Car Accident Attorney in South Carolina
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South Carolina Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can have a profound impact on those involved. You may have suffered serious injuries, lost the capacity to work, or sustained significant property damage. The most recent data released by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety shows that there is a traffic collision in our state every 4.3 minutes. Considering the frequency, it's no surprise that most of us will be in a car accident several times during our lives. Still, it's always unexpected, and most are not prepared to deal with the fallout, especially when the car accident is severe in nature.
One of the most significant issues that people face is a car accident's sudden and substantial financial ramifications. Within a few weeks, you can rack up thousands in medical expenses. If you can't work because of your injuries, that's yet another worry. While getting treatment for injuries is expensive, there's also the emotional and physical toll of car accidents. Pain and suffering are not inconsequential and warrant compensation just as much as losses that come with a price tag.
At Morgan and Morgan, we understand the harsh reality people face after a car accident and are prepared to help in your time of need. Your South Carolina car accident attorney will have the experience and commitment to serve your interests and hold the responsible parties accountable. You don't have to deal with the complicated insurance process on your own when you've been hurt in an accident caused by some other driver's negligence. We will be a powerful voice and ally on your journey to recover meaningful compensation. Your lawyer will bear the brunt of the work so you can recuperate at your own pace without the stress of fighting with an insurance company.
To get started, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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How Can a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
Your Morgan and Morgan attorney will do much more than field calls from insurance adjusters, allowing you to recover in peace. The role of a car accident attorney is to protect your rights and work on getting you the most money possible in a settlement. Sometimes, this can be pretty complicated, though.
For example, many people don't realize that your first settlement offer usually isn't the best an insurance company can do. In fact, their representatives are trained to save money by any means necessary. That mindset is pretty typical of most for-profit companies, which is what insurance providers are.
Valuation of your claim - Understanding the value of your claim can likewise be complicated. You may not be able to foresee future medical expenses or accurately calculate losses in future income. That's how insurance companies like it. An uneducated claimant is the best kind of claimant in their eyes. Unfortunately, you cannot expect that they will bring these possibilities up either. However, when you have someone dedicated to protecting your rights, like one of our South Carolina car accident attorneys, you can rest assured that every financial angle will be investigated and included.
Furthermore, we have the knowledge and experience it takes to evaluate pain and suffering and other losses that are more challenging to measure. Pain and suffering can be a sizable portion of your settlement, so it makes sense to work with someone who deeply understands how to calculate it and has the negotiation skills to have it approved in full.
Likewise, little expenses can quickly add up, especially over the long term. For example, suppose you suffered an incapacitating injury. In that case, you may not realize you could be entitled to expenses like childcare, ordering take-out, housekeeping services, transportation, or in-home care while you recover. Even when a family member or friend is helping, there are extra financial burdens for which you should not be responsible.
Perhaps you had to have grip bars installed in the bathroom or a ramp built to get in and out of your home. Maybe you had to modify your bathtub so you could enter and exit after bathing. Perhaps the accident damaged your eyeglasses or broke your watch. All of these expenses can be included. The range of losses you're entitled to claim could be far more than you expected, and insurance companies are under no obligation to enlighten you of these entitlements. However, your South Carolina car accident attorney will thoroughly examine all of your losses and make sure it's encompassed in your settlement.
Collecting and preserving evidence - While the insurance company is obligated to investigate your claim thoroughly, their priorities are different from ours. Sometimes substantial evidence can be overlooked or not given the attention it deserves. Similarly, your dedicated lawyer may do a more comprehensive investigation.
For example, suppose the fault for the accident is in question. In that case, we may take the extra step to inquire about eyewitnesses from nearby residences or businesses. If there is the possibility of surveillance footage, we have the capacity to compel access to it, which could make a substantial difference to your claim. Likewise, suppose the other party had dashcam footage but refused to turn it over. In that case, we can use legal means to recover it.
Presenting your claim - Still, this all requires evidence and artful substantiation. That's where a lawyer can make a powerful impact. We know how insurance companies work, the reasons why they deny claims, and how to fight unfavorable decisions. Plus, we know how to negotiate, so you get the maximum possible. You owe it to yourself and your family to work with an expert that can increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Cost-to-benefit ratio - We know that a lot of people hesitate to hire a car accident attorney because of the perceived costs. However, we don't require any payment upfront. We only get paid if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Even so, you are statistically more likely to be successful in an insurance claim when you're represented by a lawyer. Additionally, the average amount people receive when working with legal counsel is usually far more than when working on your claim independently. It's a fact that the cost of a lawyer is typically far outweighed by the benefits, including the size of the settlement.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina?
Many factors can lead to car accidents that are not exclusive to South Carolinians. In fact, most car accidents are caused by the same forms of negligence nationwide, primarily human error. Here are the leading causes of car accidents:
Distracted driving - While many people think they are capable of doing multiple things at once, the reality is that we can't. That means that when people are driving while texting, eating, talking on the phone, attending to personal grooming, or tending to children, their minds cannot pay attention to the road in front of them. It's impossible to focus on the responsibility of driving when multitasking. We all have a duty of care when we drive to do our best not to cause harm to others, and when we drive while distracted, it's a form of negligence.
Impaired driving - South Carolina ranks number seven in the worst states for drunk driving. Almost 30% of traffic fatalities in 2020 were connected to drunk drivers. Nearly 8,000 South Carolina drivers were arrested in 2019 for driving while intoxicated. Without question, a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs is guilty of negligence if they cause an accident. That means they are financially responsible for all expenses and losses for their poor decision.
Speeding - Nearly all of us are guilty of breaking the speed limit, whether we do so consciously or not. Still, suppose speed was a factor in your car accident. In that case, the driver who was speeding was breaking traffic laws and, thus, was operating their vehicle negligently. Going over the speed limit puts others at risk because drivers don't have sufficient time to alter their course or react to sudden changes or hazards up ahead.
Disobeying traffic signs and signals - Illegal turns, running stop signs or red lights, or overtaking other vehicles in restricted zones are all examples of breaking traffic laws. A significant portion of accidents occurs in intersections, usually due to someone gunning it to make a yellow light or making a left on a red light. Even if it's an innocent accident, the driver who violated traffic laws is accountable financially.
Reckless and aggressive driving - Frequent haphazard lane changes, tailgating, speeding, and forcibly pushing through traffic are all different ways to cause an accident. Again, we all have a duty of care on the road, and if someone drives without regard for others, they are guilty of negligence.
Fatigued driving - Driving while overly tired is, in many ways, just as bad as driving while intoxicated. Reflexes and reaction times of tired drivers are impaired in much the same way. While a tired driver usually doesn't have bad intent, legally, they are responsible for the damage they cause. The hard part is proving lack of rest had something to do with it. Still, if they worked extremely long hours, or something similar, records can be used to establish negligence.
What Are Some Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident?
If you were in a car accident recently, it's not too late to take constructive steps to reinforce your insurance claim.
Call the police - South Carolina has no requirement to immediately report a car accident to law enforcement except in the case of injury or death. However, a police report can be highly beneficial, particularly if you aren't at fault. A police report is often viewed as highly credible since law enforcement doesn't have any stake in the matter other than doing their job. When the police show up at the scene of an accident, they perform an investigation, document the facts, gather contact information, and usually give an opinion as to the cause of the crash. This information can be used by the insurance company and your lawyer to establish fault, so we always recommend people call the police after getting into a car accident.
According to South Carolina law, if there was $1000 or more in property damage, but law enforcement was not involved, you still must self-report by filing a crash report to the DMV. Furthermore, your insurance company may have regulations that require reporting the accident.
Get medical care - If you intend to seek damages after a car accident, it's crucial to get medical care quickly following the collision. Official medical records will be vital to establish injuries. Without a doctor's documentation, getting any payment for pain and suffering or linking any future medical issues with the car accident will be an uphill battle. Besides having the ability to claim physical injuries in your insurance claim, a doctor is trained to look for signs of hidden injuries that may not be obvious, such as head or back trauma. These sorts of injuries may take days or weeks to become apparent. In the meantime, you could suffer irreparable harm, so it's always best to seek treatment, whether you suspect an injury or not.
Hire a South Carolina car accident attorney - Hopefully, you understand the importance and value of having a dedicated attorney fighting on your side at this point. Morgan and Morgan Law Firm has attorneys that aren't afraid to do the hard work to ensure their clients get the most for their car accident claims. Plus, our law firm provides the support and resources needed for our lawyers to do the best job possible. While we may be one of the nation's biggest and most successful law firms, we're still family-owned and family oriented. We understand just how much a serious car accident can affect every aspect of your life and intend to make those responsible accountable.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. No risk is involved because if we don't win, you don't pay.