If you've been hurt in a South Carolina accident, you don't get a settlement just because you got hurt. Before you can qualify for a settlement, you've got to prove liability. That's the legal word for fault.

In most South Carolina personal injury cases, it can be extremely hard for a victim without legal training to prove liability. The reason is, to prove liability for a South Carolina accident, you've got to prove someone essentially broke the law, causing your injury. 

In cases that don't involve car or motorcycle accidents with clear fault, South Carolina injury law has lots of gray areas for wrongdoers to escape liability.

Below, I'll tell you how you might prove liability in South Carolina personal injury cases I've handled over the years.

Already unsure if you can prove liability in your South Carolina accident case? Get your questions answered in a free, no-pressure strategy session with a Spartanburg, SC, personal injury attorney. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form

Proving Liability in South Carolina for a Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Accident

Fall injuries often occur at a business or store. But just because you fell and got hurt doesn't make your case easy. Basically, the law requires you to prove liability in one of three ways:

  1. The store created the slipping or tripping hazard. For example, an employee knocks over a bucket of water but doesn't clean it up.
  2. The store knew about the hazard but didn't fix it. Like when employees get a report about a wrinkled floor mat but they don't straighten it out.
  3. The store should have known about the danger. The store requires employees to conduct inspections at regular intervals, but they skipped the one that could have revealed the spill. Or they just don't inspect at all.

Stores fight these claims tooth and nail through their insurance company adjusters. Expect everyone at the store to deny knowing what caused your fall. To get evidence of inspections, you've got to file a lawsuit. The same holds true for what may be a central piece of evidence in your case: surveillance video. And there's a lot of gray area surrounding whether a store “should have known” about a danger on its floors.

Even if fault is clear, you can always count on businesses to claim the danger was “open and obvious,” meaning you should have looked where you were going, so it's all your fault. Given the right facts, this defense can be overcome, as powerful as it seems.

With all the defenses stacked against you, you shouldn't consider pursuing one of these cases without guidance from an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney. We offer a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session we work to make easy on you.

Proving Liability in South Carolina Dog Bite Cases

South Carolina dog attacks can be brutal, leaving victims with lifelong physical and emotional scars. No matter the amount of damage inflicted on you, you've still got to prove your right to a settlement, starting with liability, which may come at the hands of several sources: 

  1. The dog owner. According to South Carolina law, dog owners are “strictly liable” under the right circumstances. That means all you have to prove is you got bitten. 
  2. The dog’s caretaker.  The caretaker can be different from the owner. For example, the owner may leave their dog in the care of another person. Caretakers are also strictly liable under South Carolina dog bite law.
  3. Apartment complexes and landlords. There's no legal liability for a property owner who doesn't own the dog if the property owner has no control over the property and provides no care or keeping of the dog.  For example, if your child gets bitten by a dog owned by someone who rents a house, the house owner likely isn't liable unless you can prove the house owner helped care for the dog. But you may be able to prove legal liability if the property owner knew the dog bit someone before and did nothing about it.

Assuming you prove liability, you've still got to prove the damage incurred to a skeptical insurance company whose adjuster is professionally trained to convince you to take a lowball settlement. Don't fall for that. Contact me or another experienced South Carolina dog bite attorney to help you with your case so you don't get shortchanged in your one chance to make a fair recovery.

Proving Liability for an Injury at a South Carolina Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility

Sadly, the most vulnerable people can be the hardest to protect legally. 

To prove liability, you need an experienced nursing home or assisted living facility injury lawyer for three reasons:

  1. Laws governing assisted living facilities and nursing home care are very complicated. Both state and federal regulations may apply.
  2. These cases require extremely cautious investigation before the facility is alerted you're pursuing a legal case. Once you alert the nursing home of your allegations, expect them to circle the wagons to close ranks around staff, making sure they get their stories together. Getting legal guidance from an experienced nursing home injury lawyer will reduce your chances of this happening early, giving you a better shot at getting the truth out. Even so, you've just got to expect they are already working against you before you even get a lawyer.
  3. You need an expert. In South Carolina, the law requires the victim to have an expert in this type of case to show the facility broke a safety rule, called the standard of care, causing the victim's injury. The cause of the injury dictates the type of expert you need, whether it's a fall, bed sore, assault, wandering, or substandard medical care. You may need a registered nurse, a wound doctor, an expert on facility administration, or someone else; it depends on how your case develops. If medical records get doctored, which can happen in these cases, you might even need a computer or handwriting expert to call the facility out on it. Because these experts are critical to the success of your case, they need to be carefully selected for not just their knowledge but also their ability to testify convincingly, as it's their job to convince the jury the facility is liable.

Count on the facility to deny fault and fight hard even if it's crystal clear they did wrong. There's no way around it: you need to find the right South Carolina nursing home or assisted living facility injury attorney to build a case to take on the facility. Otherwise, you shouldn't expect anything more than a shoulder shrug.

If you've got a family member who suffered injury or death at a South Carolina assisted living facility or nursing home, call me toll-free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

Proving Liability in a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Case

Proving liability in these cases is much the same as the assisted living facility and nursing home cases discussed right above. You need an expert. Liability in these cases can be much harder to prove because a key defense will be “medicine is an uncertain, imperfect science and bad outcomes sometimes happen despite doctors’ best efforts.”

If you've been hurt from poor medical care by a doctor, nurse, or hospital in South Carolina, you need the confidence in an attorney you trust to evaluate if the case is worth it for you to pursue, as experts incur enormous costs and providers fight these cases tooth and nail.

So You Proved Liability. Now What?

Once you can prove legal fault, you've got to prove how much of a settlement you should get for your South Carolina accident. That means proving the harm and loss you sustained from it. Part of that may be easy, like medical bills and lost wages, assuming your doctor and employer support your claim that you got hurt in the accident and missed work for it.

But then you reach a steeper challenge- how do you address “pain and suffering”? “It hurts” won't impress the insurance company. And there's more to pain and suffering than just pain and suffering. You need an experienced storyteller who knows how to guide you in making your pain and loss meaningful. That's where an experienced South Carolina accident injury lawyer comes in. 

Finally, you reach the precipice of the hardest challenge of all. How much of a settlement should I ask for in a South Carolina personal injury case? This is no time to be an amateur. The insurance company has professional adjusters who do this for a living to press cheap settlements on unsuspecting victims. But you can level the playing field with a professional of your own. Experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys do this for a living. Don't you owe it to yourself to get some guidance from someone on your side?

Get an experienced Spartanburg, South Carolina, personal injury attorney to review your case from your side. Call me toll-free at  888-230-1841.

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Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.