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Charleston car accident lawyer

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Charleston Car Accident Lawyer

When you’re involved in a car crash, it can be difficult to get the compensation you need to recover. Call a Charleston car crash lawyer if you’re struggling to recover from your wreck-related losses.

Key Takeaways:

  • You have three years to file a car accident lawsuit in Charleston.
  • South Carolina is an at-fault state, meaning the person who caused the accident must have their insurance pay for the damages.
  • South Carolina also follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that your percentage of fault in the accident will affect your compensation.
  • Insurance companies naturally do not want to pay out claims. A lawyer can apply the right tools to help secure compensation for you.
  • Speak to a Charleston car accident attorney today to learn about your legal options after a car wreck.
  • HawkLaw offers free consultations* for personal injury cases.

Charleston is a busy city, which means plenty of cars on the road. While most of us know to follow the rules of the road, accidents can still happen. Unfortunately, that means you could be badly injured and left with the bills and lost wages that come after a collision.

This could leave you in a difficult financial, emotional, and physical situation for years after the crash if you don’t get the help you need. Pursuing compensation isn’t easy, and the person responsible for the wreck will almost certainly fight back to avoid paying for your car crash damages.

When this happens, you may need the help of a Charleston car accident lawyer from HawkLaw. Our experienced car wreck attorneys understand how traumatic and painful an auto accident can be — and how easy it is to lose your chance to recover compensation. Instead of facing the coming difficulties alone, speak to our knowledgeable attorneys about your case.

Financial Compensation After a Charleston Car Accident

Economic damages are the damages after an accident that are easily quantifiable and have direct financial costs. These include damages such as medical bills and lost wages.

Non-economic damages, or the emotional and mental trauma that come with an accident, can be especially complex because they’re intangible. A lawyer with the right resources and experience can find the true value of your non-economic damages and make sure you receive every cent.

You’ll want to calculate accurate compensation for all of your damages, including the following:

How Can I Recover Compensation After a Car Accident?

Ideally, you would be able to recover compensation after a car accident by going through insurance, but that will not always give the desired result. You can file a lawsuit for compensation if the damages you suffered exceed the insurance policy limits or if a settlement cannot be reached.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Charleston

The details of your car accident claim filing in Charleston depend on whether it involved any injuries or deaths. If there were none, you do not need to include a police report. Otherwise, a police report must be included. As a disclaimer, having a police report for your insurance claim is typically a good rule of thumb regardless of the details of the accident.

In accordance with most insurance policies, you must notify your insurance adjuster that an accident has occurred. Note that notifying them does not necessarily mean you are prepared to accept any kind of settlement they offer you. All you have to do is let them know it occurred. After that, it is time to notify a Charleston car accident lawyer about your personal injury case.

With a lawyer on your side, they will be able to take care of the filing and documentation for you as well as help gather all the necessary evidence to help with your personal injury claim. Plus, a lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf, which is especially helpful because insurance companies tend to lowball you with their initial settlement offers.

Were You Injured in a Auto Accident?
HawkLaw Is Committed To Fighting For The Compensation You Deserve

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Charleston

Car accidents in Charleston and the wider South Carolina area can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but the following are the most common:

  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Teen drivers
  • Failure to yield
  • Tired driving
  • Following too closely

Common Injuries in Car Accidents

Woman holder her neck from whiplash due to car accident

Unfortunately, many Charleston car accident victims will face sky-high medical bills. While cars have many safety measures to keep drivers safe on the road, high speeds can make a crash especially dangerous. When multiple cars are involved, you can expect even more serious injuries.

These injuries require medical treatment. Even if you feel fine, be sure that you seek treatment immediately. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not be noticeable until it’s too late. Even if you’re not seriously injured, getting medical attention immediately can prevent claims later on that your injuries didn’t stem from your accident.

Unfortunately, you might face doubts about your injuries if you don’t seek treatment quickly, so act now to recover as soon as possible and make sure your health isn’t in serious danger. The following are some serious injuries that are common in auto accidents:

What to Do After a Car Accident in Charleston

In the wake of a car accident, you or a loved one will need to take some steps to properly handle such a traumatic event. Take the following steps:

  • Check yourself for injuries.
  • Check your passengers for injuries.
  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call emergency services.
  • Exchange contact information with those involved.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident

To keep your own rights safe after a car accident, it is important that you document as much of the accident as possible. Gather evidence from the scene, including photos of your injuries, skid marks, damage to the vehicle, etc. Additionally, do not admit fault when talking to other people involved or emergency responders, as that can be used against you. Note that an apology can be considered admitting fault.

Can I Recover Damages If I Was Partially At Fault For My Accident?

Yes, you can recover damages if you were partially at fault for your accident, but the amount of compensation you can recover is directly proportional to the amount of fault you hold for the accident. Also, if you were more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to recover damages at all.

Determining Fault After a Charleston Car Accident

To determine fault in a South Carolina car accident, you have to consider who was being negligent leading up to it. Essentially, there are four aspects one must demonstrate to assign fault to somebody.

  1. First, someone must have a duty of care, such as being courteous to other drivers on the road.
  2. Second, someone must breach their duty of care, such as driving recklessly or being a drunk driver.
  3. Third, that breach must cause an accident.
  4. Finally, the accident must cause damages such as personal injuries and/or property damage.

Is South Carolina a No-Fault or At-Fault State?

When you’ve suffered through an auto wreck, determining who is responsible for your injuries will be critically important to recovering full compensation. While your insurance company might help by providing some services, such as a rental car when yours is totaled, South Carolina is a “fault” state. This means that the at-fault party or their insurance company should compensate you for your damages.

Unfortunately, the at-fault party or insurance company might try to blame you for the accident. This is especially common if it’s not immediately clear who’s responsible for the accident. For example, if the other car T-boned yours, it might be unclear who caused the accident. If you believe the other person was responsible, you and your Charleston personal injury lawyer will need to gather evidence.

South Carolina’s Comparative Negligence Laws

South Carolina, including Charleston, utilizes a modified comparative negligence standard when it comes to car accidents in the state. With this standard, the amount of compensation you can receive for damages in the wake of an accident is proportional to how responsible you are for the accident.

For example, if you sustained $100,000 worth of damages in an accident but are determined to be 10% at fault for it, you will only be able to recover $90,000 in compensation.

The modified part of South Carolina law applies to drivers who are greater than 50% responsible for an accident. If your responsibility exceeds 50%, you will not be able to recover any compensation at all.

Who Determines Fault in a Charleston Car Accident?

Fault is typically determined by either police on the scene or the insurance companies that are involved. That is how it works in most cases, but some car accident cases make it all the way to trial. In those rare cases, it is up to a jury to determine who is ultimately at fault for an accident. A Charleston car accident lawyer is a critical asset in this situation.

Gathering Useful Evidence for Your Charleston Car Accident Case

You will need evidence to make your case as strong as possible for fair compensation, and that evidence can come in many different forms. Ultimately, it needs to demonstrate that the other party was negligent and that their negligence led to the damages you suffered. Some key pieces of evidence include the following:

  • Witness testimony
  • Police reports
  • Photographs of the scene highlighting damage and conditions
  • Photographs of the vehicles involved
  • Medical records of your injuries and their treatments
  • Financial records of property damage and repairs

The Time Limit to File a Car Accident Claim in South Carolina

The statute of limitations for most, but not all, personal injuries in South Carolina, including those from car accidents, is three years from the date of the accident.

The Role of Car Insurance in Car Accident Claims in Charleston

iphone taking a picture of car accident damage

In South Carolina, the primary payer of your damages is the liability insurance held by the at-fault driver. If they do not have liability insurance or enough liability insurance to cover the extent of your damages, you can also collect from your own policy based on how much uninsured or underinsured coverage you have.

Remember that you should not hesitate to use your own medical insurance to take care of your injuries in the short term. It is possible to be reimbursed from your auto insurance at a later date in some cases.

Calculating Damages in a Car Accident Claim

To get the compensation you know you deserve, you and your attorney will have to assign a monetary value to every single damage you’ve suffered because of a negligent driver.

Unfortunately, some damages can be difficult to calculate on your own. Your economic damages, which include any financial losses tied to your collision, will be the simplest, but these can be complex, too. You’ll need to calculate both the costs you’ve already suffered and the future expenses that will affect you. For example, you might need future surgeries or treatment for your injuries.

How to Prove That You Deserve Compensation For Your Car Accident Injuries

When you suffer injuries from a car accident, you will need to provide medical evidence that demonstrates the extent of those injuries. This can include statements from doctors, X-rays, blood work, and a variety of other kinds of documentation. Additionally, you will need to provide an itemized list of all the accompanying medical expenses that go along with your treatments.

How to Maximize Your Financial Compensation After a Car Accident

The best way to maximize your financial compensation after a car accident is to focus on your treatment and keep a record of it. While this obviously includes following your doctor’s treatment plan and keeping a record of your medical expenses, it should also include maintaining a journal of your emotional pain that can help document your non-economic damages.

What to Do If the Insurance Company Will Not Pay For Damages After a Car Accident

Unfortunately, the insurance company is not likely to be happy to see your claim for compensation. Almost without exception, insurance companies prioritize their profits above everything else. They’ll do what they can to avoid paying out for an expensive settlement if at all possible.

That means you can expect the insurance company to try to avoid compensating you fairly. They might lowball your settlement, for example, offering you far less than what your claim is worth and saying that’s the best they can do. They might even refuse to respond to you for a time.

When this happens, you’ll need to fight back to get what you’re owed. If you go into the exchange knowing how much your claim is worth, you’ll know when the insurer is trying to avoid paying you fairly. If the insurers won’t budge, your car accident lawyer in Charleston can help you take them to court.

Can I Sue a Commercial Driver for a Charleston Car Accident?

Not every accident is between two private motorists. You might have been hit by a delivery car, for example, or a taxi. In these cases, you might not be sure who’s responsible for your damages. It should be the person who caused your injuries, right?

Unfortunately, your claim might not be so simple. If you were involved in a car accident with someone who was on the clock, their employer might owe you compensation. Employers often hold responsibility for the actions of their employees when they’re working.

For example, let’s say you’re driving past a construction zone, and the driver of a construction vehicle clips your car. Instead of just suing the individual driver, you might file a claim against the company they work for.

Related resources:

Roles and Responsibilities of a Charleston Auto Collision Lawyer

Personal injury attorneys in Charleston have several roles and responsibilities you can benefit from regarding your legal issues.

Determining and Proving Fault

A Charleston car accident attorney will know how to demonstrate fault in an auto accident, which is one of the key aspects of making your case.

Calculating a Fair Settlement

Calculating economic damages is fairly easy, but non-economic damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish are a bit tougher to quantify. A legal team will know how to handle it.

Building a Strong Case

Strong cases are built using evidence, and injury lawyers will know how to gather all the relevant evidence for your case.

Negotiating On Your Behalf

With a car accident attorney, all you have to do is focus on recovery. Auto accident lawyers will handle all communications on your behalf, from talking to the insurance company to representing you in court.

Why Clients Trust HawkLaw

At HawkLaw, you can benefit from our years of experience coupled with a dedication to a positive and communicative attorney-client relationship. Our law firm takes a digital-first approach for your convenience, letting you schedule consultations, legal representation, and legal advice online.

Dedicated Representation After Devastating Car Accidents

When you’ve been in a car crash, it can be tough to overcome the suffering that comes with it. You’re not just dealing with injuries, unfortunately. The expenses are building up, you’re unable to work, and you’re overwhelmed by the trauma. What can you do?

One of the most important steps for the success of your claim is to talk to a lawyer. The attorneys at HawkLaw are ready to help you determine the full value of your claim and fight for that compensation so you can focus on your recovery. You don’t have to take on the difficulty and stress of a lawsuit alone.

If you’re concerned about your auto crash claim, reach out to a Charleston car accident lawyer for a free consultation and case evaluation.* Give us a call at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or fill out the form below.

Frequent Answered Questions

Can I Sue a Government Agency for an Auto Accident?

What if the person who hit you was a government employee? Or what if a government road authority failed to properly maintain the road, and that failure caused you to crash? In South Carolina, lawsuits against the government can be complicated.

Most states have laws that attempt to protect the state or local government from injury lawsuits like car crash claims. These laws make it more difficult to sue, which only further emphasizes the need to call an auto wreck attorney in Charleston.

While the typical injury claim in South Carolina will give you three years to file, a lawsuit against the government may face a shorter deadline. Your damages may also be subject to caps, so it’ll be important to make sure you maximize the value of your claim as much as you can. An experienced attorney can help with that.

Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

In the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, your own health insurance pays. They can be reimbursed by car insurance once liability is determined. If you do not have health insurance, you may be able to get treatment under a letter of protection.

Related resource: Are Car Accident Injuries Covered by My Health Insurance?

Can I Still Sue if I Was Not Injured in the Car Accident?

Yes, but you cannot sue for damages related to physical injuries. You can, however, sue for damages for mental anguish and property damage caused by the car wreck.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
4975 LaCross Rd
Suite 201
North Charleston, SC 29406
+1 (854) 333-3333
Our location:
John D. Hawkins
Founder and CEO

John Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of HawkLaw He has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since his graduation with honors in 1994 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was on the Law Review and Order of Wig and Robe.