Car accidents are scary, unpredictable, and life-altering. Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C. is an experienced personal injury law firm that handles car accident cases throughout South Carolina.
We pride ourselves in aggressively fighting for our clients’ deserved compensation. Our personal injury attorneys are vastly experienced in matters concerning car accident claims. We have successfully recovered damages for many car accident victims. We can help you too! For any questions or concerns about our legal services, call our Saluda car accident lawyers at 855-213-4405.
We provide an initial free consultation with no obligation to retain our services. Our attorneys take car accident cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about attorney fees.
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Car Accident Statistics in South Carolina
Over the years, South Carolina has seen the number of car accidents rise. In 2018, 1037 people died in South Carolina. About 65% of the accidents involved either a truck, an SUV, or a car. The number of motorcyclists and pedestrians killed was 141 and 165, respectively. A staggering 45% of the crashes involved multiple vehicles.
How Much Does a Saluda Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Because we understand that not everyone can afford attorney fees, we take car accident cases on contingency. This means that you will pay us a percentage of your settlement award if we win your case.
What Steps Should I Take After a South Carolina Car Accident?
After a car accident, it’s normal to be shaken. Taking the following actions can help ensure your safety and put you in a better position to recover compensation.
Summoning the police is an essential legal requirement, no matter how minor the accident is. It is also important to have a police report for insurance purposes.
Check on Other Involved Parties (Do Not Leave!)
Under the Road Traffic Act, leaving or fleeing an accident scene is an offense. No matter how insignificant you think the crash is, it would help if you stopped to assess the condition of others involved in the accident and render aid.
Ensure you swap information with the other drivers, including names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance company & policy details, and vehicle registration information.
Record the Scene
Take photographs of the accident scene, damaged vehicles, and your injuries right after the accident.
Never Admit Fault
Do not accept liability for the accident at all costs, as it may ruin your chances of recovering any compensation.
Seek Medical Attention
Get treatment even if you only sustained minor injuries. Some injuries may not be apparent, so it’s safe to get a doctor’s evaluation. Also, a visit to the doctor will get you vital medical records.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
Contact a Saluda car accident attorney. An attorney will advise you accordingly on your next course of action.
What Is South Carolina’s Average Settlement for Car Accidents?
South Carolina drivers are required to carry:
- A minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 for all persons injured in one accident,
- A minimum of $25,000 for all property damage in one accident, and
- Uninsured motorist coverage equal to the minimum amounts of liability coverage (25/50/25).
While there is no average settlement for car accidents, victims can recover as much as the at-fault party carries in their policy, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
When Should I Retain an Attorney for My Saluda Auto Accident?
You want to get a lawyer as soon as possible. The faster, the better because insurance companies will begin assessing your claim immediately.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
A lawyer can help balance things because you will be going against insurance companies and defense attorneys. It would be best to have someone with knowledge about the legal processes and procedures involved in car accident lawsuits. A lawyer can help with:
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
An attorney from Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C. can work with accident reconstruction experts to investigate, gather evidence and determine who should be held accountable. After establishing the at-fault party, a lawyer can file a car accident claim for you.
An attorney can calculate the value of your car accident claim and negotiate for total damages. Insurance companies may try to get you to settle for much less than your claim’s worth. An attorney can protect you against such underhand tactics.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If negotiations don’t bear fruit, a lawyer can prepare your case for trial. A lawyer can present your case in court with supporting evidence, handle defense attorneys and all related paperwork.
How Much Payment/Compensation Can I Receive For My Damages?
After getting injured in a Saluda car accident, the amount of compensation you can expect to receive will hinge on:
- The impact of the crash on your life
- Who is responsible, and to what degree
- Your lawyer’s experience,
- The type and degree of injuries you suffered
- The amount of property or vehicle damage
- The nature of the crash
In South Carolina, non-economic damages are not capped. A car accident lawyer can get maximum benefits by working with valuation experts for car accident claims.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
In South Carolina, you can recover several types of damages from the person who caused your car accident injuries, including:
These are compensatory damages with a known dollar value like medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity.
These damages are also compensatory but cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Limb loss or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
A judge or jury might grant the injured party punitive damages if the responsible party’s conduct was especially reckless. Punitive damages are not compensatory and are rarely granted.
How Is Fault Determined?
There are specific laws in South Carolina that decide how fault for a car accident is determined.
South Carolina’s At-Fault Policy
Being an at-fault state, injured car accident victims are required by law to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance.
Comparative Negligence In South Carolina
Car accident victims in South Carolina are only allowed to recover damages from a car accident claim if they were 50% or less at fault for the auto accident. This is called the 51% rule and is a variation of the comparative negligence rule.
In addition, your percentage of fault will be deducted from your final settlement award. For instance, if you were awarded $10,000 but were found to be 10% liable, your compensation will be reduced to $9,000.
How Long Is South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims?
In Saluda, South Carolina, injured car accident victims are allowed three years from the day of the crash or discovery to file a claim. If this time limit expires, your lawsuit will be rejected.
How Can a Saluda Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
Lawyers understand the claims process more than anybody else. This is how a car accident attorney can help you in the claims process:
- A lawyer will report the claim to your insurance carrier or with the at-fault party’s insurer.
- Next, a lawyer will carry out investigations, gather evidence, and avail the same to insurance adjusters to establish your claim’s worth.
- If your car accident claim is denied, or you are awarded unfair compensation, a car accident attorney can help you appeal.
What Can I Do If Insurance Denied My Claim?
There is no need to panic when your car accident claim is denied. Insurance companies are known to deny claims all the time, hoping that you will walk away. If your claim is denied, you need to submit a complaint with the insurance department in South Carolina.
After a denied claim, we will do a fresh assessment of your car accident claim to determine whether you still have a case or not.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Drivers in South Carolina are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage in their insurance policy. When you get into a car accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured, you will file a claim with your insurer to recover damages.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report in Saluda, SC?
All crash reports investigated by the police are forwarded to the DMV in South Carolina. To get your accident report, you can:
- Call South Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles,
- Visit the DMV Headquarters in South Carolina in person, or
- Mail your TR-67A form
You will need to pay $5.50 to get a certified copy.
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
We represent clients injured in a variety of traffic accident cases, including:
Driving Under the Influence Accidents
We take car accident cases involving drunk or intoxicated drivers. If your car accident injury was caused by someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
We handle auto accidents involving collisions with motorcycles. If a motorcyclist caused your car accident, we can help you hold them accountable.
We also deal with car accidents involving collisions with trucks. We can help you hold a trucker accountable for your car accident.
Contact Our Saluda Car Accident Lawyers
When you are injured after getting into a car crash, you need a car accident attorney in your corner to help you recover maximum compensation. Our lawyers at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C understand that the period after a car accident can be stressful with pending hospital bills and insurance companies breathing down your neck.
We can relieve you of this burden if you let us handle your car accident claim while you concentrate on your recovery. We are always available to answer your questions and cater to all your concerns.
Call Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C. at 855-213-4405 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Saluda car accident lawyers.