South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney

Why You Need A Qualified Car Accident Lawyer In South Carolina

Whenever an auto accident occurs in South Carolina, it’s important to hire a qualified auto accident attorney to handle your case. Whether the accident was caused by a distracted, irresponsible, or negligent driver, you don’t want to settle too early or fight your case alone. Even seemingly minor injuries can evolve into an extended and costly recovery process later on. The shock of the impact alone can mask some symptoms of serious injuries. Fortunately, there is an established process that you can follow to ensure that you do not make the same mistakes that many victims of auto accidents in South Carolina make. For example, working without the guidance and representation of a good auto accident lawyer, not seeking medical treatment, and settling too early are all mistakes that you can avoid when you call an auto accident lawyer in South Carolina.

It may seem to be an extremely overwhelming process to face recovery from injuries, loss of income, and potentially the loss of someone you care about after an auto accident. However, by hiring an auto accident attorney, you can remove some of this stress from your shoulders. You need not face the at-fault driver’s insurance company alone. You need to be able to focus on your own healing and the damages that you and your family must recover from. This page will explain some of the statistics of auto accidents in South Carolina, the common injuries sustained from these collisions, and the process of getting the compensation that you need to put your life back together.

South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyer – Collision Statistics

Auto collisions in South Carolina are most often caused by irresponsible driving, negligent behavior behind the wheel, and the distractions of modern technology. Even today’s complex navigation systems can cause an accident due to distraction.

Other common causes include failure to yield and following too closely. Statistically, you are more likely to get into an auto accident in a rural area of South Carolina than in an urban area. This is likely because driving in a rural area can create a false sense of safety, whereas driving in urban areas can inspire people to pay more attention to traffic. Whatever the cause, over 60,000 years of life are lost each year in roughly 1200 fatal car accidents in South Carolina. Even accidents that are not fatal are devastating to the lives of those involved. On average, you will face over $1,000 in injuries per person in an auto accident.

South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney – Common Injuries

While there are a wide variety of mild, moderate, and serious injuries that you can experience from an auto accident in South Carolina, some are more common than others. Following are some of the most common injuries that people face in the course of a car crash.

Head And Brain Injuries

A head injury may be a mild concussion, a severe traumatic brain injury, or anywhere in between. When another vehicle collides with yours, both vehicles are forced to come to a dramatic and sudden stop at a high speed. Even low driving speeds are high when it comes to this sudden stop. Your seatbelt should hold your body in place, but there is nothing to stop your brain from slamming into your skull. You can also hit your head on the dashboard, the steering wheel, the roof, or another part of either vehicle, depending on the severity of your auto accident and whether or not your seatbelt holds you in place.

The most unfortunate mistake that you can make is to misinterpret symptoms of a head injury as a simple part of the expected confusion and shock that follows auto accidents. You may black out, be unaware of impact, or not even experience any kind of impact of your head with another object. Remember that brain injuries can be caused without the necessity of actually hitting your head on something. It can simply be a matter of your brain being jostled inside of your skull.

Do not assume that just because you don’t remember hitting your head, and just because it’s normal to feel shocked and confused in the aftermath of a collision, that you have not experienced a head injury. Do not fail to consider and follow up on this possibility once you’ve established that the rest of your body is intact. Do not forget to focus on the potential of a head injury because you are too focused on other injuries in the moment.

Neck Injuries / Back Injuries

The same mistake that many people in South Carolina make with head injuries is made with neck injuries and back injuries. Symptoms of these injuries can be painfully obvious in the moment or they can be surprisingly mild. Sometimes, the symptoms don’t even surface until the days that follow the collision. You may have whiplash, if your head was snapped back and forth hard enough to injure the neck. You may have muscle damage, broken vertebrae, or nervous system damage.

Do not assume that not noticing pain or that experiencing only mild discomfort is an indication that your neck and back are not injured.  In fact, do not make any assumptions about your injuries without a medical evaluation. If you are cautious with your decisions at this time, you can avoid facing future medical expenses without adequate compensation for your injuries.

Face Injuries

Unlike some head injuries and spine injuries, you are unlikely to miss the injuries that can be sustained to the face during an auto accident. However, you may not recognize their severity or the length and cost of recovery if you have other, more pressing injuries.

Some examples of mistakes that people make with face injuries in South Carolina include putting off the consideration of the costs associated with broken teeth and misinterpreting the severity of lacerations and burns. When you have broken bones, concussions, or internal bleeding, you are naturally more focused on these injuries.

Even if the injuries to your face are the most significant injuries following your auto accident, you can easily fail to realize that your injuries will require more than a few stitches. Some face injuries can require plastic surgery or other significant expenses down the road. Do not assume that your face injuries will not require additional treatment after your period of healing and recovery.

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries most frequently occur in collisions where the ribs, lungs, or other internal organs are damaged by a seatbelt or a steering wheel. Again, you may not fully feel the severity of your injuries in the shock and confusion of an auto accident. Some injuries make themselves known right away with extreme pain, difficulty breathing, and bleeding. Others are milder in the moment, but become more severe over time. As with any auto accident injury, other injuries can take priority, causing you to miss or misinterpret your symptoms. It is important to avoid making assumptions about your health when you are in a car crash. Get a full medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries.

South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyer and Claims Process

There are five important steps that compose the claims process of an auto accident in South Carolina. The first two steps are up to you, and the other three can be accomplished with the assistance and representation of a qualified auto accident attorney in South Carolina.

1. File Report With Police

The first step that you are legally responsible for is to file a report for your auto accident with the police. You can call 911 in an emergency or contact your local police station for less urgent situations. When the police arrive at the scene of the accident or at the hospital (depending on severity and urgency of injuries) with the appropriate paperwork, you will file your report. This should include all of the details of the accident, what caused it, who was at fault, etc.

This is a situation where you have to balance the necessity of providing as much detail as possible with the necessity of keeping your conversation to a minimum. The more details you provide, the easier it will be to prove your case, later. At the same time, the less you say, the less likely you are to accidentally give the other driver reason to implicate you as the cause of the accident. A simple apology is enough for the opposing party to hold against you at a later date. Remember that the other driver will be motivated to prove that he or she was not the cause of the accident. Do not give anyone ammunition to suggest that the accident was actually your own fault, when you are the victim.

2. Get Medical Evaluation With Doctor

The second step that is up to you is to get a full medical evaluation with your regular doctor or at the emergency room. It does not matter if you think that you are uninjured or if you think you know exactly what your injuries are. You still need a full examination to determine whether or not there are injuries or additional injuries that you are not immediately aware of.

Broken bones, lacerations, and burns may be obvious, and painful injuries take precedence over the ones that may be without immediate symptoms or with symptoms mild enough to ignore or misinterpret. Yet, it is very easy to find yourself facing ongoing medical treatment in the future for injuries that you were not even aware of to begin with. Do not skip this step, or you will regret it later when your case has been settled without taking some of your injuries into account.

3. Establish Fault For Collision

The third step, which you can and should receive assistance with, is establishing who was at fault for the auto accident. If you provided enough detail in the first step, filing a report with the police, then this step will be much easier to manage. Your auto accident attorney will be able to use your detailed notes and police report to help to establish fault.

4. Gather Evidence For Your Case

The fourth step of the claims process is another step that your auto accident lawyer in South Carolina can work with you to accomplish. Again, your initial police report will be essential to this step. You will also benefit from witness statements, medical records, and bills from doctors, hospitals, chiropractors, radiologists, etc. Your auto accident attorney can even seek the services of an accident reconstructionist to obtain more evidence of how the accident occurred.

5. File Demand Letter With At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

The fifth step is the step that your auto accident attorney can handle with the gathered evidence and established fault. The attorney will use this evidence to file a demand letter with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to start the negotiation process for your settlement. Many people become impatient at this stage, because it can take a lot of time to get the settlement that you deserve. Do not become impatient and tempted to settle too early. Patience will ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries and losses.

Auto Accident Attorney in South Carolina – The Settlement Process

A qualified auto accident attorney in South Carolina will be able to handle the settlement process as you focus your energy on the healing and recovery that follows the devastation of an auto accident. While many people are tempted to settle their cases early, those who follow the advice of a good lawyer are going to be better off in the long run.

Let’s say that you are in a car crash that results in obvious and apparent injuries to the face that require immediate treatment, like lacerations and a broken jaw. You receive the treatment that you need for these injuries and you are recovering. You settle your case early to compensate you for your lost wages and medical expenses. Then, you notice that the pain in your neck is growing worse with time, and your range of motion is increasingly limited. Your jaw is healing, but your neck is causing more problems than ever before. You return to the doctor to discover that your neck was damaged in the accident. Now, you’ve got more medical expenses, possibly more lost wages from time off work, and no means of receiving compensation because you already settled your case.

Do not make this mistake. Be sure that you are fully aware of the extent of your injuries and avoid settling your case too early. Call us for a free consultation and legal advice about your auto accident case in South Carolina.

List of South Carolina Areas we represent