Proving Negligence in South Carolina
If you or a loved one have been injured or even killed due to another party’s negligence, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your options. However, you do not have to shoulder the burden alone. An experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can zealously advocate on your behalf and help you navigate the process.
The Elements of a Negligence Claim
In order to succeed on a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that another party’s failure to exercise the reasonable care owed was the cause of the harm suffered. This causal connection between the negligent act and the harm suffered is critical, and can be difficult to establish. Additionally, the kind of harm must have been foreseeable based on the breach of duty owed, and economic damages (such as medical bills) must have been suffered as a result of the harm. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to structure and put forth the strongest possible version of your case.
South Carolina is a comparative negligence state, which means that the negligence of both parties is considered in determining fault for an injury. In South Carolina, a party can only succeed on a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if they are found to be less than 50% responsible for the injury. However, it’s important to note that even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages, provided you are not the party primarily responsible.
The court will determine what percentage of fault to assign to each party. The damages award will then be reduced by a proportionate percentage of any fault assigned to the suing party. For instance, if a pedestrian was walking with their back to traffic and headphones in and was struck by a drunk driver, even though the drunk driver is clearly at fault, the negligence of walking the wrong way and listening to music, which likely blocked out honking and traffic noises, will also be considered. Hypothetically, if the jury assigned the drunk driver 90% fault and the pedestrian 10% fault, and awarded $100,000 in total damages, the damages would then be decreased by 10%, proportionate to the amount of fault. The pedestrian would therefore receive $90,000.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover financially from a tragic accident that was not your fault. While nothing can keep the accident from happening, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can put you in the position you would have been in financially had the negligently caused harm never occurred. A successful personal injury lawsuit reimburses individuals for all expenses related to the injury, as well as for lost wages or lost earning potential, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Schedule a Consultation
If you or someone you loved has been injured in an accident or incident that could have been avoided, had another party taken reasonable care, Charleston personal injury lawyer Gus Anastopoulo is here to help. Schedule your free consultation today, and find out how Gus Anastopoulo can help you.