Car accidents are among the leading causes of emergency room visits and deaths in the US. Most of these accidents occur as a result of the negligence of another driver or road user. In such cases, victims may have a right to seek compensation by proving that the other driver acted negligently and caused them harm.
However, car accident claims are not always straightforward, given the laws and parties involved. An experienced Abbeville car accident lawyer who understands federal and state laws can ensure the negligent driver is held responsible for the accident, and that you receive compensation for your losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Abbeville, South Carolina, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal assistance. Call Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis today at 855-213-4405 to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers to find out the validity of your claim.
Table of Contents
Car Accident Statistics in South Carolina
South Carolina recorded 342 fatal crashes that resulted in 371 deaths in 2020, with most of these crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. This was a significant drop from the previous year, which saw about 416 people killed on South Carolina roadways.
How Much Does an Abbeville Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t pay anything until your case is closed and you’re awarded compensation. Only then is when a part of the award is used to cover the lawyer fees. Contact us today to find out the percentage of the award that covers the lawyer fees.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
If you’re not sure of the steps to take after a car accident, it is important that you do the following:
Contact the Police
Contact police to ensure that they inspect the scene and write an accident report which is a vital document in your claim.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Don’t leave the scene. Check on other involved parties to see if any of them needs urgent medical attention.
Exchange Information and Speak With Witnesses
Exchange information, including contact info, policy number, vehicle’s registration number, and driver’s license number, with the involved parties and witnesses present at the scene.
Record the Scene
Record the scene by taking clear photos or even videos of the vehicles involved and your injuries.
Never Admit Fault
Never admit fault as this may jeopardize your claim. Only speak the details of the accident to the police and your attorney.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention, even if you feel unhurt, to rule out the possibility of internal injuries.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer
Call a car accident lawyer to start the claim process as early as possible. You can call our attorneys at 855-213-4405 anytime 24/7 to schedule a free consultation.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
Car accident claims are governed by time limits, and it is advisable to hire a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that that the claims process is started and completed before the time limit elapses.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
A car accident case, like any other personal injury case, can get complex, and the legal assistance of a car accident attorney can help greatly. Particularly, a lawyer will help you in the following ways:
Working with a car accident lawyer in your claim ensures that you collect all the necessary documents and pieces of evidence to build a strong case against the defendant.
A lawyer also helps you negotiate a reasonable compensatory award with the at-fault party’s insurance company to ensure that your losses are fully covered.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If your claim is denied, your lawyer will take the case to court and present the facts of the case before a judge in a bid to convince them that you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Damages are awarded to return the accident victim to their initial financial position (economic damages) and make restitution for other losses (non-economic damages). The most common economic damages include:
• Medical expenses
• Lost wages
• Lost earning capacity
• Out-of-pocket expenses
• Rehabilitation costs
Non-economic damages are awarded for losses that are not easily calculable, including
• Pain and suffering
• Mental and emotional anguish
• Permanent disability
• Loss of enjoyment of life
In some cases, a judge may award punitive damages if they find the defendant’s actions to be willful misconduct or severe negligence.
How Is Fault Determined?
In a car accident claim, the plaintiff is required to prove that the other party was responsible for the accident by showing that they acted negligently. To show that the defendant was negligent, the following elements must be proven:
Duty of Care
You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care and should have acted as any other reasonable person would have in similar circumstances.
Breach of Duty of Care
The defendant breached their duty of care by failing to act reasonably.
The harm you suffered was a result of the defendant’s negligent act and nothing else.
You indeed suffered significant losses or injuries due to the accident resulting from the defendant’s negligent act.
South Carolina also uses the modified comparative negligence rule in the determination of the at-fault party in a car accident case. Under this law, plaintiffs can seek compensation from the other party as long as they are less than 51% responsible for the car accident.
For a plaintiff who was partly responsible for the accident, their compensatory award is reduced according to the percentage contribution to the accident. For instance, if a plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault, they will only receive 70% of the compensatory award.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Car accident victims in South Carolina have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at-fault party. By filing a claim after this time limit has passed, you risk losing your right to seek compensation from the person responsible for the accident.
How Can an Abbeville Car Accident Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
A car accident lawyer will help you with the investigation of your case and ensure that you have all the necessary documents and pieces of evidence needed. This will come in handy in the documentation process of your claims process and ensure that you receive a satisfactory award after damages evaluation and policy review by your insurer.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
In most cases, the at-fault party or their insurance will find reasons to deny your claim. Your insurance company may also deny your claim if you intend to recover costs like medical bills and vehicle damage from them. A car accident lawyer can help you collect more evidence on the case, present it to the at-fault’s party in the hope that they will reconsider. If that doesn’t work, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and await a judge’s verdict on the case.
Do I Have a Case?
Basically, you have valid case if you have suffered significant damage or injuries due to a car accident. Proving that the other party was negligent is also key to determining whether you have a case. In most car accident cases, a recovery source will also determine whether you have a case or not as you will need the at-fault party or their insurance company to be in a position to compensate you for your losses.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
In the case of an uninsured motorist, it means that you can’t seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer. You’ll have to rely on your own insurance company to cover your losses, provided you have uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
Calling the police after a car accident occurs ensures that they arrive at the scene, inspect it, and write a report. You can request a copy of the same from the nearest department once the police generate it. If the police don’t show up at the scene, it is important that you report the car accident to the nearest police department. This way, an accident report is written and you can request a copy later.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents in Abbeville result in minor or serious injuries, some of which may necessitate surgery and occupational therapy. The most common injuries that result from car accidents include:
• Brain injuries
• Back injuries
• Neck injuries
• Head injuries
• Internal injuries
• Facial disfigurement
• Leg & knee injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
At Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis, we can help you with an of the following types of car accidents:
Driving Under the Influence Accidents
DUI crashes are common on US roadways, and these cases come with hefty financial consequences, including fines and compensation for the victims. We can handle your DUI case by helping you navigate the complex DUI and personal injury laws.
Drivers who cause crashes as a result of using their phones or being distracted in any other way can be held responsible for the crash and ordered to compensate the accident victims for their losses.
This type of vehicle accident is characterized by high impact, fatalities, or serious injuries. At Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis, we can help prove that the other driver was at fault and help you receive a compensatory award for your injuries.
Hit & Run Accidents
In car accidents where the at-fault party flees the scene, the victim shoulders the burden of identifying the driver and building a case against them. In such instances, we can help identify the negligent driver by gathering evidence and file a claim against them to receive compensation.
In rear-end accidents, we can help you prove that the tailing driver was at fault for the accident and that they owe you compensation for property damages or injuries.
Drivers who disregard traffic rules and signs put other road users at risk and can be held liable for losses and injuries suffered by victims. We handle such cases and assist victims get compensation from the at-fault party or their insurer.
With the increasing popularity of ridesharing, rideshare accidents are rising by the day. At Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis, we handle these cases and help victims establish the responsible party for the accident and pursue compensation accordingly.
These accidents can be fatal and are often result from a driver’s negligence. We can help gather the facts of the accident and hold the negligent driver responsible for the accident.
Driving beyond the allowable speed limit amounts to negligence, and our lawyers can prepare a strong case against the at-fault to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Uninsured Motorist Claims
We also handle cases where the at-fault driver has no insurance, with our lawyers offering advice on how best to recover compensation.
Contact Our Abbeville Car Accident Lawyers Today
Car accidents are common on South Carolina roadways and often result in deaths or leave victims with life-changing injuries. Regardless of your keenness on the road, another driver’s negligence can result in a crash and cause you harm. In such a case, you may have the right to pursue the at-fault party for compensation.