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Wreck in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
A recent study revealed that South Carolina ranks second in the country for fatal accidents during holidays. According to the study, The Palmetto State had 74 fatal car accidents between Christmas and New Year’s Day from 2015 to 2019. Closer home in Myrtle Beach, the numbers are even more shocking. Another study found that more than 1,000 people are injured in car accidents every year in this city.
If you are a part of these statistics, Morgan and Morgan car accident attorneys might be able to fight for you. We have handled countless car accident cases and understand how difficult it is to secure the compensation you need and deserve to make you feel whole after the accident. For this reason, our attorneys have dedicated their careers to fighting for people like you, whose rights have been violated.
Read on for more details.
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What Are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC?
Car accidents in Myrtle Beach occur due to various reasons. However, recent reports have shown that in this city and South Carolina as a whole, most of these accidents occur due to negligence. To put things into perspective, one of the studies we mentioned earlier found that 44% of the deadly accidents in South Carolina during the festive season were due to drunk driving.
Other common causes of car accidents in this part of town include:
- Distracted driving, primarily due to texting while driving
- Automobile defects, such as faulty brakes
- Reckless driving, such as speeding, careless lane shifting, tailgating, and failure to obey traffic signals
- Natural causes such as bad weather
- Fatigue, especially in cases involving long-distance truck drivers
What Are Some Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?
Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Deep cuts and bruises
- Whiplash due to the back and forth movement caused by sudden impact
- Broken bones, especially in the legs, arms, and ribs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burns caused by hot fluids, surfaces, chemicals, fires, or stream
- Back injuries, especially the lower back
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
What Should I Do if Injured in a Car Accident in Myrtle Beach?
If you have been injured in a car accident in this part of South Carolina, the steps you take will significantly influence your health and case. Below are some quick tips to guide you.
It is important that you call 911 even if the other driver agrees to cooperate. When you call 911, the responding officer will write a report detailing everything worth knowing about the accident. This includes names and contact information of the individuals involved in the accident, the nature of the injuries, the type of damages, a description of the accident scene, statements from both parties, etc.
Remember to request an ambulance if you have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Collect Important Evidence
If possible, you will also need to collect essential details about the accident. Examples of these details include photos or videos of the accident scene, witness information, and other information that could help provide insight into what happened that day. Note that you will still need to collect this information even if a police officer wrote an accident report.
Seek Medical Attention
Assuming you did not need to ride in an ambulance, meaning your injuries were not life-threatening, you still need to seek immediate medical attention. You should visit a doctor no later than 14 days after the accident. This visit allows the doctor to establish whether you suffered internal injuries or have any other condition you should be concerned about.
Document Your Journey
Do not rely on your memory after the accident; memories fade, especially if you suffered certain injuries. Bear in mind that memory loss is one of the most common signs of traumatic brain injury.
Document your journey since the accident occurred. Keep receipts of important purchases or expenses relating to the accident, such as transportation to and from your medical appointment, medical equipment, etc.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. A seasoned car wreck lawyer will review the specifics of your case. If you have a valid case, the attorney might be able to help you secure compensation for your injuries.
How Exactly Can an Attorney Help?
Car accident cases can be overwhelming. You need someone experienced in handling these cases to fight for you. When you are still in shock and overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to process, you can count on an attorney to keep a cool head and explore every legal means to help you recover the damages you have incurred due to the accident.
Remember, insurance companies know that the first few days after a car accident are the most crucial. You will likely not be able to make the right decisions because you are overwhelmed with emotions. For this reason, they will want to reach a settlement agreement with you around that time, ensuring you do not get a chance to speak with an attorney. However, hiring an attorney makes it difficult for the insurer to exploit you emotionally because they will need to speak directly with your attorney, not you.
Another thing you need to know is that car wreck cases are complex. The other party will not sit there waiting to compensate you for your losses. Rather, you will need a solid case against them. Again, a seasoned attorney can help you build such a case, increasing your chances of obtaining a favorable income.
You must have a legal strategy to file a claim or lawsuit against the other party. Many claims get denied—or claimants settle for less—due to a lack of a legal strategy. But when devising a legal strategy, there is no one-fits-all approach.
The right strategy will depend on the specifics of your case. Because attorneys are experienced in handling these cases, you can count on them for legal guidance. This significantly increases your chances of obtaining favorable results.
A car accident attorney can help evaluate the value of your case. This is a crucial step because if you do not fully understand the value of your case, you will end up accepting a lowball offer from the insurance company. On the contrary, the attorney will consider the facts about your case, including your injuries and damages, to determine the amount of compensation you might be eligible for. And if the other party refuses to settle, the lawyer will explore other options, including filing a lawsuit in court.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Car Wreck Lawsuit in Myrtle Beach?
The damages you may be able to recover will depend on the details of your case. Generally, you might be able to claim economic and non-economic damages. And if the judge or jury determines that the defendant was grossly negligent, they might award you punitive damages.
What Are Economic Damages?
These are damages that involve the loss of money due to the accident. Common examples of economic damages include:
You may claim lost wages if you cannot go to work due to the injuries you sustained.
Loss of Earning Potential
You may be able to claim loss of earning potential if the injuries you sustained prevent you from earning a living in the future or limit your chances. For example, suppose you were a professional athlete and lost your limbs due to a car wreck. In that case, you will likely not be able to compete professionally, which is considered a loss of earning potential.
These include expenses such as surgery and other medical procedures required after the accident.
Cost of Transportation
You may be able to file this claim to recover ambulance fees. You can also claim the cost of transportation to and from your medical appointments. To do this, you must keep records of your gas expenses, mileage, etc.
Cost of Hiring a Caregiver
You can include this expense in your claim if you need a short-term or long-term caregiver after the accident. The insurance company should be able to reimburse you for this expense.
Out of Pocket Expenses
It is important to keep records of every expense relating to the accident. Then, the insurance company should be able to reimburse you if you spend your own money on these expenses.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are damages that do not include loss of finances. However, although these damages do not involve loss of money, they are usually compensable with money. Some common examples of non-economic damages include:
Pain and Suffering
The judge or jury will consider the severity of your injuries and determine the amount of compensation to award you. In most cases, the more severe the injury, the higher the pain and suffering.
Many accident victims suffer emotional distress after an accident. For instance, a loss of limbs could cause emotional distress. The same applies if you lose a loved one in an accident.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is one of the most common effects of motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Institute of Mental health, at least 32% of individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents suffer from PTSD.
This mostly occurs due to burns or blows to the body requiring reconstructive surgery.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are the damages awarded to the plaintiff to compensate for the defendant’s gross negligence. This award is also designed to warn other parties against conducting themselves in a similar manner.
Most states limit the amount the plaintiff can recover as punitive damages. In South Carolina, for example, punitive damages cannot exceed more than three times the compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages) or $500,000, whichever is greater.
I Feel Responsible for the Wreck. What Should I Do?
After a car accident, it is understandable that you might feel guilty, especially if the circumstances surrounding the incident are quite vague. However, it is never advisable to claim responsibility even if you feel you are partly responsible for the accident. This is because whatever you say after the accident could be used against you later during the investigations.
It is also important to note that you may still be able to recover damages even if you were partly responsible for the accident. For example, South Carolina uses the modified comparative negligence concept to determine liability in these cases. Therefore, if you play your cards right, you might still be able to recover compensation.
What Is Modified Comparative Negligence and How Does It Work in South Carolina?
Modified comparative negligence refers to a legal concept in which the plaintiff is allowed to recover damages if their percentage of fault for the accident does not exceed a certain cap. For example, in South Carolina, plaintiffs can recover damages just as long they are less than 51% responsible for the accident.
Where Can I Find the Best Car Wreck Attorney in South Carolina?
Morgan and Morgan is the best personal injury law firm to contact if you are looking for the best car wreck attorney in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Why Morgan and Morgan?
We are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States. Our law firm consists of over 800 experienced personal injury attorneys dedicated to fighting for the rights of people like you who need a shoulder to lean on during these difficult times.
Car wrecks can wreck your life if you do not know what to do right after. But you should not bear this burden alone. That is exactly why we are here to help. We have helped our clients recover more than $15 billion as compensation for their injuries, and you could be next. All you need to do is contact us today for a free case evaluation. One of our legal representatives will review your case, and if it is valid, this could be the beginning of your journey to compensation.