Everything You Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims in Greenville, South Carolina
Have you been injured in South Carolina? This could be a car wreck, truck accident, motorcycle accident, wrongful death, dog bite, or something else entirely. When you have been the victim of someone else’s negligence, our personal injury attorneys are here to fight for you. Come see us at our office located in Greenville, South Carolina, or call us at 803-809-2408 for high-quality personal injury legal advice today. At David W. Martin Law Group your case is our priority.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims occur when one person harms another person through negligent actions. These cases include various situations such as:
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Product liability;
- Car accidents;
- Wrongful death;
- Bike accidents; and
- Workers’ compensation.
To have a successful personal injury claim, the plaintiff generally needs to demonstrate that the defendant was intentionally negligent, acted recklessly, or failed to act, and that led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
A negligence claim requires proof of four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the legal obligation that individuals have to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm to other people. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to protect against car accidents. A breach occurs when an individual fails to exercise reasonable care, and their conduct falls below what is expected of someone in the same situation.
This could mean texting while driving in a car accident scenario. It is a breach because drivers are expected to focus on the road and prevent car accidents, texting is not reasonable when driving, and it is also illegal. Causation requires proof that the actions of the individual who caused the harm were the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Finally, damages that result from the injury can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering.
What Should I Do if I am Bitten By a Dog in Greenville?
If a person is bitten by a dog or attacked while in a public place or lawfully on private property, the dog’s owner or caretaker is generally liable for those injuries. This includes when a dog bite or attack occurs on the property of the dog owner or person caretaking for the dog where the victim is lawfully on the premises. Yet, there are exceptions to this state law where the dog owner will not be liable if:
- The victim of the dog bite or attack provoked or harassed the dog, and the provocation was the direct cause of the attack; or
- The dog was working in a law enforcement capacity with a governmental agency and in the performance of that dog’s official duties provided that:
- The dog’s attack is in direct and complete compliance with the lawful command of a duly certified canine officer;
- The dog is trained and certified according to the standards adopted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council;
- The governmental agency has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of dogs in the dog’s official law enforcement duties;
- The actions of the dog’s handler or dog do not violate the agency’s written policy;
- The actions of the dog’s handler do not constitute excessive force; and
- The attack or bite does not occur on a third-party bystander.
In any personal injury case, it is important to have evidence to prove the injury occurred and was caused by, in this case, the dog’s owner or caretaker. Evidence in a dog bite or attack case could include photos or videos of the attack or injuries, medical reports, medical expenses and bills, information about the dog and its owner, and eyewitness accounts.
Wrongful Death Claims in Greenville, South Carolina
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit where the death of a person is caused by the wrongful action, neglect, or default of another individual or entity. The essential components of a wrongful death claim are:
- The wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act by one person;
- Which directly causes the victims death;
- And the victim’s death would not have occurred without the wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act.
Because the victim of a wrongful death action is deceased, these cases are brought by the family of the victim. If the victim’s loved ones have a successful wrongful death case, they can recover compensation. Damages in a wrongful death case include, but are not limited to:
- Memorial expenses;
- Lost financial support and benefits;
- Medical bills and expenses related to the death; and
- Pain and suffering experienced by the surviving family members.
I Have Been in a Bicycle Accident in Greenville, South Carolina, What Do I Do Now?
A successful negligence case requires there to be a duty owed to the victim, the defendant’s actions fall below that duty which directly causes the injuries of the victim. A bicycle accident personal injury case has the same components. Therefore, when operating a bicycle in South Carolina, you have the same duties and privileges as those operating motor vehicles on the road. This means that people riding bicycles have to follow the flow of traffic and obey traffic laws. Someone operating a bicycle has the following duties:
- Ride as a vehicle with traffic, and obey all traffic signs;
- Ride as far to the right as practical under the specific circumstances;
- If a bike lane is present, stay in the bike lane unless your destination lies in a different direction;
- If you are riding in a group, do not ride more than two side-by-side; and
- If you are operating a bicycle after dark, use lights and reflectors to help increase your chances of being seen by motorists.
Understanding these duties as bicycle riders is important as it helps build your personal injury case. For instance, if you are riding a bike and are hit by a car, you may not be able to bring a personal injury claim. If your own conduct fell below a reasonable standard, such as failing to stop or driving while impaired, then you could be prohibited from recovering damages from the driver of the motor vehicle who hit you. But, if you are riding a bike and acting in a reasonable manner and a motor vehicle hits you and injures you, you may have a personal injury case on your hands.
What About Motorcycle Accidents?
In 2019, there were 123 motorcyclist fatalities in South Carolina, making this a serious and potentially deadly issue. Motorcycle accidents are similar to car wrecks and bicycle accidents when it comes to personal injury cases. Motorcycle drivers also have certain duties determined by state law, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, except as to special regulations or other provisions of law which by their nature would not apply.
- A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
- A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
- No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or another article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
- No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
- No person shall ride on a motorcycle as a passenger unless, when sitting astride the seat, the person can reach the footrests with both feet. Provided, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons riding in a motorcycle sidecar.
- No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.
Motorcyclists, similar to bicyclists, have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. This means that other drivers of motor vehicles have those same rights and responsibilities towards motorcyclists. Thus, when a driver of a motor vehicle displays unreasonable behavior, fails to act reasonably, or acts recklessly and causes injury to a motorcyclist, you may have a personal injury case against that driver. David W. Martin Law Group lawyers are ready and qualified to help you determine whether or not you have a case and how to advocate for just compensation.
David W. Martin Law Group Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Today
Our lawyers understand what it is like to be the victim of another person’s negligence, and we are successful at getting compensation for victims of cases just like yours. Although a lawsuit will not undo the damage done to you and your loved ones, it will provide justice in the form of damages to compensate you for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, and more. If you have questions about your personal injury case or are ready for representation, come see us at our office today located at 910 E. North Street, Greenville, South Carolina or call us at 803-809-2408.
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While we do all we can to settle cases in your benefit, we are also fully prepared to take your battle to court and win.
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We know that every case is different, and we treat them all with the same respect and attention. You’ll never be a number in our system, we will get to know you and every detail of your situation to get you the best outcome possible.
David W. Martin grew up right in Fort Mill and created his firm to represent the people who needed him most in the community he loves.
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At David W. Martin Law Group, our team of attorneys have the experience to help you achieve the best possible result based upon your facts and circumstances in South Carolina.