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Car Accidents
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Columbia car accident lawyers

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Columbia Car Accident Lawyer

Getting in a car accident is never an easy situation, and the legal process can be especially stressful. A Columbia car accident lawyer can help take care of the legal issues for you, so you can focus on getting better. With a personal injury attorney in Columbia, South Carolina by your side, we can help you get the full compensation you deserve after an accident. If you are struggling with your car accident claim, you can reach out to our law firm for a free consultation.*

Key Takeaways:

  • Columbia car accident victims could be entitled to compensation for damages.
  • Damages can be both economic and non-economic.
  • A lawyer can help navigate South Carolina personal injury law for you and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
  • Injuries from car accidents can range from minor to serious and permanent.
  • The at-fault driver is the one responsible for damages in a South Carolina car accident.
  • Fatalities from a car accident can warrant a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • The majority of car accident cases are settled before going to trial, but willingness to go to trial can improve the likelihood of receiving fair compensation.

Common Causes of Columbia Car Accidents

Accidents are sadly more common than you might often think. In a split second, a reckless motorist can change your life forever. Distracted driving is one of the top reasons motor vehicle accidents occur, but a variety of causes contribute to the overall rate of accidents in Columbia. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents to look out for:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  • A car hits you while you are biking, walking across a street, or even on the sidewalk.
  • Reckless truck drivers who have not followed regulations or are simply careless (truck accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the sheer size of the vehicle involved).
  • Another vehicle rear-ends yours while at a traffic stop
  • Head-on collisions at intersections
  • A driver is distracted by their cell phone, eating food, or smoking (to name a few)

If drunk driving is involved, an experienced attorney in Columbia can work to protect your rights, but also, indirectly, the rights of others. DUI is a common repeat offense, so perpetrators need to be held accountable in an effort to prevent their reckless driving under the influence from hurting other people in the future.

Common Columbia Auto Accident Injuries

If you have suffered any of the following injuries or other serious losses, reach out to a Columbia auto accident lawyer for help with your claim:

This is not an extensive list, but only an example of the many physical problems you might suffer after being a car crash victim and does not include the emotional injuries you may struggle with after your injury. Always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident since some injuries are hidden or may not emerge until days or weeks after the accident.

Before you seek financial compensation for your car accident injury, first, you will need to assess the specific injuries you have suffered because of the crash. Auto collisions can be especially dangerous, so it is important for you to keep track of the suffering you have been put through. The damage suffered could be extensive, so it can be helpful to keep a private log of your injuries and experiences that can be referenced alongside your medical records.

Injuries in auto crashes tend to be serious because the impact is likely to happen at high speeds. While cars have become safer than ever, a car crash can still leave you to deal with life-changing catastrophic injuries.

Once you have suffered these injuries, you will need to fight to get the compensation you know you deserve. One injury is enough to make any undertaking a challenge, and you might have suffered several injuries, so the path ahead may not look easy. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help ease the burden on your shoulders by taking care of the legal issues for you while you focus on recovery.

Seeking Guidance from a Columbia Car Accident Attorney After an Accident

Skyline view of Columbia South Carolina

Experiencing a car accident can be terrifying, and knowing what to do in the aftermath can be highly stressful. It is important to try to follow certain steps in the immediate minutes and hours after a motor vehicle crash occurs to protect yourself, make certain everyone is safe, and also protect yourself from a legal perspective.

  • Call 911 if it appears anyone involved in the crash needs immediate medical care for serious injuries.
  • Contact police to confirm a police report is filed (this will prove to be very important later on).
  • If not seriously injured, stay put at the accident scene until law enforcement arrives.
  • In minor crashes, move the car to a safe space away from traffic lanes but as nearby to the accident site as possible.
  • In serious crashes, leave the car as is and, if possible, get everyone to a safe location away from traffic.

Document Details About The Accident

You will also want to gather as much documentation as possible to provide a careful timeline of events and conditions surrounding the car accident. Get the following information as soon as reasonably possible after a collision occurs.

  • Record the location of the accident and time of day.
  • Take photos and, if possible, videos of the accident site and any accident details.
  • Take photos of any skid marks, street signs, potholes, or any other relevant details that may have contributed to the crash (even if you are not certain).
  • Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident and can provide a first-hand account.
  • Write down the insurance company of the other party, along with their contact information.
  • Contact a Columbia personal injury attorney as soon as possible for a free legal consultation,* especially since there is a statute of limitations in South Carolina to file a personal injury claim.

If you are injured and are unable to gather documentation, try to ask if another individual can take some photos and write down any other pertinent details associated with the crash. Any evidence you collect will be useful later on when you decide to open a personal injury claim or if someone files against you. Remember, the sooner you collect evidence, the better it will be for your overall case.

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

Recovering Compensation For Your Columbia Car Crash

You know you will need to file your claim for your car accident damages, but how much are you owed? Knowing what your claim is worth is critical to obtaining the full compensation you are owed, but that is often difficult to determine without the tools a lawyer will have access to, especially since insurance companies tend to make underestimated offers to accident victims. Do not be surprised when insurance adjusters try to take advantage of you as well. Remember, their business model necessitates that they deny paying as much compensation as they think they can get away with.

First, you will need to confirm that you include all of your economic damages.

  • Damages that are easily quantifiable.
  • Damages that can easily be translated into specific dollar amounts.
  • Damages that can be demonstrated with hard, undeniable evidence.

What about the suffering your injuries caused? These fall under non-economic damages.

  • Damages that are not easily quantifiable.
  • Damages that deal with suffering and other abstract experiences.
  • Damages that often require convincing and more thorough pieces of evidence.

Fortunately, your Columbia car wreck lawyer can help you determine what these damages are worth. We have the resources and experience you will need to find the value of all of your damages, which can vary based on how severe your suffering was. If you are not sure what your damages should include, see the list below for some damages that are common after serious car accidents:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Medical bills from doctors, hospitals, and therapists
  • Lost income and wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Property damage
  • Loss of future wages
  • Car damage

Additionally, if you have suffered permanent disability, disfiguring scars, or the wrongful death of a loved one, along with any pain and suffering you have struggled with since the accident, this is also considered when awarding compensation.

Fault For Car Accidents In Columbia, South Carolina

Woman waving at the sunset hanging out of her car window

Once you’ve taken note of the injuries you have suffered, you will need to know who is financially responsible for those wounds and the medical bills that pile up because of them. Finding the person responsible will be a major part of filing your claim. Though what challenges can Columbia car accident victims expect as they file their claims?

  • Collect the other driver’s insurance information. (Because South Carolina is a “fault” state, the at-fault driver or his or her insurer will be responsible for paying the expenses tied to your crash.)
  • Insurance providers will argue against claims that the at-fault driver is actually liable.
  • A lawyer serves as critical defense against an insurer’s substantial financial resources.
  • Your case needs to be stronger than the case that is built against you.
  • Insurance companies tend to be more willing to settle if you are prepared to go to trial with your case.
  • Most car accident cases are settled before going to trial.

The Insurance Company Will Not Want To Help

Unfortunately, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might not be easy to manage. If your claim is especially costly, you might have some extra trouble getting the settlement you deserve for your injuries. You will need the full amount to recover, of course, so do not hesitate to ask for help if you are afraid there is something wrong with your settlement offer. Keep in mind that insurance companies will likely do whatever they can to avoid paying you the full amount.

It is unfortunate, but insurance companies do not always make fair settlement offers. In some cases, you may have trouble getting any response at all from these insurers. This can make it difficult to recover, but a car accident lawyer in Columbia can help you fight back when the insurance companies are not being fair after an auto wreck, or if they try to shift the negligence to you.

  • Be wary of lowball settlement offers that will not cover the expenses you incurred due to the accident.
  • Know what your claim is worth by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer.
  • Prepare for common tactics like refusing to respond to you or avoiding paying the full amount you are owed.
  • Remember that insurance companies only profit by denying you as much compensation as they feel they can get away with.

Columbia Uber Accident Lawyer

When you are in a rideshare accident, it can be tough to identify the person responsible for your injuries. You may need a Columbia injury lawyer’s help when your Uber trip goes wrong. Your attorney will know exactly what course of investigation in this type of car accident case to take to protect your rights and obtain justice for any accident-causing behaviors or vehicle conditions that led to your injury. After all, a lawyer will know who to target in a lawsuit, whether it is the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, or another driver altogether.

Why Work With HawkLaw

At HawkLaw, you can proceed with your personal injury case with confidence. Throughout our 25 years of practice, we have won more than $275 million* in total settlements for our clients. Our lawyers have also won several awards, including Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2021 for J. Camden Hodge.

Recent Client Testimonials

My experience is: they prompt, efficient, courteous and helpful. I will use them again. My paralegal, Ms. Shalon and my attorney, Ms. Pruitt made me feel as though i was their only client. –Aaron W.

Everyone at Hawk Law that I dealt with was helpful. Response times to questions were great, and if they weren’t sure of the answer, they got back to me quickly with the answer. – Burt L

Speak With A Columbia, SC Auto Accident Attorney

A car crash can be a dangerous, traumatic experience. After an accident, you might struggle with serious mental scars, and the bills will still keep piling up. You deserve compensation for the suffering you have been through because of the other driver, but their insurer might not be willing to pay.

That might mean you have to take your case into a courtroom for an injury claim, but that can be difficult when you are struggling with injuries and other damages. Failing to give your case the full attention it needs could mean losing part or all of your compensation. To get the full compensation you deserve, speak with a qualified Columbia car accident attorney from HawkLaw, P.A.

Our attorneys can fight for your compensation when you are recovering, taking some of the stress of a lawsuit off of your shoulders during this difficult time. We will even begin with a free consultation* so you know we are the right firm for you before we get started on providing you with sound legal advice and a communicative attorney-client relationship.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries and losses in an automobile accident or another kind of personal injury accident, reach out to a Columbia auto accident attorney for the help you need. Our practice areas are diverse. Just give our South Carolina law firm a call or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of the page to receive a free case evaluation.* Someone from our legal team will get right back to you.

Frequent Answered Questions

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in South Carolina?

The statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in South Carolina is three years from the date of the accident in most cases. There are some exceptions to be aware of.

For example, if the accident involved a government-owned vehicle, you have just two years to file your claim against the government entity responsible. Additionally, a car accident victim who is under the age of 18 will not have the three-year time limit start counting until their 18th birthday.

Should I see a Doctor after a Car Accident Even if I Don’t Feel Hurt?

Yes, you should always see a doctor and receive medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries do not manifest immediately in the aftermath of an accident, but a doctor may still be able to catch them and begin treatment. Additionally, you will want to get a medical record established as soon as possible, so you can use medical evidence in your case. If you fail to get medical treatment quickly, your opposition may use that to argue that your injuries are not that serious.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia? Do They Work on a Contingency Fee Basis?

With a contingency fee standard in place, you do not have to pay anything to hire a car accident lawyer until they win your case.* Of course, winning your case means getting compensation for your injuries, and their fee would merely be a fraction of that compensation. If they do not win your case, you do not have to pay them anything at all.* That being the case, you can always afford a car accident attorney.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive from My Columbia Car Accident Case?

How much compensation you can receive from a Columbia car accident case depends on the amount of damages you suffered in the accident. The more damages sustained in the accident, the more compensation you may be able to receive from a lawsuit. You may receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Workers’ compensation

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disfigurement
How Involved Will I Need to Be in the Legal Process, and What Are My Responsibilities as a Client?

Having a legal team on your side throughout your case is a useful way to increase your chances of winning compensation, but you do have some responsibilities yourself. Fortunately, these responsibilities are straightforward and easy. Clients are expected to convey information, answer questions truthfully, and provide all the personal documents that your case requires. During the discovery process, you must also willingly share information that is requested in a timely manner.

Dealing with insurance policies and adjusters is tough on your own, but working with a lawyer means you do not have to deal with it yourself. In fact, communication with insurers and other parties involved can be handled almost entirely by your lawyer. All you have to do is produce the relevant information when necessary. As a client, however, you do not have to worry about negotiating any settlements. Your lawyer can do that for you.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
140 Stoneridge Drive
Suite 430
Columbia, SC 29210
+1 (803) 879-5648
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.