If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by another driver, it’s likely that you’re eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. While many outside factors like road hazards and bad weather are known to contribute to accidents, most accidents are simply a result of human error.
If you are able to prove that the other driver was negligent in their actions, leading to your injuries, you might be able to collect compensation for the damages you sustained. Reach out to our experienced car accident attorneys at 864-501-4384 for a free consultation with regards to your personal injury case or fill out the form on this page.
At Hernandez & Cabra, our Greenville car accident lawyers have decades of experience in holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions. There’s absolutely no excuse to put the lives of other motorists in danger, including yours. Whether you suffered minor damages or severe ones, you might be entitled to receive compensation if they were as a result of negligence on the at-fault driver’s part.
Car Accident Statistics for South Carolina
According to the most recent data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a traffic collision happens every 4.9 minutes in the state. Although accidents that lead to injury occur every 17 minutes, fatal collisions happen every 10 hours. In total, over 800 deadly collisions happen across the state every year.
Although these are tragic statistics, considering the lost lives and the unnecessary losses, the number of injury-producing crashes is even more alarming. The state estimates that there are over 100,000 traffic collisions every year. Of this, over 30,000 results in a form of injury to the passengers. While only a small percentage of the accidents end up being deadly, there’s a long list of debilitating injuries that could arise from such collisions.
How Much Does a Greenville Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
In South Carolina, most car accident attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that the client will only pay legal fees if the case is successful. In other words, when you win the case, the legal fees will be taken from a pre-set percentage of the compensation amount you receive.
If the case is lost, then you will receive no compensation, and your attorney will not collect any legal fees either. The contingency fee arrangement typically works the same whether you go to trial or settle your case out of court.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
It’s important to take the following steps after a car accident in Greenville, South Carolina.
Contact the Police
Even after a minor traffic collision in South Carolina, the police can help to not only redirect the traffic where necessary but also ensure that everyone is safe and prepare accident reports. You also want to have the officer write down your side of the story so that it goes in the report.
Check on the Others and Don’t Leave
Never leave the scene of the accident. Keep in mind that you could be charged as a hit-and-run driver. You also want to check on others and ensure they are attended to and remain at the scene to collect the necessary evidence.
You should also aim to get the contact details of the people at the scene of the accident, including the other drivers involved and the witnesses. This means writing down the full names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and licensing information.
Record the Scene
If possible, take videos and pictures of the scene along with the damage to yourself and your vehicles. These will come in handy when presenting your case to a jury. Be sure to also capture any important details you think are relevant to your case.
Never Admit Fault
It’s crucial to avoid making any statements on record without seriously considering the impact the statements might have on your claim. Keep in mind that the statements that are made to the insurance adjusters might be used against you later to undermine or deny the value of your case.
Seek Medical Attention
If you’re involved in a crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. No matter how you feel, you should get checked by a doctor. Symptoms of certain injuries, like whiplash and concussions, might take time to show. If the first responders say you need an ambulance, don’t fight them.
Get a Greenville Car Accident Lawyer
At this point, you might have already been approached by the defendant’s side, possibly by an insurance adjuster or a car accident lawyer. This is why it’s crucial to run your case through an experienced Greenville accident lawyer who has handled such cases many times before, as they will be aware of the different tricks the insurance companies use to deny people the compensations they deserve.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
It’s hard to guarantee the amount of settlement you will receive for your car accident case as your accident won’t be the same as anyone else’s. But perhaps knowing the averages should help. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average auto accident claim in 2019 settled for $18,417. For the same year, the average property damage was settled for $4,525.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
Once you’ve been in an auto accident, there are many unexpected things that you might have to take care of, not to mention probably having to deal with emotional distress and physical injuries. It will take time to deal with the necessary paperwork and phone calls.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies you have to deal with will be working hard to reduce their liability in a car accident claim immediately. The right steps to follow after a car accident are routine to the insurance companies, and they also have the resources and experience to go against and minimize your claim.
With an experienced car accident lawyer by your side, you will be better placed to handle and counteract the tactics insurance companies may use. A lawyer will help you stand up to the powerful insurance companies, and the sooner you get a lawyer, the more effective your case will be.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
You should consider hiring an attorney following a car crash as they can help you to perform the following tasks so that you can focus on making a full recovery.
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit will require that you fill in certain paperwork, which you might not necessarily know about. Your car accident lawyer will know what kind of paperwork is necessary, how it should be filled, who it should be sent to, and what deadlines should be followed to ensure your lawsuit runs smoothly.
Insurance companies will rarely offer you a fair compensation amount right away. When facing such a situation, the car accident lawyer that you hired to represent you can meet up with the insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate a fair compensation amount.
Trial Preparation & Representation
In case the settlement negotiation stage is unsuccessful, or the defendant is unwilling to reach a fair settlement amount, you can take your case to court. At Hernandez & Cabra, our lawyers are experienced in handling court trials, and they can effectively argue your case to convince the judge or jury why you deserve the maximum compensation possible.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
When an accident is a result of another person’s negligence, then their insurance provider will be responsible for compensating you for any damages you incurred. The sum that the insurance company will offer at first might be much lower than you expect, as it probably doesn’t account for your long-term damages.
All in all, the amount you receive as settlement for your car accident case will vary based on a number of factors, including:
- Who and/or what was harmed in the accident?
- The extent of property damage involved
- Nature and extent of your physical injuries
- Whether you suffered pain and suffering following the accident
You may receive a settlement amount that will only cover the damage done to your vehicle or you could be granted a much higher settlement because of long-term injuries along with the time you were forced to spend out of work resulting in lost earnings.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
There are three types of damages available in car accident cases.
Economic damages are mainly meant to compensate a victim for the financial losses that they incurred following a car accident. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical costs, including prescriptions, hospital bills, emergency room costs, etc.
- Transport to and from your physicians, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers
- Property damage
- Lost earnings or wages
- Lost earning capacity
These are meant to compensate you for any losses you incurred that cannot be easily quantified into monetary terms. They include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and/or disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
Punitive damages are quite rare in car accident claims, as they are not intended to compensate victims but to serve as additional punishment for the party at fault. Punitive damages are mostly awarded in situations where the actions of the at-fault party are deemed to be grossly negligent, egregious, intentional, or in gross disregard of human life.
How is Fault Determined?
The first thing you should know is that South Carolina is a fault state when it comes to personal injury cases, including car accidents. This means that the driver who is determined to be at fault for the crash will be responsible for all the damages suffered in the collision, including personal injuries and property damage.
To establish that the other driver was at fault, you must be able to prove the following:
- Duty of Care: the other driver must have had a duty to act or meet a certain standard of care. For instance, all motorists have a duty of care to all other road users.
- Breach of Duty: The other driver was in violation of their duty of care toward you.
- Causation: the damages or injuries you suffered were directly caused by the breach of duty of care by the other driver.
- Damages: you need to have suffered damages in one way or another.
Determining fault might be difficult in case multiple drivers were responsible for making mistakes, as it would make it hard to establish the true cause of the accident. If you are unable to prove negligence, you will be unable to determine fault and therefore not be eligible for compensation in South Carolina.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
The process of bringing a car accident claim can be quite overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming and emotional. The good thing is that with the right lawyer by your side, you can focus on making a full recovery while your lawyer facilitates your claim through the necessary steps, which typically includes the following:
- Collecting, compiling, and organizing the available evidence
- Drafting demand letters
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining legal documents in support of your case
- Sourcing industry experts to testify on your behalf
- Settlement negotiations
- Communicating with other lawyers
An experienced car accident lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina can make sure that your case follows the right procedure and that you meet the necessary deadlines.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denies My Claim?
In case the insurance company ends up denying your claim, you could be wondering how you’ll be able to stay afloat financially considering all of the medical bills and the lost wages. If you aren’t in agreement with the reason why your claim was denied, you can legally appeal the decision via the insurance company’s appeal process or the court system where necessary.
The first step of appealing the denial is figuring out why your claim wasn’t approved in the first place. There are several reasons why an insurance company might deny your claim, and not all of them are in bad faith. However, if you think your insurer was acting unethically when investigating your claim or when interpreting your policy, you might have grounds for an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Do I Have a Case?
To be sure if you really have a case, you can get in touch with us as soon as possible for a free case assessment with one of our lawyers. We will give you all the answers you need and address all of your concerns. When you reach out to us, we will get to work as soon as possible to start figuring out if you have a case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Whether the other driver is underinsured or uninsured, you will still follow the same steps as in any other car accident case. Drivers who get into an accident with a negligent driver shouldn’t assume that they won’t receive compensation if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
While South Carolina drivers aren’t required to have underinsured motorist coverage, it can be beneficial, as it will kick in to cover any differences between the total amount of damages and the amount the other driver’s insurance pays.
In some cases, the other driver’s insurance will not be enough to cover your entire damages from the Greenville car accident. underinsured motorist coverage would be beneficial when it comes to recovering the full amount you lost in damages.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
You can request a copy online or through a Request for Collision Report (SCDMV Form FR-50) and have it mailed to the address on the form so that you can pick it up at any local branch office of the DMV. The report will be a lot more detailed than the one you would receive from the police officers at the scene of the accident.
You can also purchase a copy of a collision report at the local South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) office. You can also contact the local law enforcement office that was involved in investigating the accident for their instructions on obtaining the report.
Let Our Greenville Car Accident Lawyers Do the Work for You
If your life or that of your loved one has been shattered in a car accident, our South Carolina auto accident attorneys can work hard to help get your life back together. We understand that you might be coping with really difficult times. It might seem like the consequences of the car accident are taking over your life. However, you could gain the upper hand and get your life back on track.
You deserve to receive compensation if another driver’s negligence was the cause of your damages and injuries. The Greenville car accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra are here for you to make sure you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for your damages and injuries. We never shy away from a challenger, and we will be aggressive to help fight for the maximum compensation you’re eligible for.
Perhaps more than anything, we want you to rest and take your time to make a full recovery from your injuries. Let us do all the heavy lifting for your case. All you have to do is call us at 864-501-4384 for a free case evaluation.