teens riding in car in Charleston, S.C.

Whether you are driving slowly in downtown Charleston traffic, passing through a busy intersection on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston, or leaving town on I-26, you or a loved one may encounter a careless driver and sustain serious injuries in a Lowcountry car wreck.

Most people who are seriously injured are not prepared for the disruption and financial stress that an accident can cause. You may be unable to work for months. You may feel anger and frustration.

You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to move forward. You need a strong shoulder that you can lean on for trusted legal guidance during a difficult time.

Our compassionate North Charleston car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm are ready to answer your questions during a free consultation. Since opening our doors in 1968, we have remained steadfast advocates for our clients, and have received multiple accolades for our work in the court room and the community. In 2023, we were voted Best Law Firm by Charleston City Paper’s reader’s choice contest. Mark Joye, the Head of our Litigation Department, assumed the role of President of the Charleston County Bar Association in 2024. He was also named Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in 2016 and Charleston Product Liability Lawyer of the Year in 2020 by Best Lawyers in America. While Managing Partner Ken Harrell was named Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in 2020 by the same organization.

How Joye Law Firm Fights for Our Clients

Our team is proud of the results we’ve achieved for our clients, and there are plenty of examples of how we’ve helped people injured in North Charleston car accidents.

In one case led by attorney Mark Joye, two sisters sustained life-altering injuries in a high-speed car accident involving a Tesla in Charleston near Joe Riley stadium. The case, complicated by severe injuries and the insurance company’s misleading claims about coverage, highlighted the critical need for dedicated legal representation. After two years of litigation and mediation, a settlement of $2,417,500 was secured for the sisters. This resolution not only highlights the resilience of the victims, but also the pivotal role of knowledgeable legal representation in navigating complex personal injury claims and ensuring rightful compensation.

To see even more examples of the work we’ve done for our clients, check out our case studies.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

After a car accident, it’s important to follow these steps to protect your health and your right to compensation:

  • Ensure Safety: Move to a safe area if you can, turn on your hazard lights, and—if it’s dark—use flares or warning triangles to alert other drivers.
  • Check for Injuries: Check yourself and others for injuries. Do not move anyone injured unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Call 911: Even for minor accidents, it’s important to call the police. They can file a report, which can be crucial for insurance claims.
  • Exchange Information: Get the names, contact information, insurance details, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers of all drivers involved. It’s also helpful to get contact information from any witnesses.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damages, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Be careful not to admit fault or make statements that could be interpreted as an admission of liability.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to get checked by a healthcare professional. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurer as soon as possible. Provide them with the information gathered and cooperate fully.
  • Keep Records: Document all related expenses, such as medical bills and car repairs. Keep a record of any related communication.
  • Seek Legal Representation: Call a lawyer as soon as you’re able to do so. An experienced car accident attorney can start building your claim right away. The sooner your claim gets started, the better your chances of getting maximum compensation.

How Can a North Charleston Car Crash Attorney Assist You?

When you turn to Joye Law Firm for help after a car crash, an experienced Charleston car accident attorney will get to work promptly investigating your accident. You can count on our legal team to:

Conduct a Detailed Accident Investigation

South Carolina law does not allow the use of a police report to prove negligence in a car accident trial. You will need to have attorneys conduct an independent investigation of the cause of the motor vehicle accident. Our legal team knows the types of evidence to look for to build a strong case. An auto accident lawyer at Joye Law Firm will identify all those who are potentially liable and the insurance policies available to provide compensation.

Deal With the Insurance Adjuster on Your Behalf

Giving a statement to an insurance adjuster or signing any document the adjuster presents without consulting an attorney first can jeopardize your claim. You may be signing away your right to obtain compensation. Our car accident attorneys can handle communications and negotiations with the insurance adjuster and relieve you of that burden.

Calculate Your Present and Future Losses and Present a Demand Letter

We will gather your medical bills, and talk with your doctors about the future medical treatment and rehabilitation you need. We will also determine your present and future loss of income as a result of your injuries. We will prepare and present what is called a “demand letter” to the insurer of the at-fault driver, reflecting the full extent of your losses.

Negotiate a Settlement or File a Lawsuit

We prepare each case thoroughly as if is going to court, even though most car accident cases are settled out of court. If an insurance company refuses to agree to a fair settlement, our attorneys will be prepared to seek justice on your behalf in court.

Keep You Informed of Our Work on Your Behalf

We will keep you updated regarding our progress on your case. If we receive a settlement offer, we will notify you and share our perspective on whether it is a fair offer. The initial offers are often low, but our attorneys can conduct several rounds of negotiation on your behalf. We promise to keep you in the loop. If you call Joye Law Firm with questions, your lawyer will respond within 24 hours. Our car accident attorneys and staff treat our clients with courtesy and respect, just as we would wish to be treated.

Understanding South Carolina Car Accident Laws

In South Carolina, the laws concerning car accidents and claims include several key points:

  • Minimum Insurance Requirements: South Carolina law requires all drivers to have minimum amounts of liability insurance: $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Comparative Negligence Rule: South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence rule. If you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation from a trial verdict will be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover any damages.
  • Reporting Accidents: South Carolina law requires drivers to report any car accident involving bodily injury, death, or property damage over $1,000 to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Statute of Limitations: For filing a car accident lawsuit, the statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, it’s imperative that you seek legal representation as soon as you are able to preserve evidence for your case since there are some exceptions to this rule.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: South Carolina law requires that all auto insurance policies include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This covers you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance.

What Types of Damages Are Charleston Car Accident Victims Eligible to Receive?

In South Carolina, car accident victims may be entitled to various types of damages, including economic, non-economic, and sometimes punitive damages.

Here’s how they are typically defined and calculated:

  • Economic Damages: These are tangible losses that have a specific monetary value. They include:
    • Medical Expenses: Costs for medical treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and future medical care related to the injury
    • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work following the accident—this can include lost future earning capacity if the victim cannot return to work at the same capacity
    • Property Damage: Costs for repairing or replacing the vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident

Economic damages are calculated based on bills, receipts, employment records, and expert testimony regarding future costs and lost earning potential.

  • Non-Economic Damages: These are subjective, non-tangible losses that do not have a direct monetary value. They include:
    • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident
    • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the loss of enjoyment of daily activities and hobbies
    • Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological impact such as anxiety, depression, and trauma

Non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify and are typically assessed based on the severity and impact of the injuries on the victim’s life.

  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were especially reckless or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

In South Carolina, there are caps on punitive damages, generally limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Who is Responsible for Paying Damages After a Lowcountry Car Crash?

In South Carolina, the driver who is at fault in a car accident may be held responsible for the damages caused by the accident.  Drivers in South Carolina are required to report the accident to the South Carolina Department of Transportation and to maintain liability insurance to cover bodily injury and vehicle damage to others.

To obtain compensation after a serious car accident, you will need to show that the other driver was at fault. The North Charleston car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm investigate car accidents in the greater Charleston areas on behalf of people who have been injured by the negligence of other drivers. If you are hit and injured by an uninsured driver, your own uninsured motorist coverage (UM) pays for injuries and damage to your vehicle.

If the driver responsible for the accident had insurance but lacked sufficient coverage, and you hold an underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) policy, our attorneys will pursue additional compensation from that policy to address your damages. Insurance companies often resist settling UIM claims when there’s an available liability policy from the at-fault driver. Our attorneys possess the expertise to negotiate with our clients’ insurance carriers, ensuring they are not burdened with overwhelming medical bills.

Time Limit for Filing a Charleston Accident Claim

If you sustained serious injuries in a Charleston car accident, it is important to be aware of the time limits for filing a personal injury lawsuit and how that applies to your claim. In most cases, South Carolina law specifies that individuals who have been injured in car accidents caused by others generally have three years to file a lawsuit. The time limit is known as the statute of limitations.

In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is measured from the date of the injury. While there are some exceptions, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced Charleston auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand your legal options. If an injury victim fails to file a lawsuit within the time limit, then he or she may lose the right to seek compensation for expenses related to the accident. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you may be eligible to receive compensation.

If I File a Car Accident Lawsuit, Will the Case Go to Trial in Charleston County Court?

Most of our clients would prefer to move forward with their lives and avoid a trial if possible. We understand. In fact, our Charleston car accident lawyers are successful in resolving most personal injury cases without going to court. An out-of-court settlement allows you to receive the money you need more quickly and avoids the uncertainty of a trial.

However, if an at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, our injury attorneys will be ready to seek justice in court. We are confident in our courtroom skills, having won significant jury awards in a number of car accident cases throughout the state including in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. Our willingness to go to court works to our clients’ advantage. Insurance companies are more willing to offer fair settlements to avoid the expense and risks of a trial.

South Carolina Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Cost?
    At Joye Law Firm, we know that people who are suffering from car accident-related injuries are also suffering financially. That’s why we charge nothing for our services unless we get money for our clients. You’ll never see a single bill from us unless your claim resolves successfully, and our initial consultations are always free.
  2. How Much Compensation Am I Entitled to Receive?
    The amount of compensation you may receive for your crash-related injuries depends on many factors, including their severity, your level of disability, your current and future medical bills, your current and future lost wages, your pain and suffering, the amount of insurance coverage available, and more. Our legal team works hard to ensure our clients know exactly how much money they’re owed, and we stop at nothing to ensure they’re paid in full.
  3. How Long Do These Cases Take to Resolve?
    The length of time it takes for car accident cases to finalize depends on many factors, including the length of your physical recovery, the number of drivers involved, how much evidence exists, how stubborn the insurance companies are, and more. Some cases can be settled in months, while other cases can take years to resolve. Although we work hard to finalize our clients’ cases as quickly as possible, we never settle for less money than they’re owed.

Hurt in an Accident While Vacationing in North Charleston, SC?

South Carolina’s Lowcountry, which includes Charleston, is a popular tourist destination. Out-of-state drivers represented about 14 percent of drivers in traffic accidents in South Carolina, according to the 2021 South Carolina Traffic Collision report. If you sustained a serious injury in a pedestrian accident or an accident caused by another motorist while on vacation in Charleston, you may have unexpected medical bills and other expenses related to the injury. You may be unable to return to work for some time and have a loss of income.

You should inform yourself of your legal options. It’s a good idea to have a local Charleston car accident lawyer review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options. You may have a legal right to file an injury claim and seek compensation from the individual or business that caused your injury.

Joye Law Firm has five offices across the state of South Carolina including an office on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston and one on Main Street in nearby Summerville.

If you have been seriously injured in a car wreck caused by another motorist, you need the experience of our North Charleston accident attorneys. Our firm brings more than 300 years of combined legal experience to each car accident case we handle. We are committed to assisting people who have been seriously injured in car crashes caused by negligent drivers in Charleston and North Charleston.

While every auto accident has unique factors and we cannot guarantee a specific outcome for any case, we have proven results. We understand that hiring a lawyer is an important decision for you. Joye Law Firm was named the 2023 Best Law Firm by the Charleston City Paper.

Our strong track record of verdicts and settlements shows that we have been successful time after time in resolving significant injury cases. Fill out our online claim contact form for a free initial consultation today.


Joye Law Firm North Charleston Office Location

5861 Rivers Ave
North Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 508-9015