You are never obligated to accept a cash settlement from the insurance company adjuster for your premises liability injury.
While it may be tempting to accept the offer quickly, insurance company adjusters often have their own companies in mind and may attempt to downplay your injuries to make you settle for a too-low payment. However, you never have to accept it. If you do take a settlement that turns out to be too low to pay for your expenses, you generally forfeit your right to pursue compensation again.
You have the right to hire an attorney to review your expenses and give you an estimate of what you could be entitled to in a settlement. They may also negotiate with the insurance company for you.
You May Receive Compensation in Premises Liability Injury Settlements
If a hazard on someone else’s property injured you in South Carolina, you might be entitled to compensation for expenses related to your injuries, including:
One of the easier forms of compensation to prove is expenses related to medical treatment for your injuries. These expenses might include the costs of:
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medication
- Medical devices
- Rehabilitative care
- In-home care
This is not an exhaustive list of all the medical care costs you may be able to recover. You might be entitled to compensation for future medical bills as well.
You can also recover a financial award for any paychecks you missed while you were out of work due to your injuries. This award can include any lost wages, benefits you missed out on, and even diminished future earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
A noneconomic form of compensation you might be able to recover through a premises liability settlement is pain and suffering. This form of compensation can include the emotional pain you suffered from the accident, how much it has affected your life, and other consequences that may not have an immediate monetary value assigned to them.
If a hazard on someone’s property caused your loved one’s death, you could be entitled to compensation for remaining medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, and more through a wrongful death claim.
Comparative Fault Might Affect Your Case in South Carolina
South Carolina is a comparative fault state, which could pose a problem in premises liability cases. This means that if you were at all responsible for your injuries, the insurance company could diminish the settlement by the percentage you were at fault.
For example, if the insurance company can argue that you were more than 50% at fault for your injury, they do not have to pay you anything, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-38-15.
If you are unsure of your level of fault, an attorney may help you determine whether you can receive compensation. They can also fight back against insurance companies that try to place more responsibility on the victim than is due.
How an Attorney May Be Able to Help You
An attorney can help you by being on your side, unlike the insurance company. Once you hire an attorney to work on your premises liability injury case, they may:
- Investigate your case by interviewing eyewitnesses, reviewing medical records, and getting expert testimonies
- Estimate the case’s value by evaluating your damages to give you an idea of the settlement you could receive
- Negotiate with insurance companies for you to attempt to reach a settlement out of court
According to a study in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, while about 97 percent of civil cases settle out of court, if an attorney believes the insurance company’s settlement offer is too low, they may argue for a higher judgment at trial.
In this case, you might also be able to recover punitive damages, which is money awarded to the plaintiff to punish the defendant if they were especially negligent. For example, a judge or jury might award punitive damages if the defendant’s negligence caused the death of a plaintiff’s loved one.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today
A premises liability attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers might be able to help you with your case. We can also tell you whether you should accept a cash settlement from the insurance company adjuster for your premises liability injury.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, but time is of the essence in premises liability cases. We can work on your case while you focus on recovering physically. Call us or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing upfront or out of pocket. We only take our payment when we win you a settlement.