Most Common South Carolina Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries are sustained when one party unlawfully causes harm to another, whether intentionally or negligently. These circumstances can play out in countless fashions, but in South Carolina, certain personal injury cases are more common than others. With that being said, familiarizing yourself with them can help you avoid causing or potentially suffering from one yourself.
A traffic collision occurs in South Carolina every few minutes, and from these collisions, injuries result roughly every 16 minutes. Of course, over the course of a year’s time, that rate produces a staggering amount of injuries.
Some of these accidents and their resulting harm are, indeed, simply unavoidable, though a hefty amount are entirely preventable. Underlying most of the latter mishaps is negligence, which involves unreasonably dangerous behaviors that risk and cause losses.
Some of these behaviors are as follows:
Drinking or using drugs while operating a motor vehicle
Driving too fast for the conditions at hand
Operating an unsafe motor vehicle
Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
Although drivers are most often responsible for traffic accidents, many cases do occur in which someone other than (or in addition to) the driver, such as a car manufacturer, road construction company, or another employer, is at fault.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents deal with such incidents that occur on someone else’s property. According to various safety agencies, such as the National Safety Council, falls account for a significant portion of the accidental deaths that occur each year in South Carolina and around the country.
Though they typically occur due to slippery surfaces, slip and fall incidents may also be caused by any of the following:
Debris left in walkways or doorways
Poorly-lit walkways, entrances, and exits
Exposed cords and wires
Unkempt landscaping vegetation over walkways
Unexpected holes and uneven walkways
Broken or sunken stair steps and walking surfaces
Typical liable parties for slip and fall accidents include property owners, renters, retail store owners, and government agencies.
Product liability refers to the dangers that stem from an unreasonably hazardous product. Under South Carolina law, victims of injuries inflicted by such products can seek to hold the product makers responsible for their losses simply by demonstrating that the product in question harmed them; there is no need for the victim to prove negligence.
Some common types of dangerously defective products include items such as:
Cars and their parts, such as tires and brakes
As virtually any product can have a design or manufacturing characteristic that makes it overtly risky to operate, the above list could, theoretically, go on forever.
When a licensed healthcare professional fails to maintain and uphold the clear and accepted standards of care necessary when treating a patient, they can be held accountable for medical malpractice if they cause undue harm.
Common medical malpractice errors that lead to personal injuries include the following:
Testing and imaging errors
Failure to diagnose
Failure to provide treatment
Responsibility for medical malpractice is not limited to doctors, as nurses, midwives, lab techs, and other professionals may be held to pay. Additionally, under the doctrine of vicarious liability, the hospitals and healthcare facilities that employ these individuals may also be held accountable for the negligent acts of their employees.
South Carolina deals with dog bites by holding dog owners strictly liable for the harm done by their pets. In other words, the victim of a dog bite does not need to prove that the owner was negligent or knew that their dog was dangerous. The victim simply needs to prove that the dog either bit or attacked them.
Although strict liability is a low bar for liability as a whole, dog owners have some defenses to an allegation. For example, a dog owner can argue that the victim provoked their pet or that the victim was trespassing, which could relieve the dog owner of liability.
Workplace accidents are a special type of personal injury case, given that they are typically exclusively handled through the workers’ compensation system, which does not require proof of fault. However, victims receive far less in recompense from workers’ comp than they do from a standard personal injury claim, and non-economic damages are not covered under the system, either.
Still, an injured worker may be eligible to file a third-party lawsuit for full damages if a third party was involved in their workplace accident. A third party is anyone else besides themselves, fellow employees, and their employer.
West Law LLC Can Help Personal Injury Victims