A personal injury settlement is financial compensation you accept in return for an agreement that you won’t file a lawsuit against the party in question. If you file a civil lawsuit, a judge or jury will arrive at a verdict. Verdicts can award you with money or leave you with nothing.

Most personal injury cases begin by filing an insurance claim. During the claims process, companies frequently make intentionally low settlement offers. They know how much your claim is worth, but they only want to pay the minimum.

You don’t have to accept these initial offers and can negotiate for a higher payout. The personal injury lawyers at the Maguire Law Firm have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies to reach reasonable settlement amounts, and we can often settle your claim without needing to go to court.

In some cases, however, we may recommend filing a civil lawsuit. While personal injury lawsuit settlement amounts obtained through a verdict may be higher than negotiated payouts, they can also be nothing. Lawsuits are not guaranteed to result in compensation.

South Carolina’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is typically three years, although some exceptions apply. Filings against a government agency, for example, are subject to strict protocols and shorter timeframes. If you miss your filing deadline, you usually miss your opportunity to seek compensation.

Three years may seem like a long time to conduct a thorough investigation, build a solid case, and progress through rounds of negotiations; however, it is recommended to hire an attorney soon after your accident, as it provides more time to find evidence and allow the insurance companies to offer a fair personal injury settlement.

It’s usually better to exhaust other options before going to court. Your personal injury lawyer will explain the pros and cons and help you decide the best course of action.

How Can the Maguire Law Firm Help You Obtain a Reasonable Personal Injury Settlement?

We want to make your claims process as easy as possible while we seek fair compensation for your injury. We will investigate your accident, gather evidence to support your claim, handle case-related paperwork, and work tirelessly to advocate for your right to reasonable compensation.

Contact us 24/7 to request a free case evaluation. We will use our resources, experience, and extensive legal knowledge to work toward a favorable outcome for your case.

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