Car accidents can be devastating and may lead to brain injury, bodily injury, emotional trauma, time away from work, and even death. Sometimes, car accidents are impossible to avoid, especially when it isn’t your fault.
If you or a loved one was injured due to another party’s reckless or negligent behavior on the road, you can count on the trusted Spartanburg car accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra to work on your behalf to pursue compensation from the liable party for your injuries and losses.
We represent clients in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Car Accident Statistics in South Carolina
South Carolina is one of the deadliest states when it comes to the number of reported car accidents each year. In 2019, which is the year that the most current data is available, there were a total of 141,096 accidents reported in the state out of which there were 58,410 accidents that caused serious injuries and 1,006 fatalities.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Here is exactly what you should do after a car accident in Spartanburg, South Carolina:
You must always call the police even if there are no serious injuries reported. You may require a police report to file a claim with your insurance provider, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle.
Check on Other Involved Parties
You should check on other people involved in the accident and provide reasonable aid if you can or otherwise call 911 for the injured persons to receive medical attention. Don’t leave the accident scene even if you were not at fault since you may be considered a “hit and run driver” under South Carolina law, which ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Exchange contact and car insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you should still get valid contact information from them, which includes:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Insurance information, which includes their policy number
- Driver’s license number
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle along with the license plate number
Record the Scene
If you aren’t seriously injured, thoroughly record the accident scene by taking pictures and capturing video footage as well as making notes about what happened. Take pictures of all vehicles, drivers, and passengers involved in the accident, as well as other elements of the scene such as tire tracks, broken glass, etc. Any photos, video footage, and notes can help in the handling of your claim.
Never Admit Fault
Explain what you believe happened whether you are talking to another driver or a police officer. Tell the truth, but never admit to causing the accident. You might later learn that you were either just partially at fault or not at fault completely.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is the most important thing you should do if you are injured. It is also still advisable to seek medical attention even if you don’t feel like you are seriously injured since the adrenaline could be masking the pain of the injuries sustained. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Call a Spartanburg Car Accident Lawyer
You need to contact a car accident lawyer such as those at Hernandez & Cabra in Spartanburg, South Carolina after being involved in an auto accident to get advice regarding your responsibilities and rights.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
It is incredibly difficult to provide an average car accident settlement amount. Your injuries, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and all other compensable injuries can affect the amount of a possible settlement.
Calculating the total of your damages can be a great place to start, but if you want a more accurate figure, you should consult with the lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra for an individualized assessment. We will consider several different factors when estimating the value of your claim, which include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The kind of insurance available
- The other driver’s negligence
- Other facts in your case
The factors above will largely determine how much your claim may be worth.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
Not all accidents require a car accident lawyer to be involved. Some minor accidents may be small enough that you can handle yourself through your insurance provider. Still, there are situations when a car accident warrants the involvement of a lawyer, such as when:
- Multiple people suffered injuries.
- It is unclear who was at fault.
- There’s a fatality or a serious injury.
- The accident happened in a school zone, construction zone, etc.
- Someone has serious medical debt, medical bills, or lost wages due to the accident.
- The accident involves workers’ compensation in certain instances.
- Your insurance provider asks you to speak with their lawyer.
- You are concerned that the insurance company will trick you into taking a lower settlement than you deserve.
- Your insurance provider does not seem to be handling the matter in a straightforward manner.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
You should consider hiring a lawyer after being involved in a car accident since they can help by performing any or all of the following tasks for you.
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit requires filling out specific forms that you might not necessarily know about. Fortunately, the car accident lawyer knows which forms to fill out, how to complete them, who to send them to, and what deadlines to adhere to so that your lawsuit runs smoothly.
Insurance providers sometimes do not offer car accident victims fair compensation right away. If you are facing such a situation, the car accident lawyer representing you can meet with your insurance provider to negotiate for your fair compensation.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If settlement negotiations fail and your lawyer is unable to win a settlement from the insurance company, they can take the case to court. You wouldn’t have to argue your own case since the lawyer can fight hard for you to get the most favorable verdict possible.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
South Carolina law allows car accident victims to recover three types of damages.
Economic damages are aimed at compensating you for the financial losses incurred in the aftermath of the car accident. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Past, current, and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are aimed at compensating you for your losses that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. Examples include but aren’t limited to:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim but rather to punish the wrongdoer. Such damages are awarded in instances where the actions of the at-fault party were found to be especially egregious, reckless, or intentional.
How is Fault Determined?
To determine fault, your Spartanburg car accident lawyers will have to prove the following 4 elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: You must prove that the other driver owed you and other vehicles on the road a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care: You must also prove that the other driver in the accident breached their duty of care to you and other vehicles on the road.
- Causation: You will also need to prove that the other driver’s breach of duty of care was directly responsible for the injuries and damages sustained.
- Damages: You must also prove that you suffered injuries and other types of damages due to the other driver’s negligence.
If you are unable to prove any of the 4 elements above, you may not be entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. If all 4 elements are present, however, you will likely have a case and be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
Proving the 4 elements of negligence above isn’t enough to recover the compensation you are entitled to since South Carolina also operates on the comparative negligence doctrine, which means that your total settlement may be reduced if you are partly at fault for your injuries. For instance, if you were found to be 20 percent responsible and the damages awarded were $50,000, you would only be able to collect $40,000.
If there are allegations of shared fault in your case, you can count on our legal team at Hernandez & Cabra to work to minimize or eliminate their impact and build a strong case showing that you are not to blame.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations in South Carolina, which is the amount of time within which you are required to file a claim is 3 years for car accidents. If you fail to file your legal claim within this timeframe, the courts will likely dismiss your claim and you will have missed the opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
The process of filing a personal injury claim following a car accident can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and emotional. Fortunately, the right lawyer can help your claim through the necessary steps, which include:
- Compiling and organizing evidence
- Drafting demands
- Interviewing witnesses
- Securing legal documents that support your case
- Finding useful experts to testify on your behalf in your case
- Communicating with other lawyers
- Settlement negotiation
A car accident lawyer in Spartanburg, South Carolina can also represent you in a trial, if necessary. However, the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are resolved in a settlement before they ever go to trial.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denies My Claim?
If your insurance provider denies your claim, you should:
- Find out why the insurance company denied the claim and use the reasoning to file your appeal.
- Talk to your lawyer about filing an appeal. If the insurance provider denies your claim, your lawyer can help you appeal the decision providing additional evidence for the insurance company to consider.
Do I Have a Case?
To find out whether you have a case or not, all you have to do is call us or quickly fill in your information online and we will get you the answer you need. When you contact Hernandez & Cabra, we will get to work figuring out if you have a case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, it is possible to bring a claim against your own insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, along with any other relevant types of coverage you carry such as collision coverage, etc.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
To obtain a copy of your accident report in Spartanburg, South Carolina, you can use one of two approaches:
First, you can request it through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by filling out and submitting a form, which is known as the FR-50 form. You will also be required to pay a $6 fee.
You can also order a copy from the Spartanburg Police Department Records online, by phone, by mail, or in person. There’s no cost for in-person victims of the collision that provide proper identification while other non-involved parties are required to pay $3 for each copy.
Need a Trusted Car Accident Attorney in Spartanburg?
If you have been involved in a car accident in Spartanburg, South Carolina, you can hold the at-fault party responsible and even recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Our Spartanburg car accident lawyers from Hernandez & Cabra are here to help.
We navigate car accident claims and demand appropriate settlement for our clients. To schedule your free consultation with our experienced car accident lawyers, call our office at 864-501-4384 or send us a message through our website contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!