If things worked exactly as they should, you would be able to collect the maximum amount of money available from the other driver’s insurance and/or your auto insurance. But there are several reasons why you should not expect this to happen.
First, if the other driver was at fault, you will most likely look to his or her liability insurance to pay your claim. South Carolina requires drivers to carry liability insurance with limits of at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for the bodily injuries of all persons in one car accident and $25,000 for all property damage in one accident.
Unfortunately, many drivers on South Carolina roads do not have even the minimum required car insurance. Your uninsured motorist or under insured motorist coverage (UM / UIM) should pay you if you were hurt by a driver with no liability insurance or too little, or if you were hurt by a hit-and-run driver.
UM coverage is part of your liability coverage in South Carolina, but UIM insurance is not required in our state. If at all possible, you will want to add this coverage to your policy. It is relatively inexpensive and can help ensure that all expenses are covered after a wreck with a driver who does not carry enough insurance to pay all your bills. You might also have collision coverage, which would pay for damage to your car.
Insurance companies are more interested in their bottom lines than providing you with a maximum payout. There are many ways for an insurer to avoid paying the full value of a claim, one of which is South Carolina’s modified comparative fault system. If an insurance company lawyer can show you contributed to your accident, any claim you have may be reduced according to the amount of blame you shoulder. If the insurer says you had most of the blame, you could be denied any compensation.
An experienced South Carolina car accident attorney, such as ours at Joye Law Firm, can work to compel the insurance companies involved in your accident to provide proper payments. Our work would include investigating how your accident happened, calculating all of your costs, and addressing any comparative fault on your part – or ensuring that none is found where it does not exist.
Find out more about how Joye Law Firm can help you with a South Carolina car accident case, including a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist.