If you’re in a car accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file your claim. There are two potential types of claims you have to file. One is an insurance claim. The other is a legal claim. Regardless of how serious the accident, you really should consult a South Carolina auto accident attorney before you do either. There is simply too much at stake to try to handle it yourself.
As far as filing an insurance claim, it really depends on the insurance company. However, almost all insurance companies require that you file your claim within a reasonable time after an accident. A reasonable time typically means a few days. The longer you wait to file your insurance claim, the greater the chance that it will be denied.
As for a legal claim, it depends on what state you live in. The statute of limitations in South Carolina for a car accident is three (3) years. The three years starts from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your claim within three years, your claim will be dismissed. There are very few exceptions ever made for missing the statute of limitations.
Let Your South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney Protect Your Rights
If you want to preserve your legal rights, you need to meet both claim deadlines. Get your insurance claim filed immediately. This should be done as soon as you have received medical attention. The insurance company will reply to your claim rather quickly. They will either pay it or deny it. If they pay it, you’ll have the money you need to fix your vehicle and pay your medical bills. However, if they deny your claim, you will need a South Carolina auto accident attorney’s help.
If your claim is denied, your lawyer will try to get the insurance adjuster to settle. If they refuse to settle, your lawyer will have to file a lawsuit against the other driver and his insurance company. Although you have three years to do this, you don’t want to wait that long. You should have an idea within the first few weeks following your accident how severe your injuries are. Your attorney can make a fair estimate of how much to demand in a lawsuit.
Your South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney Knows the Law
If you’re involved in a car accident, your attorney will know how long you have to file your lawsuit. He will also know what types of damages you can demand. In most car accidents, you are entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical bills (present and future)
- Lost wages
- Repairs to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
The longer you wait to file your lawsuit, the harder it will be to prove your case. You want your evidence to be fresh when you go to court. The more time that goes by, the greater the odds are that the defendant will claim that you were hurt some other way.
Unless you suffered really serious injuries, a jury will have to wonder why it took you so long to file suit. They won’t want to hear that you were waiting to find an attorney. They will not understand that you were scared or nervous to do so.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer if I’m in a Car Accident?
You don’t need an attorney to file a claim in South Carolina. However, if you want to be taken seriously, you really want one by your side. When an insurance company sees you have an attorney, they will realize you won’t be taken advantage of. They will be more likely to offer a settlement on your case.
Nobody wants to go to court. A trial is expensive and time consuming. You’re much better off settling your case, and so is the Insurance company. Once the insurance company knows you are represented by an experienced attorney, they’ll be willing to settle at a higher rate. This is because they know your auto accident attorney knows what your case is worth.
If you’ve been in a car accident, contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney today. They can answer any questions you may have. They’ll review your case and let you know what it may be worth. If you don’t have a case, they’ll tell you this too. The consultation is free and they don’t get paid unless you get paid!