As the old saying goes, "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove." That statement is truer today than ever before when it comes to accident claims. Injuries, medical bills, and ongoing pain are not enough on their own to receive fair compensation in South Carolina. We must establish every element of your case before an insurance carrier or jury will make you whole. Please do not be discouraged by this truth, however. I have spent my entire career helping people with the same challenges you now confront, and am here to help you as well.
In every case, a number of facts must be established, including:
- How the injury occurred;
- Who was at-fault;
- What injuries were sustained as a result of the accident;
- What medical treatment has been received;
- What medical problems you are currently experiencing; and
- How your life has been impacted by the event.
Proving Negligence & Causation
To recover damages (i.e. money) or achieve a settlement, we must first prove that your injury was caused by another person or business. If we cannot demonstrate that the other party was in some way negligent, careless, reckless, or willful, South Carolina law will not permit you to receive compensation. At times, negligence is clear. For instance, if a doctor fails to remove a surgical sponge. In other cases, liability will be disputed. The other driver might claim that the collision was your fault, or the hospital may allege that there was nothing more they could do for a patient. It is in those cases that independent fact witnesses and experts may be needed to establish that someone else is to blame for your injuries.
Once we show that the other party is liable, we must then prove their negligence caused your injury. The law calls this "causation." For example, if you have a history of lower back pain, then get in a rear-end collision, the insurance company is going to argue that your preexisting condition - rather than the crash - explains why your back now hurts. To overcome their argument, we will need your doctor to say that the accident made your back worse, necessitating medical care.
In sum, to maximize value and receive a fair outcome in a personal injury case, we must - at a minimum - prove fault, injury, and causation. There is a long list of strategies and tactics we utilize to further ensure insurance companies treat you fairly, but for purposes of this article, please remember that it is all about proving rather than simply knowing what your case is worth.
Be Sure of Your Case's Value Before Signing A Release
In South Carolina, you only have one shot at justice. Regardless of whether you are interested in hiring a lawyer, I encourage you to at least contact my office at 803-790-2800 for a free case evaluation. I look forward to helping you.