Car Accident Lawyer in Orangeburg
Car accidents cause serious personal injuries. Everybody knows that.
If you were hurt in a car crash due to another driver’s carelessness, you may deserve compensation. The Jeffcoat Firm Injury Lawyers work in Orangeburg & all of South Carolina helping folks in all kinds of car accident and personal injury cases. Read on to find out how we can help.
Car Accidents in South Carolina
Car accidents are likely to occur on our busy South Carolina streets. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says, there is one car accident in the state every 4.9 minutes. About 1/3 of these accidents result in injuries.
South Carolina car accident deaths happen about once every ten hours with more than 800 occurring every year. Serious accidents are most likely to happen at intersections.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many types of car accidents that can occur. Here are the most common.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident. They are usually due to the driver in back speeding, tailgating, or driving drunk or distracted.
Sideswipe Accidents: Sideswipe accidents usually happen because one driver tries to get into another lane without checking well. It is easy for cars and other vehicles to fall into a blind spot, and if a driver doesn’t look carefully before getting over, an accident is likely to occur.
T-bone accidents usually take place at intersections. When this happens, one driver hits into the side of another car making a t-shape. They commonly occur when one driver is trying to turn when they shouldn’t or when someone runs a red light. In other cases, a driver may be speeding or ignoring a stop sign when a car tries to turn in front of them.
Head-on accidents aren’t as common but are very dangerous. They can happen when one driver swerves out of their lane into oncoming traffic. They can also be due to a driver entering a highway or one-way street from the wrong direction.
Common Car Accident Injuries
There are several types of injuries that can happen in a car accident. Here are some serious injuries that may cause you to take legal action.
• Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s)
• Spinal cord injuries
• Burns including road burn
• Broken bones
Finding Fault in a South Carolina Accident
A car accident lawyer will help you prove who was at fault. They will then work to get you compensated from the at fault person or company.
In some cases, it’s easy to establish who’s to blame. In others, it’s more complicated and both drivers may be partially at fault.
Not all personal injury cases are cut and dried. When an accident occurs, it may be partially the defendant’s fault and it may be partially your fault. South Carolina uses modified comparative negligence to determine how damages should be awarded.
In South Carolina, you will be due to collect compensation if you’re 50% or less at fault for the accident and the compensation amount will be determined by how ‘at fault’ you were.
Let’s say you were involved in a car accident and the jury determines you were 30% at fault for the accident. If damages totaled $100,000, you might only receive $70,000. 30% would be deducted because of the role you played in the accident.
Sometimes the other driver isn’t always at fault in a car accident. If unsafe driving happened due to a car not working right, the car company or mechanic could be to blame.
If the accident happened because of debris in the road, the city or a contractor may be at fault.
A good lawyer will identify the at-fault parties so they can work to put maximum compensation into your hands.
What Should I Do After an Accident Occurs?
After an accident happens here are some steps you can take to help you build a strong case:
Take Pictures: If you are not too hurt, you should use your phone to take pictures of the accident. Be sure to get all injuries and damage and take pictures from all angles. These photos will serve as strong pieces of evidence.
Call the Police: Even if you don’t think the accident was that serious, it’s good to call the police. The police will create a report that can be used to show who was at fault.
Seek Medical Help: It’s always a good idea to seek medical help after an accident, even if you don’t think you’re hurt badly. Injuries can get worse over time. If you don’t see a doctor right away, the at-fault party may try to say that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident. On the other hand, if you see a doctor right after the accident, they will document everything and create a record of your injuries.
Gather Contact Information: If there are any witnesses at the scene who saw the accident, be sure to get their contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf. You should also get the license plate and insurance information of the other drivers involved.
What is the Car Accident Claims Process?
If you are injured in an accident, you will need to go through a claims process. Here are the steps you will need to take if you are filing in South Carolina:
1. File a Report: You can final a report by making a statement to the police. When doing so, be careful not to admit fault.
2. Seek Medical Help: Getting medical help is an important step to take in any personal injury claim.
3. Establish Fault: You will need to gather evidence to prove who was negligent in causing the accident.
4. File a Demand Letter: A demand letter demands that injuries or losses are compensated by a specific amount of money. The defendant can respond with a counteroffer or a denial.
5. Negotiate: Next you will negotiate with the defendant to try and reach a settlement agreement. This is the most time and cost-efficient way to go. If a settlement can’t be reached, you may end up going to court.
It’s not easy to process a claim on your own. The Jeffcoat Firm will be by your side to make sure all documents are filed correctly and are delivered on time. We will help prevent you from saying anything to incriminate yourself when talking to insurance companies, police, or other parties involved.
We will negotiate with the defendant to get your case settled as quickly as possible and work to get you fairly compensated. We will represent you in court if necessary.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Car Accident Injury?
If you were involved in a car accident, you may be hoping to settle your case without a lawyer’s help. You may choose to negotiate directly with the insurance company thinking that this will help you cut down on time, stress, and legal fees.
Insurance companies are notorious for making low ball offers. Their job is to pay you as little as they can. They may offer a settlement that seems like a lot of money. But after using it to cover your losses and expenses, you’ll realize you barely have enough to get by.
An insurance company may also take your words out of context and make it seem like the accident was your fault, even if it wasn’t. If this happens, you may walk away without any compensation.
A good lawyer can help protect you and get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a South Carolina Car Accident?
Every legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations. That means you have a certain amount of time to file. If you don’t hit that deadline, you will not be able to take legal action.
In the state of South Carolina, the statute of limitations on car accident and personal injury cases is three years. The clock starts ticking on the day the accident occurs or on the day you realize you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Three years may seem like a lot of time, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to collect evidence and recall what happened. It’s advisable to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later.
Do I Need to Report My Accident to the DMV?
If some circumstances, you must report your accident to the DMV to file a claim. If the crash resulted in over $1000 in property damage or caused injuries or a fatality, you must report it within 15 days of the incident.
If the crash was investigated by law enforcement, they should provide you with an SC FR-10 form at the scene. This can be used to verify car insurance information.
If the crash was not investigated by law enforcement, a FR-309 form will be necessary.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get for My Accident?
Compensation for a car accident depends on many things. Victims may be able to get compensation for:
After a personal injury occurs, you may be unable to go return to work on a temporary or long-lasting basis. You may be forced to take a lower-paying job because your injuries make you unable to work in your current position. The plaintiff will be responsible for reimbursing you for lost wages.
The at-fault party may be required to reimburse you for medical expenses incurred directly after the accident as well as ongoing expenses to cover physical therapy, wheelchair ramps, nursing staff, prosthetics, and more.
Emotional and Physical Pain and Suffering
A personal injury can greatly reduce the quality of life. The plaintiff may have to reimburse you for emotional and physical pain and suffering.
Punitive Damage: Punitive damages will only be required if it is found that the plaintiff displayed behavior that is considered very reckless. It is made to keep the at fault party from doing similar things in the future.
Wrongful Death Expenses
If the injury resulted in death, the plaintiff may be required to pay the victim’s funeral and burial expenses. They may also have to reimburse the family for any financial losses incurred due to the victim no longer being able to contribute to the household income. They may have to pay for the family’s emotional suffering and any medical expenses that happened before the victim died.
Why Jeffcoat may be the Best Choice for Your South Carolina Car Accident Lawsuit
If you were injured in a car accident, you need a good lawyer on your side. The right lawyer will gather evidence to build a strong case and make sure you are fully compensated for damages.
An injury can ruin your life. Get your life back Call The Jeffcoat Firm for a free consultation.