Every six seconds there is a car accident somewhere in the United States. That adds up to more than five million crashes a year. Closer to home, car wrecks in South Carolina kill on average between two and three of our friends, neighbors and loved ones every single day. Over the past decade, South Carolina has seen on average more than 800 deaths in car accidents every year and thousands more injuries. Statistics show that South Carolina’s roads are more dangerous than those in many states. In fact, the state’s death rate per 100 million miles traveled is 1.57, which is considerably more than the national average of 1.09 and the best state’s tally of 0.57. Given these facts, it is no wonder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls auto safety a “serious public health problem.”
6 Ways We can Help if You’ve Been in a Car Crash
We understand what you are going through.
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you. You need somebody who cares. Our South Carolina car accident attorneys have a combined 150 years of legal experience. We know that injury claims are about more than money; they are about people. Respect, compassion and care are what you can expect from our lawyers and staff.
We have handled all types of accidents.
There is no such thing as a “typical” car crash. Each one is different. Rear-end collisions. Rollovers. Reckless driving accidents. Interstate pile-ups. Wrecks caused by distracted drivers and drunk drivers. Head-on crashes. Tire blowouts. Multi-vehicle collisions. Intersection mishaps. Single-vehicle crashes. Wrecks resulting from car defects. No matter how your accident happened, we know how to take care of you.
We can take the weight off your shoulders.
We can help make sure you get the medical care you need. We can refer you to doctors, specialists and therapists. We will work to cut through the insurance red tape and see that your medical bills are paid. We can help get your car fixed and line up a rental vehicle. We will tend to a thousand little details so that you can concentrate on getting better.
We understand insurance law.
Dealing with insurance companies is no fun. You might have heard the phrase “deny, delay and defend.” That is the approach many companies take when someone files a claim. You need someone who knows the law and can advocate your rights and interests.
We get results.
For example, we obtained a $5.9 million settlement for a client who suffered a brain injury in a car accident and a $1.15 million settlement for the family of a man killed in a wreck. We went to court and won a $500,000 verdict for a man who suffered a back injury. Please remember that every case is unique. Past results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case, even if the facts seem almost identical. However, past results do highlight a firm’s experience in serious injury and wrongful death cases. For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please click on the Our Results tab on our home page.
We’ll evaluate your claim at no cost to you.
There is no charge to talk with us about your case and no obligation to choose us as your lawyers after we’ve talked.
The state’s death rate per 100 million miles traveled is 1.57, which is considerably more than the national average of 1.09 and the best state’s tally of 0.57.
Given these facts, it is no wonder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls auto safety a “serious public health problem.”
Five Things That You Should Do After a Serious Car Accident
- Seek Medical Assistance
The first thing you should think about after a car accident is the health and safety of every person involved. If you, or anyone else, needs emergency medical help, that comes first. Even if you do not need emergency medical aid, you should still get yourself checked by a doctor out after a car accident. Many common car accident injuries come with delayed onset. This includes head trauma, whiplash, soft tissue damage and back injuries. Beyond your healthy recovery, seeking medical attention is also important for your legal claim. In order to prevail in a car accident claim, you will need official documentation of your injuries.
- Notify the Police
State or local highway authorities should always be notified after a car accident. You also need to be sure that you get your hands on the police report. You can provide input on the police report to help ensure that the information contained within it is as accurate as possible. Police reports can provide key evidence in disputed car accident claims.
- Report the Accident to the Insurance Company
You should also be sure to report your accident to your insurance company. You do not need to have all the information to report it. Simply report the fact that it occurred. Remember, the insurance company is never truly on your side. After a major accident, it is always best to deal with insurers through your lawyer.
- Gather and Secure Relevant Evidence
Successful car accident claims require evidence. You should take steps to secure as much relevant evidence as you can. Try to track down witnesses and get statements, take pictures of your injuries and get your hands on all of your medical records. An attorney can assess your case and determine what additional evidence you will need to support your claim.
- Contact an Attorney
Finally, the best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can ensure that your legal rights and financial interests are fully protected throughout the entirety of the accident claims process. If you’re still unsure about whether or not to hire an attorney for your accident claim, take our free, no-obligation questionnaire.
Car Accident Liability in South Carolina
You will only be able to hold another party liable for your collision if you can prove that they were to blame for the accident. In South Carolina, blame for a car accident is generally based on the negligence standard. Put simply, negligence in a car accident case is the failure to take proper care when behind the wheel. While negligence seems relatively straightforward, applying it to real world scenarios can become extremely complex. To prove another party was negligent, you will need to prove the following four things:
- Duty: A duty is a legal obligation to look out for the well-being of another party in a given situation.
- Breach: A breach is the failure to live up the aforementioned legal duty.
- Causation: There must also be a causal connection between the breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff must have suffered actual compensable damages.
South Carolina is a Comparative Negligence State
The state of South Carolina uses the comparative negligence standard. This system becomes very important in cases where two or more parties share fault for the accident. Under South Carolina’s comparative fault rules, parties are held liable for the percentage of the accident that they caused. For example, imagine that you got into an accident with another vehicle and sustained $10,000 in damages. If you were at fault for zero percent of that accident, you would be entitled to recover the full $10,000 in compensation. However, if you were found to be at fault for 20 percent of your own accident, your compensation would be reduced by that same percentage. So, in that case, you would only be entitled to recover $8,000 in compensation. There is one additional twist as well. South Carolina has a 51 percent bar on recovery. That means that if you are found to be at fault for 51 percent of an accident (or more) you cannot recover any compensation. Clearly, the assignment of blame is incredibly important. Being unfairly blamed can take thousands of dollars directly out of your wallet. This is very important issue to consider in every car accident case because opposing insurance companies will off try to pin some of the blame on the victim. You need an experienced attorney by yourself throughout the car accident claims process. Your attorney can protect you from illegitimate blame.
Compensation Available for Car Accident Victims
Even a little fender-bender can cause big trouble. As a result of your car accident, you could end up with substantial damages. In South Carolina, you are entitled to recover financial compensation of the full extent of your damages. This includes any non-economic damage that you have suffered. A non-exhaustive list of damages that you may be entitled to includes:
- Personal injuries
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Scars and permanent disabilities
- Car damage
- Insurance hassles
- Medical forms and paperwork
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
You Can Afford a Car Accident Lawyer
Many car accident victims worry that they will not be able to afford a qualified lawyer. After all, lawyers are really expensive, right? This is a common, and damaging, misconception. You can absolutely afford a lawyer for your car accident injury claim. In fact, you cannot afford not to hire one. At Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina car accident lawyers can take your case on a contingency fee basis. This type of system provides many benefits to car accident victims, including:
- No upfront costs: Not only we will evaluate your claim for free, we do not require any upfront payment if we do go forward with your case. Using a contingency fee arrangement, we only get paid if you get paid.
- No hourly billing: Without hourly billing, you can call up your lawyer at anytime. It will not cost you any additional money. Ultimately, our firm is not looking to take money out of your pocket. We want to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
- You can take on big insurance companies: You do not need to worry about the big insurance companies and their deep pockets. We will make sure that you can take them on and hold the negligent party fully accountable for their actions.
We can help you make a bad situation better. Call Joye Law Firm. Since 1968, our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm have helped individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted by an automobile accident.
Find out what we can do for you. Call (877) 937-9707 or use this online contact form. The call is free and confidential.
Joye Law Firm has received an AV rating from the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, and several of our lawyers have been named South Carolina Super Lawyers. The firm has also received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Talk to Our South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyers Today
If your life has been shattered by an auto accident, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can work to help put the pieces back together. Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach, but we accept cases from across South Carolina. If you are unsure if you should hire a lawyer, take our free, no-obligation accident questionnaire.
Call Joye Law Firm. Contact us at (877) 936-9707 or use this online contact form for a free case review today. We can help clients with car accident cases in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston, Clinton, and more.