Personal injury cases in South Carolina can indeed be time-consuming, and the duration of each case varies depending on several factors. It is essential to understand the process involved in a personal injury case and the timeline to expect.
Here, we will provide an overview of the steps involved in a personal injury case in South Carolina and how long each step takes:
Step 1: Medical Treatment and Investigation (1-2 months)
The first step in a personal injury case in South Carolina is to seek medical treatment. This is crucial not only for your health but also for your case. Your medical records will serve as your evidence of injuries and the treatment you received. It is highly recommended that you get medical treatment within 72 hours of the accident. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to prove your injuries were a result of the accident.
After seeking medical treatment, next is to investigate the accident. This includes gathering evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and pictures of the accident scene. Your personal injury attorney will handle this process, which can take up to a month or two.
Step 2: Filing a Claim (2-3 months)
Once you have gathered all the necessary information and documents, the next step is to actually file the claim. This can be done by submitting the documents to the court or by submitting them to the responsible party’s insurance company. They will then thoroughly review the claim and determine if it is valid and if the damages you are seeking are reasonable.
The entire process of filing a claim can take anywhere from two to three months. During this time, the insurance company will review the claim and consider whether to accept or deny it. If the claim gets accepted, the insurance company will negotiate a settlement with you. If the claim is denied, the next step is to file a lawsuit in court.
Step 3: Negotiations (3-6 months)
If the insurance company accepts the claim, the next step is to negotiate a settlement. Your personal injury attorney will start negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to make certain that you receive fair compensation for all your injuries. This process can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the complexity of the case.
Step 4: Filing a Lawsuit (6-12 months)
If negotiations fail, your personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is the most time-consuming step in the personal injury case process and can take anywhere from six months to a year or more. During this time, both parties will engage in discovery, which involves exchanging evidence and information.
Step 5: Trial (1-2 years)
If the case goes to trial, the process can take anywhere from one to two years. During this time, both parties will present their case in court, and a judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case.
Personal injury cases in South Carolina can take a long time to resolve. The timeline varies depending on several factors, like the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the case, and whether the case goes to trial. It is essential to have a personal injury attorney on your side to guide you through the tedious process and ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries.
Remember to seek medical treatment immediately, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company before you file a lawsuit. Having a seasoned personal injury attorney is also crucial. With the right legal representation, it’s easier to navigate the personal injury case process and receive the compensation you deserve.
Our experienced Rock Hill personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson have been providing legal counsel in personal injury cases for almost 30 years. We fully understand the complexities of dealing with insurance companies after an accident and are committed to helping all our clients get the compensation that they truly deserve. Our experience and expertise in both mediation and courtroom litigation make us a go-to choice for many people in South Carolina who have been injured in an accident and need help. Schedule your meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney from our firm today!