Personal Injury Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer Daniel Selwa has nearly 20 years of experience representing clients in Horry County’s civil courts, including auto accident cases and other types of personal injury claims in the magistrate courts and the Court of Common Pleas.

If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct, you are entitled to compensation. Whether your case involves a dog bite, a car accident, or the wrongful death of a loved one, Daniel Selwa will fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive under the facts of your case and SC law.

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Personal Injury Lawyer in Horry County, SC

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Our law office is in Surfside Beach, SC, and we accept personal injury cases in Surfside, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Horry County, Georgetown County, and throughout the Grand Strand area.

Your personal injury lawyer was born and raised in Horry County, and knows the local courts, prosecutors, clerks, judges, and attorneys who will be involved in your case.

We have successfully represented injury victims in SC’s circuit courts and magistrate courts in Horry County, Georgetown County, and the surrounding area.

When you call our office, I will meet with you for a free consultation to answer your questions and learn about your case. If you retain our office to represent you, I will:

  • Keep you informed at all stages of your case, return your phone calls, and maintain open communication with you,
  • Meet with you for a free consultation to answer your questions and learn about your case,
  • Investigate the circumstances of the incident that led to your injuries or damages,
  • Identify the responsible parties and all possible sources of recovery,
  • Locate and interview any witnesses who may help your case,
  • Gather and review any evidence related to your case using subpoenas, FOIA requests, discovery motions, motions to compel, and consultation with experts as needed,
  • Negotiate with the defendants or their insurance companies to reach a settlement for full and fair compensation for your injuries or damages,
  • File a lawsuit when a full and fair settlement is not possible,
  • Prepare your case for trial,
  • Take depositions and engage in formal discovery proceedings with the defense while continuing to negotiate for full and fair compensation, and
  • Try your case to a jury if the insurance companies do not pay what is owed to you.

Types of Personal Injury Cases We Accept

Learn About Personal Injury Law in South Carolina

What is a Tort?

Personal injury law is based on torts. A tort is when someone does a thing (or fails to do a thing), someone else is injured as a result, and the law provides a remedy for it.

In most cases, torts are based on negligence –  if I negligently run a red light and hit someone else’s car, I have committed a tort and I am liable for any damages that I caused.

Torts can also be based on gross negligence (causing an accident while intoxicated, for example), strict liability (products liability, for example), or intentional conduct (assault and battery, for example).

How do I Know if I Have a Case?

When I evaluate your case, I’m going to look at 1) whether someone else is liable for your injury, 2) whether you have damages in an amount that would justify filing a lawsuit, and 3) whether there is a source of recovery.

Potential sources of recovery could include the defendant’s insurance policies, other third parties’ insurance policies if they were also liable for the accident, a defendant’s personal assets, a business’s business assets, your own or a family member’s insurance policies, and it may be possible to stack multiple uninsured policies.

What is Negligence?

In Trivelas v. SCDOT, the SC Court of Appeals says that there are three elements that must be proven to establish negligence:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff,
  2. The defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff through an act or omission, and
  3. The plaintiff’s damages were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of their duty to the plaintiff.

For example, if a motorist breaks a traffic law by running a red light, hits another car, and the collision results in serious injuries to the passengers in the other car, the motorist who ran the red light was negligent and is liable for the damages he or she caused.

When are Punitive Damages Available in SC?

In most types of personal injury cases, the jury can award punitive damages when the plaintiff proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant’s actions were “willful, wanton, or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights.”

There are caps on the maximum amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in a personal injury case, but these caps are lifted completely when the defendant’s conduct was intentional, when the defendant was convicted of a felony based on the accident, or when the accident happened while the defendant was under the influence.

FAQ for Personal Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, Horry County, SC

What Should I Do After an Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident, get medical attention for yourself and any other people who may be hurt.

Then:

  • Report the accident to law enforcement and remain at the scene until they arrive,
  • Provide complete information to law enforcement for their accident report,
  • Take photos or video of the vehicles, roadway, and any injuries if you can do so safely,
  • Allow EMS to check you out and follow any advice they give to you,
  • Follow up on any advice given to you by ER doctors or your personal physician,
  • Do not make any statements to or answer any questions from the other driver’s insurance company, and
  • Contact your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

What Types of Damages are Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages including:

  • Property damage,
  • Current and future medical costs,
  • Lost wages and lost future earning potential,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Scarring and disfigurement,
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress,
  • Punitive damages, and
  • Wrongful death and survival damages.

What is Comparative Negligence?

SC follows a “modified comparative negligence rule,” which means that if the plaintiff is 50% or less at fault for an accident, the plaintiff can still recover damages although the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them.

If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages. In contrast, NC uses a “contributory negligence rule” where a plaintiff cannot recover any damages if they are even 1% at fault.

How Much is My Case Worth?

The value of each client’s case depends on many different factors, including considerations like:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries,
  • The total medical costs at the time you finish treatment for your injuries,
  • Anticipated future medical expenses,
  • The degree of pain and suffering experienced as a result of the injuries,
  • Whether you have missed time at work causing you to lose wages,
  • Whether you have suffered a disability as a result of the accident that will reduce your ability to earn money in the future,
  • Whether your injuries will require long-term care,
  • Whether you have suffered permanent scarring or disfigurement,
  • The egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct and whether punitive damages are awarded,
  • The relative strength of the plaintiff’s and defendant’s cases,
  • The willingness of each side to reach a settlement agreement, and
  • The reputation and trial skills of the attorneys on either side of the case.

How Long Will it Take to Settle My Case?

Although I make every effort to settle my client’s cases for full and fair value as quickly as possible, it is impossible to predict how long a case will take to reach a settlement, or if a case will reach a settlement at all.

In general, we can say that 1) where liability is clear and damages are low, a case is likely to settle more quickly, and 2) where liability is unclear and damages are high, a case is likely to take much longer to settle.

Your case could settle at any point, including before a lawsuit is filed, immediately after a lawsuit is filed, after all depositions have been taken and discovery completed, after the court has heard motions for summary judgment, during jury selection, during trial, or even while an appeal is pending.

Your case cannot be settled, however, until 1) you have finished treating your injuries or 2) we have an expert opinion on the cost of future medical expenses to fully treat your injuries.

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

In most cases, personal injury cases are taken on a “contingency basis,” which means we do not get paid unless we win your case. When you get paid, we recover our attorney fees which will usually be one-third of the recovery. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

The client is responsible for the costs of litigation including expert fees, deposition fees, court costs, and other expenses, and these details should be included in your fee agreement provided by your attorney.

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