Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers
The pain of a serious injury can be very difficult to go through, and that includes the mental anguish that can accompany the physical trauma. When someone else may be at fault, it can be difficult to focus on the important legal details that are necessary to secure a fair settlement. That’s where personal injury lawyers in Columbia, SC come in. At Mann Blake & Jackson we take that legal burden off your shoulders, so you can focus on your recovery.
Mann Blake & Jackson has a demonstrated track record of success, winning personal injury verdicts as high as $60 million. We’re relentless in our legal approach and we don't back down from insurance companies. Call today at (803) 525-1645 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
4 Elements of Negligence in South Carolina Law
To win a personal injury case in South Carolina requires the plaintiff (the injured party and their attorney) to demonstrate negligence on the part of the defendant. Negligence is composed of four elements and all four must be present for the plaintiff to win their legal case.
Duty of Care
The first thing that must be demonstrated is the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In a car accident case, this will likely be self-evident. All drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road. Medical malpractice cases are another area where duty of care will probably be apparent on its face, so long as there is a formal doctor-patient relationship.
Not all duty of care obligations are cut-and-dried, however. Let’s take a dog bite injury. Where was the plaintiff when they encountered the defendant’s dog and what were the circumstances of the bite? In a burn injury case, how did the plaintiff come to encounter the fire? Every case has its own nuance, and our lawyers are alert and observant of relevant details.
Breach of Duty
This second part of negligence is where a good deal of legal dispute may be involved, and it involves demonstrating the defendant breached the duty of care that they owed. The reason this can be a hotly contested issue is because the simple fact of an injury and the existence of duty of care, does not mean the defendant is at fault. Instead, South Carolina law requires that defendants observe a reasonable standard of care in their actions. That is, did they do what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances. A personal injury attorney in Columbia, SC has the task of demonstrating the defendant did not act with reasonable care.
Let’s consider a slip and fall case where the plaintiff was injured because the aisle in a grocery store was wet. If a spill was there for hours, then the store may well be considered negligent. If the spill was there for ten minutes, the court may not consider it reasonable for the defendant to have acted that quickly. If the defendant put up a “Wet Floor” sign after cleaning, they may well have acted reasonably. If warnings did not exist, and customers just walked over a damp floor, the duty of care may have been breached.
The underlying question of what is reasonable is something that is in the eyes of the beholder–in this case, that beholder being the court. That makes the skill and presentation of the plaintiff’s case even more important. Mann Blake & Jackson’s experience in winning big personal injury cases bears witness to our ability to present a case in the best possible light.
Even if it's proven that a defendant breached their duty of care ,it still has to be shown that the breach is what caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This might seem obvious, and in some instances it probably will be. But other cases are more nuanced.
As an example, let’s say the injured person in a slip and fall case already had back and neck problems. The defendant–or, more precisely, the lawyers for the insurance company who covers the defendant–can argue that the injuries were the result of pre-existing conditions.
Plaintiffs can feel reasonably “confident” that insurance companies will go through medical records in an attempt to sever the connection between the breach of duty and the injuries. Plaintiffs need to be even more confident that their own personal injury lawyers in Columbia, SC will be ready, not back down and know how to fight the insurance company. At Mann Blake & Jackson, we do.
The last step is proving that the plaintiff was indeed damaged by all of the above elements and establishing what the scope of the damages would be.
In a catastrophic injury case, understanding the scope of the damages can require the experience of having been through similar cases. It’s more than just the medical bills and the rehab. It’s even more than the pain and suffering.
Damages in cases like this also include the lost opportunities for career advancement, the possible need to revamp one’s current home or to move to a different one. It involves projecting out and understanding all the potential ways a plaintiff’s life has been altered by the accident. Our past experience in winning lucrative damage settlements can be invaluable for clients.
As a part of calculating damages, South Carolina law also offers the courts the flexibility of assigning percentages of blame to each party. So long as a plaintiff’s share of fault does not exceed 50 percent, they can collect in the appropriate proportion.
For example, let’s say a plaintiff is awarded $25 million in damages for catastrophic injuries following a car accident. However, the jury did decide the plaintiff bore 10 percent of the responsibility for the crash. Under South Carolina law, the plaintiff collects 90 percent of the damages–in this case, that would be $22.5 million.
This is called modified comparative negligence and it underscores the importance of an attorney who takes every last detail of a personal injury case seriously. In big cases, the movement of a single percentage point can cost a plaintiff a lot of money. In the example above, reducing the plaintiff’s fault from 10 percent to 9 percent, would have netted the plaintiff an additional $250,000. And our lawyers have led cases where the damages were more than twice that of this example.
WHY DO I NEED A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, it is important to seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer. You have probably heard that a lot, but why? What do personal injury lawyers do that is so valuable to injury victims?
Well, personal injury lawyers are experienced in navigating the complexities of personal injury claims and can provide invaluable assistance through every stage of the process. A personal injury attorney will be knowledgeable about the laws governing your case, can investigate all aspects of an accident or incident, and has the resources needed to ensure that your rights are fully protected. From assessing liability to negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf, personal injury lawyers can provide comprehensive representation and fight for you throughout each step of the process so that you receive full compensation for any damages incurred.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
Sometimes dealing with the legal process and insurance companies can be too difficult for some one who was injured in an accident. Insurance companies do not always have the best interests of their policyholders in mind when settling a personal injury claim. When it comes to an insurance company and a policyholder, the policyholder is almost always at a disadvantage. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they will do what they can to reduce the amount of money that they have to pay out on a claim. This is why it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you with all aspects of your case, including negotiating with insurance companies, and filing any necessary paperwork. A personal injury lawyer can also do the legwork that is needed to ensure that your rights are fully protected and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
When individuals are injured they may also have difficulty handling the legal complexities involved in a personal injury case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can provide them with the necessary skills and guidance to get the compensation they deserve while they rest and recover from their injuries. Personal injury victims must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached it through unreasonable actions or inaction, and caused the damages. This is what your attorney will do while you rest.
An attorney can also help people make sure all their paperwork is filled out correctly and on time. An attorney will also know the statute of limitations in South Carolina, which means they when you must file your claim according to the law. If you miss the deadline set out by the state's statute of limitations, then your case may not be accepted by the court. Attorneys help make sure claims and lawsuits are filed on time, so injured people get all the compensation they deserve.
Mann Blake & Jackson knows that when you’ve been injured, you’re relying on us to fight for your financial future. We take that responsibility with the utmost of seriousness and it’s why we’re relentless in pressing for an advantage on all facets of a personal injury case.
We've Fought and Beaten Government Agencies
We've recovered over $100M in verdicts, settlements, and awards for our clients, much of that against government agencies. We know what you're facing, and we're the team to help you win.
These Cases Are Close to Home For Us
Not only are we North and South Carolina attorneys, but our families, friends, and neighbors have fallen victim to the injustices at Camp Lejeune. We'll fight vigorously for you and your family not just because it's the right thing to do, but because we've been hurt by this too.
We Know How to Protect and Service Our ClientsWe've fought for whistleblowers. We've fought for catastrophic injury victims. We know this can feel like a daunting road, but we have the experience and know what it takes to provide you the justice you deserve.
First-class in their representation of our family.
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The compassion for their clients is excellent.
“They worked tirelessly to help me in my case. They always quickly responded to emails. Both of them exhibit expert knowledge in law.”
I highly recommend Jenkins and his firm.
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So fortunate to have found them!
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Service was impeccable.
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