Personal injury law encompasses a variety of different types of cases that arise from the negligent conduct of another party. Auto accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Please see our Auto Accident page in regard to auto accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents. Work-related injuries have special rules regarding recovery and compensation. Please see our Workers’ Compensation page for important information about work-related injuries.
Other types of personal injury cases include: defective or unreasonably dangerous products; premises liability; slip and falls; false arrest or imprisonment; dog bites; assault and battery; defamation, libel or slander; adulterated food (food unsafe to consume due to foreign objects or contamination by virus, bacteria or parasites); or any physical or mental injury arising from negligent or willful conduct.
Have you suffered a personal injury and are trying to determine if you need a lawyer? It will cost you nothing to call us or meet for a free consultation to discuss your case and whether hiring a lawyer will benefit you. People suffering personal injuries can suffer a wide variety of injuries to include muscle strains, muscle sprains, broken or dislocated bones, head injuries, including brain injuries, burn injuries, paralysis, and wrongful death (loss of life). If your injuries are minor and require only one trip to the hospital or family doctor, you can most often resolve your claim without the assistance of a lawyer. We are always glad to talk to you, whether you believe your case may be big or small. We encourage you to call us regarding any questions you may have and to help you make sure that you do not need the assistance of a lawyer.
If you have sustained more serious injuries that require therapy, ongoing treatment, or are permanent or disabling, the assistance of a lawyer can be helpful in obtaining the fullest compensation possible. An experienced lawyer can help to investigate and establish liability, determine the possible sources of recovery, investigate the extent of your injuries, clarify and present all your injuries and damages fully and clearly, and work to minimize what must be paid for medical bills and health insurance liens. A lawyer can also help to relieve some of the stress and frustration that comes from dealing with insurance companies and their adjusters. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss all the ways we can help you and your family.
If you believe that you need the assistance of a lawyer or just want to understand your rights, do not hesitate to contact us.
Some quick things to remember if you have suffered a personal injury:
Take pictures of the scene, defective product/condition, and your injuries
Pictures provide some of the best evidence for your case.
Keep and maintain defective products and adulterated foods
These are evidence in your case and need to be properly kept to assist in proving your case. Defective products, their packaging, and any accompanying paperwork should be placed in an area to avoid exposure to the elements and to avoid accidental disposal. Adulterated foods should be maintained to avoid spoiling and contaminating other foods in your household.
Do not resolve your claim until all your injuries have resolved or been fully addressed
Once you settle the case, you cannot come back and obtain further compensation. Thus, you must make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries so when you settle, you are settling based upon everything that you have and will suffer and sustain in damages.
Avoid delays or gaps in treatment
Delays and gaps in treatment are often used by insurance companies to argue that you really were not that injured or that you were injured by something that happened during the gap/delay. If you believe you need treatment, it is best for your case that you get treatment as soon as possible. Also, make sure you are as consistent with your treatment and not cancelling or missing scheduled visits.
Insurance companies often request recorded statements
If you are thinking about hiring a lawyer, it is best to speak with a lawyer before doing a recorded statement. If you decide to give a recorded statement, you must be sure to listen carefully to the questions and be completely accurate in what happened and your injuries. People often generalize their injuries or say they are okay when they think they are not that hurt. Never make your injuries sound any less or more than what they are. It is best to describe everything you are feeling from head to toe so that the insurance company cannot later claim that you said nothing about a particular injury. Many times, it is the injury that is thought to be insignificant that seems to linger and is really never addressed until the more painful injuries are resolved.
You are limited in the amount of time to recover for your injuries
If you fail to bring a lawsuit or resolve your claim before the time period runs, you lose your right to be compensated for your injuries. In South Carolina, the type of personal injury sustained and who the at-fault party is, such as a government employee, determine the appropriate time limitation to bring a lawsuit. It is always best to discuss your case with a lawyer as to best understand your rights and the time you have to pursue your rights.
Other questions, worries, and concerns
A lawyer can answer your questions, explain your rights, put some of your fears to rest, and help you decide if you would benefit from having representation. When in doubt, contact a lawyer. We will be glad to help you at Smith & Jones Law, LLC.
Defective and Unreasonably Dangerous Products
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and sellers may all be held responsible when a defective and unreasonably dangerous product injures someone. Causes of action for negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty may be used to obtain a recovery for injuries caused by defective and unreasonably dangerous products. Products can be defective and unreasonably dangerous due to design defects, manufacturing defects and/or inadequate warnings.
If you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you should keep the product and store it somewhere that it cannot be destroyed. Also, take pictures of the product as soon after the injury as possible. You should be aware that most product cases require the expense of experts that can be costly to prove the defect of the product.
Please feel free to contact us as soon as possible to discuss the potential of a product case and the expense of a potential case.
Premises Liability & Slip and Falls
Premises liability cases are based upon being injured by a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone’s property. There are a number of factors that are important to be able to make a recovery when injured on someone’s property. Factors such as why you were on the property, who owns the property and the nature of the condition that caused the injury.
One of the most important factors in pursuing a premises liability claim is showing that the owner/occupier of the property had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous or hazardous condition, at the time of the accident. It is best that an investigation is performed as soon as possible after the accident and that everything possible is documented by pictures or in reports.
Always report an accident to the property owner/occupier as soon as possible. If the accident happens at a business, ask them to document the accident and any injuries you sustained in a report. Make sure that you get a copy of the report. Also, ask for the information of any witnesses. If you have been injured while on someone else’s premises and believe a liability lawyer may be required, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we may use our experience to help you.
False Arrest or Imprisonment
It is unlawful to restrain a person against their will in a way which interferes with their personal liberty or freedom of movement. The act of restraint must be intentional in that the person committing the false imprisonment must have meant to restrain the victim. In certain circumstances, force is not required in the restraint.
However, it is not false imprisonment when there is reasonable/probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime. Thus, if you are arrested but the criminal charges are dropped, it does not mean that false imprisonment has occurred if there was reasonable/probable cause to believe you had committed a crime. Reasonable/probable cause is determined by the facts and circumstances known at the time.
It is also possible that the restraint may be considered lawful by one party but unlawful as to the party causing the restraint. The best example is when someone falsely accuses someone of a crime and causes the police to arrest someone when the facts and circumstances appear to show that you had committed a crime. If you believe you have been falsely imprisoned, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case.
South Carolina law provides strict-liability for owners and persons who are keeping dogs when a dog bites someone. Meaning that a dog owner or person keeping a dog is automatically responsible for the damages caused when the dog bites someone. It does not matter that the dog has never bitten anyone before, never showed aggressive tendencies or never appeared dangerous. If a person was in a public place or lawfully in a private place when bitten there is a strict liability as long as they did not provoke or harass the dog. What is considered provocation and harassment is viewed on a case by case basis, and a lawyer with expertise in dog bite cases may be able to help. There are also nuances when it comes to children bitten by dogs. If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, it is best to report it to animal control and obtain a report. This will document the incident and should help you find out who is the owner of the dog. Also, try to obtain information regarding the owner and/or keeper of the dog as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case.
Other Personal Injury Cases
If you have been injured by an Assault & Battery, from Defamation/Libel/Slander, consuming Adulterated Food or have suffered a personal injury in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to discuss the facts of your case, your injuries and whether you would benefit from obtaining a lawyer.
Do not hesitate to call us if you think you can use our help. Also, please call us if you have questions, concerns or worries regarding any legal matter. A lawyer can answer your questions, explain your rights, put some of your fears to rest, and help you decide if you would benefit from having representation. We will be glad to help you at Smith & Jones Law, LLC, even if it is finding someone to assist you in any matter that we do not handle.