Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Many people wonder if it is really necessary to have an attorney after a car accident. Because of the increase in distracted driving cases, it is becoming ever more important to have legal representation in auto accident claims. Without a lawyer, it can be very difficult to determine who was at fault, how serious your injuries are, and what you should receive for your pain and suffering. If you or someone you care about has been in a car accident in Columbia, SC, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers, right away, to ensure the best possible outcome of your car accident case and fair compensation for your damages.
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While you are recovering from your injuries, property loss, lost income, and possibly surgery or rehabilitation, you’ll find that the auto insurance companies are trying to avoid compensating you fully and fairly for your damages. This is why it’s so important to have a lawyer at this difficult time.
South Carolina Auto Accident Statistics
According to research conducted by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there is 1 car accident in the state every 4.9 minutes. Accidents that result in injuries occur every 17 minutes. Fatal accidents happen every ten hours, with more than 800 occurring in a single year and many occurring in intersections and drunk driving.
The number of car accidents in a single year in South Carolina is over 100,000, with over 30,000 reported injuries. Most of the injuries are avoidable, and many of them create long-term disabilities. From a single accident, a person’s enjoyment of life, ability to earn a reasonable income, and ability to take care of themselves can all be destroyed.
Car Accident Injuries
Many injuries are caused by car accidents, and some are more common, including brain injuries, neck and back injuries, facial injuries, and chest injuries.
Brain injuries often result from the sudden stop of the car, causing your brain to continue forward and crash into the skull. Injuries range from mild to severe and can include brain death. Many brain injuries are noticed right away, so you should seek out medical attention soon after the accident, to be safe. According to the CDC, there are approximately 1.7 million TBIs every year in the United States.
Neck and back injuries are most commonly seen when the head snaps forward and back, causing strain and nerve damage (whiplash) and where the spine twists or absorbs too much shock and pressure. Both of these injuries can seem mild, initially, and later turn out to be very serious. Again, seek out medical care right away to be safe.
Facial injuries are also common in car accidents because there is nothing to protect the face from objects and broken glass. Cuts, bruises, fractures, disfigurement, and scarring are all very common injuries.
Chest injuries range from mild to severe and can include bruised or broken ribs, punctured lungs, and other forms of internal injuries.
What to do After a Car Accident?
You may be uncertain about what you need to do after a South Carolina auto accident. Following are the steps for handling the claims process after the event.
It is important to understand what is expected of you in the claims process, following an accident. You’ll need to file a report, seek medical care, establish fault, gather evidence, file a demand letter, and attempt to settle the case. An experienced Columbia, SC car accident attorney can help with these steps.
- Filing a report is the first step. You’ll do this with the city of Columbia police department, providing a statement to the police. State the facts of the auto accident, and avoid admitting to or implying any fault. Even apologizing is a bad idea, which can be used against you. If you wish to obtain a copy of your accident report you can submit a request to the City of Columbia police department records unit.
- Seeking medical attention is the next step, assuming that you are physically able to file a report, first. If an ambulance ride is offered, accept it. If not, and even if you don’t feel injured, seek medical care from the nearest emergency room, as soon as you can.
- Establishing fault will involve demonstrating who was negligent in the auto accident, and this is the next thing you’ll need to do.
- Gathering evidence is the step where you will prove fault and establish your damages. You’ll be able to use witnesses, experts, pictures, statements, medical documents and bills, estimates, etc.
- Filing a demand letter is where you will demand that your injuries and losses be compensated by a particular amount that will cover your damages. The defendant can respond with a denial or counter-offer.
- Attempting to settle the case will involve negotiations between your attorney and the defense, in an effort to resolve the case outside of court. Both sides will want to avoid the time and expense of court, so you should be able to negotiate a fair settlement, in most situations.
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Choosing The Right Car Accident Lawyer To Settle The Case
The best way to succeed in the negotiations to settle your case for a fair amount is to hire the right auto accident attorney to attempt to settle the case. It is too easy to make mistakes, during this process, and you may walk away with thousands of dollars less than you deserve. You need to work with a lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights and maximize your claim’s value.
An experienced car accident attorney will make sure that you don’t make the most common mistakes, such as misjudging the severity of your injury and future medical expenses.