Do I Have to Go to Court if I File a Personal Injury Claim in South Carolina?

Do I have to go to court if I file a personal injury claim in South Carolina?

If you were involved in an accident that left you severely injured, you may have questions about what you will need to do to recover financially from the accident. Can you receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance by filing an accident claim? Will you have to file a personal injury lawsuit? Will you have to go through a trial to pursue compensation?

If your injury left you unable to work for an extended period of time and with a mountain of medical bills, you should have an experienced injury attorney review the details of your accident and explain your legal options. In South Carolina, an accident victim may be entitled to recover compensation for injuries, damages, and losses that were caused by someone else’s negligence. In order to recover compensation, the victim must pursue an injury claim within three years from the date of injury.

Taking advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer will allow you to make fact-based decisions with your future in mind. Reach out to the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at David Blackwell Law. Our team is dedicated to recovering compensation for our good people who are going through tough times. We will strive to negotiate a fair settlement while you focus on what is most important: healing.

Most Cases Settle Out of Court Through Negotiation

It is a common misconception that individuals who file personal injury lawsuits must go through the ordeal of a trial if they hope to recover any compensation for their injuries. That is not true. Our legal team has many years of experience negotiating injury claims with insurance companies. We are successful in settling most injury claims without going through a trial. Each case has its own set of facts that determines the willingness of the insurance companies to enter a settlement.

After we investigate an accident and identify all the potentially liable parties, we will send demand letters to the insurance companies involved and seek a fair settlement. Some insurance companies will negotiate a settlement at this point. But some insurance companies will not negotiate until a lawsuit has been filed.

Most people would prefer not to go through a jury trial, understandably. We will keep you informed of the progress of negotiations and confer with you before filing a lawsuit. In some cases, when you are near the time limit for filing a personal injury claim, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to meet the statute of limitations and protect your legal rights to seek compensation.

Settlement Allows Accident Victim to Receive Compensation More Quickly

There are benefits to settling a dispute out of court, the biggest one being that a settlement allows a personal injury victim to be certain of the amount he or she will receive and to recover compensation more quickly, as a general rule. Accidents can be costly. Depending on the nature of the accident, a victim may have to cover the cost of medical expenses, physical therapy fees, and vehicle repairs while they are waiting for a judgment.

If the injuries are severe enough, the accident victim may require special equipment such as a wheelchair or crutches and may be forced to rely on a home-health aide to assist with daily activities and chores. Most accident victims are unable to return to work for a period of time, leaving them with no way to pay for their medical bills.

A personal lawsuit that goes to trial may take a year and a half to three years to prepare and get docketed on the court calendar for trial. A case may settle at any time during the process, including during the trial.

At David Blackwell Law, we understand that you are hurting physically and financially, and you need to be treated fairly. Our legal team is determined to pursue a fair settlement for each client we represent. Our team is experienced in the valuation of personal injury claims and will not accept any less than what your claim is worth. We will communicate with you throughout the negotiation process. It will be you decision whether to accept a settlement or proceed.

What Happens When a Case Does Go to Trial?

If your case does go to trial, you will need an experienced trial attorney to represent you. The insurance companies will have experienced lawyers presenting their side of the case, and you will need trusted legal counsel as well.

A lot happens between making the decision to go to trial and the handing down of the final verdict. As stated above, a settlement may occur at any point during the trial up until the jury renders a verdict. Below is a sample timeline of events for a personal injury trial:

  • Choosing a Jury
  • Opening Statements
  • Witness Testimony and Cross-Examination
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instruction
  • Jury Deliberation and Verdict

An experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney can advise you on what to expect at each phase of a trial.

Retain the Help of a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer

At David Blackwell Law, our team has a reputation with insurance agencies of taking cases that are worth fighting for. We understand that accidents can be expensive and that after the fact you may be worried about finances in addition to everything else. After an accident, you should be focused on your health, not on how you are going to afford to pay for the mess caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. If you have a legitimate personal injury claim, we will fight to take care of you, and you will not owe a legal fee unless we secure money for you through a settlement or jury award. Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers serve clients in Lancaster, Indian Land, Heath Springs, Kershaw, Fort Mill, and surrounding areas. To schedule your consultation today, give us a call or contact us online.