Car Accident Attorney in Columbia, SC

Car Accident Attorneys in Columbia

Columbia, SC Auto Accident Lawyers

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 an auto accident in Columbia, SC, contact a car accident lawyer, right away, to ensure the best possible outcome of your case and fair compensation for your damages.

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 one 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.

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.

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 auto 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.

The Car Accident Claims Process

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. A qualified Columbia, SC auto accident attorney can help with these steps.

  1. Filing a report is the first step. You’ll do this with local law enforcement, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Establishing fault will involve demonstrating who was negligent in the auto accident, and this is the next thing you’ll need to do.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Choosing The Right Auto 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 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.

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS

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The Jeffcoat Firm assists clients throughout South Carolina, including Columbia and Lexington, and surrounding communities in Richland County, Orangeburg County, and Lexington County. Our team has seen the tragic results of car accidents caused by another person’s negligence. We know the tremendous physical, financial and emotional burdens that people have suffered due to no fault of their own after an auto accident. Our auto accident lawyers’ mission is to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their lapsed judgment by demanding full and fair compensation for your losses.

Our approach to every case is client-centered. We will work together to develop a thorough legal strategy that aligns with your personal goals. You will be an essential part of every decision. You can rely on us to respond to your calls and emails promptly and keep you updated about any developments in your case.

It’s free to have a consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers. To learn how we can help you, contact The Jeffcoat Firm car accident lawyers today.

Many people wonder if it is really necessary to hire a car accident lawyer in Columbia. 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 hit and run accident in Columbia, SC, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer, right away, to ensure the best possible outcome of your case and fair compensation for your damages.

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 Columbia car accident lawyer at this difficult time.

SOUTH CAROLINA AUTO ACCIDENT STATISTICS

According to research conducted by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there is one 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.

The number of car and uber 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, the ability to earn a reasonable income, and the ability to take care of themselves can all be destroyed. Contact our car wreck lawyer today.

COMMON INJURIES IN COLUMBIA CAR ACCIDENTS

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.
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 auto 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 SHOULD I DO IF I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

The moments after a wreck are disorienting. Gathering information about the crash will be the next step. If you are physically and mentally able, you can take steps at the accident scene to protect any future personal injury claim.

  • Look for injuries. Check yourself and others for any obvious signs of trauma. Keep in mind that you may have internal injuries or ones that will show symptoms over time. For example, let medical personnel know if you hit your head. Symptoms of a concussion may not emerge until days or weeks later.
  • Call 911. At a minimum, you will need law enforcement on the scene to complete an accident report. Paramedics should also be on-site to treat minor injuries and transport seriously wounded people to the hospital. Visit the emergency room if they offer to take you there. In any event, be sure to get a thorough medical exam as soon as possible.
  • Move to safety. Move your vehicle off the road if it can be driven. Do not attempt to move the car if it looks too damaged or it would put you in harm’s way to try. If possible, take photos of the accident scene before moving the car.
  • Collect contact information. Obtain contact information from others involved in the wreck. Get their names, addresses, license plate numbers, insurance information, and a vehicle description. If possible, gather contact info from any witnesses.
  • Document the scene. Cell phones have made it much easier to document accident sites in the moments immediately following the collision. Take photos of the cars from all angles. Take pictures of any skid marks, property damage and injuries you may have sustained. It’s also useful to jot down or record any of your immediate memories of the accident because your recollections can change over time.
  • Seek medical attention if you haven’t already. You should always follow up with a doctor following a car accident. Even if it’s a day or two after the wreck, your physician should check you over. A little bit of soreness could turn out to be a soft tissue injury that needs extra treatment, for example. Failure to seek medical care can also count against you if an insurance company disputes your claim for compensation.
  • Contact our attorneys. The Jeffcoat Firm can handle all negotiations with insurance companies from the start. Make no recorded statements until you consult with a car accident lawyer. Research shows that insurance companies are more likely to provide a higher settlement offer if they know that the injured person has hired counsel to represent them.

UNDERSTANDING FAULT IN SOUTH CAROLINA CAR ACCIDENTS

Establishing fault is a key component of any car accident claim. Insurance companies need to know who is responsible for the wreck before they will make a settlement offer. Sometimes assigning fault can be fairly simple. If you were legally stopped at a red light and rear-ended by a texting driver, then you are obviously not responsible for your crash.

Every state has its own system for assigning fault. Some are no-fault states, which means that your insurance company is responsible for paying all of your injuries and property damage no matter who caused the accident. That’s not the case in South Carolina. Instead, the fault is determined using a modified comparative negligence rule.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

Based on the evidence, each person involved in the accident will be assigned a percentage of fault. If you are found to be more than 50 percent liable for the crash, then you will be barred from recovering any compensation. If you were found to be 50 percent or less liable, you are still eligible to recover damages. However, the award would be reduced by your percentage of fault.

TAKE THIS EXAMPLE:

You are rear-ended by a speeding driver when you switched lanes, but you didn’t use your turn signal. Both of you are partly responsible for the crash. You were assigned 30 percent fault for the wreck, making the other driver 70 percent responsible. If the total damages were $100,000, you would be able to collect $70,000 because your percentage of fault is subtracted from the total award.

It’s important to speak with a lawyer when there are questions of fault surrounding a car accident. Insurance companies are profit machines. If they can minimize a settlement payment to you by assigning you an unfair percentage of fault, you need an attorney who can fight to make sure that you aren’t being shortchanged.

THE COLUMBIA CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS PROCESS

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You may be uncertain about what you need to do after a South Carolina auto accident. The following are steps for handling the claims process after the event.

It is important to understand what is expected of you in the claims process, following a car or moped 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. A qualified Columbia car accident attorney can help with these steps.

  1. Filing a report is the first step. You’ll do this with local law enforcement, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Establishing fault will involve demonstrating who was negligent in the auto accident, and this is the next thing you’ll need to do.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Attempting to settle the case will involve negotiations between your Columbia car accident 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.

REPORTING TO THE COLUMBIA DEPRTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

In certain circumstances, you must report your car accident to the DMV. If the crash caused more than $1,000 in property damage or killed or injured another person, you must report it within 15 days of the incident. If the crash was investigated by law enforcement, you will receive an FR-10 form at the scene. That form will be used to verify car insurance information. Crashes that were not investigated by an officer still need to complete a similar form called the FR-309.

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT TO FILE A CAR INSURANCE CLAIM?

You will need to check your insurance policy to determine if your company sets a specific time frame for you to report the accident. Usually, they just say they want to be notified in a “timely” or “reasonable” timeframe. Insurers may even hear about the accident before you have a chance to report it. That’s because the other party may have notified their own company of the wreck and they contacted your insurance carrier to initiate the process.

Regardless of when you notify your insurance company, South Carolina does have a deadline to file a car accident claim. You have three years from the date of the crash to file a claim for injuries or property damage. The courts will most likely dismiss any claim filed after the deadline.

HOW DO I SETTLE A COLUMBIA CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?

Every car accident is unique. The Jeffcoat Firm only accepts cases that we believe have merit. We will give you an honest opinion about your best legal options for recovering the compensation you deserve. That can all be done in our free consultation, so there’s really nothing to lose by meeting with one of our car accident attorneys.

Moving forward with a personal injury lawsuit is a step-by-step process. Consulting with a lawyer can give you a good description of what to expect, but it will likely go like this:

  1. Filing a report is the first step. You’ll do this with local law enforcement, 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 because an apology can be used against you.
  2. 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.
  3. Establishing fault will involve demonstrating who was negligent in the auto accident, and this is the next thing you’ll need to do.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Attempting to settle the case will involve negotiations between your Columbia car accident 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.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR AN SC CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?A lawyer can help you determine the potential value of your case based on the facts. The individual circumstances of a car accident make a big difference in the amount of the offer. The Jeffcoat Firm never makes any promises of a certain dollar amount. But we can tell you some factors that will impact the size of the settlement:

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  • The extent of the injuries
  • If the other driver was intoxicated while driving
  • The long-term impact on health, quality of life, and ability to earn an income
  • The medical expenses
  • The projected wage losses
  • If surgery was required
  • If there were medical complications
  • The limits on the opposing party’s insurance policies
  • Any limits on your own insurance policies or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

You can expect the insurance company’s first settlement offer to be way lower than what you deserve for your injuries. In cases of catastrophic injury, you must remember that there are no medical guarantees for a full recovery. Instead, your doctor will make a determination for when you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you settle your case before you know the long-term effects of your injury, you may not be collecting what you will need for the future.

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 Columbia car accident lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights and maximize your claim’s value.

The Jeffcoat Firm is available to help car accident victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t have to suffer alone. Call or contact our lawyers today to arrange your consultation.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLUMBIA
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 Columbia car accident lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights and maximize your claim’s value.

A Columbia 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.

Carolina Strong:

Lexington | Columbia | Lexington County | Richland County | South Carolina

$900,000.00
Tractor Trailer Accident
Total Recovered
$750,000.00
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$745,000.00
Auto Accident
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! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.

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