William Applegate

William Applegate

T (843) 972-0150
F (843) 277-6691

[email protected]

With nearly twenty years of experience in the courtroom, William is a seasoned trial lawyer with a track record of success. He has successfully litigated complex cases involving toxic torts, electrocutions, police negligence, medical negligence, and premises liability , representing clients suffering from the most severe catastrophic injuries. Beyond having had numerous trial victories, he has also achieved two record breaking verdicts, been recognized by his peers as one of top litigators in the state, won numerous awards as a leader in the law, and has been consistently given Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ranking as an AV lawyer.

Beyond his experience and hard work, he is a passionate advocate for his clients who is defined by determination and perseverance. William understands that his clients, many of whom find themselves in desperate situations following serious trauma, such as the death of a loved one or experiencing life altering injuries, are relying on him and he takes this responsibility personally.

Proven Trial Success
In 2014, William and his team represented 28 year old paralyzed construction worker Hugo Hernandez against PEPCO (Potomac Energy and Power Company). After a two-week trial against PEPCO in Montgomery County, Maryland, the jury awarded Mr. Hernandez $35.9 million in damages in compensation for the overwhelming cost of Mr. Hernandez’s future medical care as a young, C4 paraplegic as well as for his pain and suffering and loss of income. This was the largest verdict in Montgomery County history and was one of the largest verdicts in American history for an undocumented worker.

In 2019, William represented an undocumented worker who was killed when electrocuted by a power line that was hidden by vegetation which Dominion Energy had failed to maintain and a jury returned a $21 million dollar verdict, the largest verdict in the history of Colleton County SC.

In 2021, William represented a Claflin College student who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of car crash caused by a road construction defect. After a two-week trial the jury returned a $13.1 Million dollar verdict against the road contractor Archer Western and the Department of Transportation, also awarding punitive damages against Archer Western. In all three of these cases, William refused offers of millions of dollars to ensure his clients were fully compensated by a jury.

William was born in Charleston, SC and with the exception of studying abroad to become fluent in Spanish, he has remained in SC his entire life. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina School of Law. As a law student, he received the Public Interest Law Society Grant to work in Washington, D.C., served as vice-president of the Pro Bono Board, and was a student member of the John Belton O’Neal Inn of Court. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable James R. Barber, III, of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of South Carolina, before starting private practice with Motley Rice, one of the largest plaintiff’s firms in the country.

William has a deep commitment to South Carolina and is very involved in his community in Charleston. He serves on the board of the Historic Charleston Foundation, and actively supports numerous charitable organizations , including One80 Place, in their fight against homelessness, Communities in Schools, the Coastal Conservation League, and the Southern Environmental Law Center.

William is a regular speaker at various legal conferences, is a member of the American Bar Association and Charleston County Bar Association and is active member of the South Carolina Association for Justice. When not working, William and his wife, Lydia, are enjoying raising their two children in South Carolina.

About William

University of South Carolina School of Law

College of Charleston


American Bar Association

Charleston County Bar Association

South Carolina Association for Justice

Recent Results
$44.6 Million

Verdict Holding Amazon Liable for Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers

This distracted driving case marks the first time Amazon has tested with a jury the issue of whether the online retail and global logistics giant will be held responsible for injuries caused by one of its 285,000 Amazon Delivery Associates (drivers) it calls independent contractors.

$35.9 Million

Verdict for Paralyzed Worker

This verdict was achieved after a two week trial for a 28-year-old construction worker who was paralyzed from the neck down after he was electrocuted and fell eight feet from scaffolding. The power company and its insurers refused to offer anything close to fair compensation to cover this young man's basic needs.

$33.8 Million

Dram Shop Judgment

A passenger in the car of a drunk driver that was overserved by two bars in Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded a $33.8 million for catastrophic injuries that included a TBI and required lengthy hospitalizations.

$28.5 Million

Settlement for Missed Pediatric Brain Tumor

Yarborough Applegate secured a $28.5 million settlement for a young man whose life was forever changed when a radiologist failed to identify a malignant tumor on a brain MRI. This settlement includes critical corporate changes by the corporate defendants to help eliminate this type of error in the future.

$21 Million

Verdict in Wrongful Death of Landscaper

After a week-long trial, a jury awarded $21 million to the family of a 41-year-old landscaper who died after being shocked by a South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) power line while trimming a palm tree in Edisto Island, South Carolina.

$18.25 Million

Construction Defect Settlement

We worked as lead co-counsel to recover $18,249,000 for construction deficiencies involving a downtown Charleston condominium complex. The alleged deficiencies involved water intrusion and various other issues with the building's envelope and structural integrity.

Recognition and Community Involvement
image of a blue sprinter van driving on a road
Yarborough Applegate Obtains First Jury Verdict in the Country Holding Amazon Liable for Injuries Caused by Blue Delivery Vans

This case marks the first time Amazon has tested with a jury the issue of whether it will be held responsible for injuries caused by one of 285,000 drivers it calls independent contractors. 

A Legacy Case, a Tenacious Team, and a Stronger Community: Yarborough Applegate Reflects on 2023

As we close the books on 2023, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the dedicated and passionate team here at Yarborough Applegate, and share some of our longstanding community partners you might be inspired to support this season of giving.

Super Lawyers Yarborough Applegate
5 Yarborough Applegate Lawyers Named Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Yarborough Applegate is once again honored to be represented in the South Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Attorneys David B. Yarborough, Jr. and William E. Applegate, IV have both been named to the Top 10 in Charleston and Top 25 in South Carolina lists. Attorneys Douglas E. Jennings, David Lail and Christopher Bryant […]

Yarborough Applegate Supports Stall High School’s ESOL Program

Early this week, Claudia Newbern, assistant principal at North Charleston’s R.B. Stall High School, stopped by the office to present William Applegate with a plaque in appreciation of the firm’s $7,500 donation to its English as a Second Language (ESOL) program. Just about 30% of Stall students are in the ESOL program, and Yarborough Applegate’s […]

Yarborough Applegate Team Awarded 2017 Super Lawyer Distinction

Three of Yarborough Applegate’s attorneys were named 2017 South Carolina Super Lawyers. We congratulate David Yarborough, William Applegate, and David Lail for receiving a recognition that fewer than five percent of lawyers receive. We are also proud to announce that David Lail, a part of our team since 2011, was named a Super Lawyers Rising […]

Yarborough Applegate Achieved 8 of The Top 18 SC Settlements in 2016

Every year, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly compiles a list of the top million-dollar settlements in the state reported in its newspaper. Since 2011, Yarborough Applegate has appeared on this list every year, always securing at least 3 spots. In 2016, Yarborough Applegate earned 8 of the 18 spots on the list totaling $18.15 million in […]

SC Super Lawyers 2016
3 Yarborough Applegate Attorneys Named Super Lawyers for 2016

Again, Yarborough Applegate Law Firm is represented in the South Carolina Super Lawyers list. Attorneys William E. Applegate, IV,  David B. Yarborough, Jr., and David Lail all received Super Lawyers designation for 2016. Super Lawyers is a Thomas Reuters business and rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a […]

William Applegate Appointed to Historic Charleston Foundation Board of Trustees

William Applegate has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Established in 1947, the Historic Charleston Foundation aims “to preserve and protect the unique historical, architectural, and cultural character of Charleston and the Lowcountry area that surrounds it.” Grounded in a goal of architectural preservation, HCF also strives to help […]

Mayor Joe Riley Appoints Applegate to the Board of Architectural Review

At the end of his term, Former Mayor Joe Riley appointed William Applegate to the Board of Architectural Review. “Having the opportunity to serve this historic American city is a real honor and I am hopeful I will be able to help continue our great tradition of thoughtful preservation.” The purpose of Charleston’s BAR is […]

Yarborough Applegate Verdict One of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2014

Yarborough Applegate’s $35,940,545 verdict against Pepco in Montgomery Co., Maryland Circuit Court for their client Hugo Hernandez is one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2014, according to VerdictSearch, the leading provider of verdict and settlement research. The Hernandez verdict is ranked 58 on the VerdictSearch’s Top 100 list. The $35,940,545 verdict against Pepco in Montgomery Co., […]

Yarborough Applegate Selected As Super Lawyers

Attorneys William E. Applegate, IV and David B. Yarborough, Jr. recently received Super Lawyers designation, a Thomas Reuters business and rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Each year, only 5% of the lawyers in the state are selected to […]

William Applegate & Liam Duffy Featured on The Great Trials Podcast

Listen to how they obtained the largest jury verdict in Colleton County history for the wrongful death of 41-year-old landscaper Jose Larios.

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