Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer

Sustaining an injury caused by another person’s carelessness can feel like an unfair burden. Splitting your focus between recovery and navigating the legal process can add to that overwhelming feeling. It’s hard work alone.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Charleston helps you level the playing field against the insurance companies. While insurers have teams of attorneys committed to getting out of paying your compensation, you can have a group of successful lawyers on your side.

At Rikard & Protopapas, our injury attorneys have achieved millions in results from personal injury claims. Your circumstances are unique, but we have the legal resources and knowledge to manage your case, seek justice from a negligent party, and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Request a consultation with our personal injury lawyers in Charleston today.

What Kinds of Cases Does Our Charleston Personal Injury Attorney Handle?

Our law firm focuses on personal injury cases, which span a wide area. We help our clients resolve many types of claims:

  • Car accidents: Severe injuries and significant medical expenses can result from auto accidents. Our team has extensive experience in handling such cases.
  • Truck accidents: The large size of these vehicles increases the risk of catastrophic damage and injuries. We understand the danger and complexities of these cases.
  • Wrongful death: Negligent parties should be held responsible for the loss of your loved one. We work hard to recover damages to cover bills and protect dependents.
  • Nursing home abuse: Older adults deserve respect and care, but they too often face abuse and neglect in nursing homes. We hold negligent parties accountable.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians often suffer severe injuries when struck by vehicles. We represent injured persons and their families to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
  • Bicycle accidents: Cyclists often experience serious injuries in crashes because they share the road with larger motor vehicles while having less protection. We work hard to keep them safe by holding reckless drivers accountable.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycle accidents are at risk of fatalities which have climbed to a record high in South Carolina. We advocate for the rights of those injured in motorcycle accidents.
  • Catastrophic injuries: These injuries can permanently alter a person’s life. We strive to secure significant compensation that reflects the severity of these cases.
  • Premises liability: Property owners must keep their premises safe for visitors. We hold negligent owners accountable for any injuries caused on their property.
  • Dog bites: If you or your loved one has sustained injuries from an animal attack, our Charleston personal injury attorney is here to help. Get the compensation you deserve and justice from the negligent dog owner.

What Are the Elements of a Personal Injury Case?

In a personal injury case, you must prove negligence and its connection to your injury. Below are the main elements our Charleston personal injury lawyers focus on when working on these cases.

Duty of care

The attorney must establish that the defendant had a legal duty of care toward the injured person. This means he or she was required to act with consideration for the plaintiff’s safety. For instance, drivers must operate their vehicles safely to prevent harm to others on the road.

Breach of duty

The second element is demonstrating that the defendant breached this duty of care. This involves proving that the defendant acted (or failed to act) in a way that a reasonable person in the same situation would have. For example, a doctor may fail to provide a reasonable standard of care.


Your attorney must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injury. This often requires medical evidence to link the defendant’s actions with the injuries sustained.


To seek compensation, you must have suffered damages. These can be physical, like injuries or property damage, or non-physical, such as emotional distress or loss of income. Documenting all losses related to the incident for potential recovery in your claim is important.

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Charleston?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina is generally three years. This means our Charleston personal injury lawyer might only have three years from the date of your initial accident to file a claim against the at-fault party.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, it could take some time for the injury to become apparent. In this case, the clock may start ticking from the “discovery date” of the injury.

Additionally, the court may extend the three-year limit if the victim is a minor or mentally incompetent. Given the complexity of these rules and the serious consequences of missing the deadline, it is a good idea to hire professional assistance as soon as possible.

What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process?

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident and navigating a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Understanding the process can reduce some of the stress while helping you appreciate what a Charleston personal injury lawyer can do for you. Here are the key steps involved:

  1. Medical attention: Your or your loved one’s health is a priority. Immediately after an accident, seek medical attention. This ensures your well-being and provides crucial documentation for your claim.
  2. Contact a personal injury lawyer: Engage a lawyer with specific experience in personal injury claims. We can guide you through the legal process and represent your interests.
  3. Investigation and information gathering: Your lawyer investigates the incident, gathers evidence, interviews witnesses, and collects all relevant medical records and bills. This step is crucial in building a strong case.
  4. Claim preparation: The attorney uses the collected information to prepare a claim outlining the defendant’s liability and the damages you seek.
  5. Negotiation: Your lawyer speaks with the defendant’s insurance company and persuades the other side to reach a favorable settlement on your behalf. This process may involve several rounds of offers and counteroffers. Most cases are settled outside of court.
  6. Lawsuit filing: If the negligent party does not agree to a fair settlement amount, we may file a lawsuit in court. This initiates the discovery process, where both sides exchange information.
  7. Trial: The case proceeds to trial if the negligent party does not settle during the discovery process. Both sides will present their case, after which the judge or jury decides.

Remember, every case is unique, and the process may vary based on the specifics of your situation. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can make navigating this process easier.

What Are Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

In personal injury law, damages refer to compensation for your injuries or losses. These damages aim to restore the victim to the position he or she would have been in had the injury not occurred. There are several examples of damages your attorney may pursue.

Healthcare expenses

Your Charleston personal injury lawyer may advocate for reimbursing all medical bills. This can cover past, current, and future costs related to injuries incurred. If you or your loved one develops disabilities, it also covers related expenses. Examples of cost items under this header include medication, surgery, and physical therapy.

Lost wages

If you missed work because of the accident or it has diminished your ability to earn a living in the future, you may receive payment for lost wages. This includes actual lost earnings and lost earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job due to your injuries.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve endured due to your injury. This is often hard to quantify but is a significant part of many personal injury claims.

Loss of enjoyment of life

If your injury prevents you from enjoying activities you previously looked forward to — such as hobbies, exercise, and recreational activities — you may receive compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages

Injured persons may receive punitive damages in cases where the negligent party showed particular recklessness. This is not to compensate the injured person but to punish the negligent party. It can add five or six figures to your compensation.

South Carolina has its own laws regarding caps on certain types of damages. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable Charleston personal injury lawyer who can thoroughly review your case and estimate its value.

Personal Injury Case FAQs

Navigating the landscape of personal injury law can often present many questions. If your answer to one of these commonly asked questions isn’t below, get in touch with our Charleston personal injury law firm. We strive to be your resource and your advocate.

What is a good settlement offer for a personal injury case?

A good settlement offer for a personal injury case should adequately cover all the damages you have incurred due to your injury. This includes immediate medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Settlements can vary widely from case to case, ranging from several thousand to several million dollars.

Most average personal injury settlement values you see are only national estimates. Factors such as the severity of your injuries, the degree of negligence involved, your age and health condition, and the impact on your quality of life all play a role in determining the value of your claim.

An experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate settlement offers to ensure they fairly compensate you for your losses. He or she can also advise on whether a trial could result in a higher amount.

How much will I have to pay my Charleston attorney?

At Rikard & Protopapas, we understand the financial strain a personal injury can place on you and your family. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay any upfront fees or hourly charges for our services. We only get paid if we successfully recover compensation for you.

Our fees are typically a percentage of the settlement or award you receive. The exact rate can vary and will be discussed and agreed upon before we start working on your case.

Our initial consultation is free. During this meeting, we review your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal options without obligation. If you choose us to represent you, you can be confident that we’ll fight tirelessly for the justice and compensation you deserve.

What if I am partially at fault for my personal injury case in Charleston?

In South Carolina, the law follows a principle known as “modified comparative negligence”. It means that even if you are partially at fault for your accident, you may still be eligible to recover damages.

If you receive partial blame for the incident, the court may decrease your compensation by that percentage. For example, if the court decides you should get 20% of the blame for an accident and your total damages amounted to $100,000, you would receive $80,000. That is the remaining figure after the 20% reduction.

Determining fault in personal injury cases can be challenging, often leading to disagreements. Working with an experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful in collecting evidence, establishing the other party’s negligence, and deciding how to allocate fault.

Why Choose Rikard & Protopapas as Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston?

The legal representation you choose can have a strong impact on your case. At Rikard & Protopapas, we have a track record of success in securing favorable outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys have honed their skills in the area of personal injury law. We are dedicated to providing expert guidance throughout the entire process. We pride ourselves on our personalized approach, ensuring each client receives the attention they deserve.

Contact Our Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer

If someone else’s negligence has resulted in injury or death, our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for you. We work hard to resolve the case as quickly as possible so that you get the compensation you deserve before the statute of limitations limits your options. Schedule a consultation with our Charleston personal injury lawyer today to begin the process.

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