Getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience for many. Between the car repairs and personal injuries, the last thing you will want to deal with in the aftermath is working with insurance companies in order to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Find a car accident lawyer in Greenwood, South Carolina to make the process easier and take the pressure off of you. At the law firm of Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C., we have years of experience negotiating auto accident settlements and we can put that knowledge to work for you.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Greenwood, SC Can Help
Usually, people start looking for a car accident lawyer after the standard process has become difficult. Whether you decide to hire a lawyer after receiving a low settlement offer from the insurance company or because you are dealing with a driver who refuses to accept fault for the accident, it’s never too late for an attorney to help you get back on track. The law offices of Ayers Smithdeal and Bettis, P.C. can help you seek the accident injury compensation you deserve.
What Happens After a Car Accident?
What happens after the accident? Well, if you followed South Carolina law, you stayed at the scene, notified emergency services if necessary and exchanged information with the other driver. Keep in mind that the state of South Carolina requires you to file a Traffic Collision Report if you meet any of these requirements:
- There was an injury or death
- There was property damage exceeding $1,000
These two instances mean you only have 15 days to notify the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles of the accident. After all of the immediate concerns are taken care of, you might contact a car accident lawyer if you are having trouble negotiating for the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses.
South Carolina has a long-standing fault system. In this fault system, the responsibility of proving fault is on the insurance adjuster. This may seem like a conflict of interest since most insurance companies are only interested in their bottom line. They will try to assign fault in order to lower the amount they have to pay.
However, there are multiple options available for you to fight back. You can contact South Carolina’s Department of Insurance, seek a car accident lawyer to file a negligence claim, or seek further review through the insurance company’s appeals system. These might seem easy to navigate, but it is best to first consult your policy and its limits.
Knowing how policies and policy limits affect settlements is an important part of navigating car accident law. Having a knowledgeable car accident lawyer to assist you can make this process easier.
How Policies and Policy Limits Affect Auto Accident Settlements
Although many are led to believe there is a magic formula or injury settlement calculator that they can use to gauge how much compensation they are due, in reality, calculating auto accident settlements is a bit more complicated than that. However, there are key components in how a settlement is traditionally calculated.
In most cases, the following aspects are taken into consideration when calculating auto accident settlements.
- Extent of the property damage
- Extent (or presence) of personal injury
- Policy limits of all persons involved
When people anticipate a larger settlement than they receive, it is usually associated with policy limits. Insurance companies set a cap within their contractual agreements. This is the contract between the insured driver and the insurance company. Companies use these caps as end-all limitations on what they are willing to pay out for a settlement claim. Car accident lawyers know how these limitations function in a settlement claim.
In the most detrimental circumstances, this means that companies will not pay out more than that cap, even if there is confirmation that the total damages exceed that figure. If the other driver’s cap is at $25,000, then you will likely need to hire a car accident lawyer to pursue any excess damage from the other driver directly. Otherwise, you may be left utilizing the underinsured motorist option on your own policy.
Since any policy will cap at a certain amount, this does not mean that a settlement check is simply made out for that maximum sum. As this is only one aspect taken into consideration for settlement, companies often do not even approach the policy limit amount. It is likely if you have suffered a personal injury during a car accident the company will only provide what they feel your injury is worth.
Hurt in a Car Accident? When to Hire a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
Nothing is quite as bad as a company placing a low value on your injury. If you have been injured in a car accident, there are a few things that must be done within a delicate time frame.
- Receive and decline a unsatisfactory settlement offer
- File a lawsuit for negligence against the other driver involved in the accident
These two steps are under a statute of limitations. If you’re seeking accident injury compensation, contacting a car accident lawyer early could help in this process.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Greenwood, SC to Discuss Auto Accident Settlements
Although South Carolina law requires $25,000 injury minimum liability insurance and that all policies include uninsured motorist coverage, there are still low settlements being fought constantly.
The attorneys at Ayers, Smithdeal, and Bettis, P.C. are experienced in car accident claims and lawsuits. Let a car accident lawyer in Greenwood, South Carolina answer your auto accident settlement questions. Contact us today for further information and to gain an understanding of what options are available to you.