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Car accident attorneys in South Carolina

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South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

When you get into a car accident, knowing what to do next can feel overwhelming. We’re here to help. Contact us for a consultation or to initiate your case. We’ll represent your interests and Fight to Win. Talk to us using our live chat or call 888-HAWKLAW.

When you get into a car accident, knowing what to do next can feel overwhelming. At HawkLaw, we’re here to help. Contact us for a consultation or to initiate your case. We’ll represent your interests and fight for your rights.

Car crashes are a significant cause of property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death. If you have suffered such an accident, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help. Car accident victims may suffer from harsh consequences such as high medical bills and serious injuries from an accident that someone else caused. This can create long-term financial implications, limit your health and mobility, and lead to pain and suffering for years to come. You can rely on our South Carolina auto injury lawyers to provide sound legal advice and a detailed case review.

Contact us online for a free consultation* with a South Carolina auto accident attorney at HawkLaw.

What To Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be traumatizing events, and figuring out what to do after a crash can get sidelined by shock and emotion. You might be wondering what to say after a car accident, how to get help, and where to go, all before you can even consider reporting the case to a South Carolina car accident lawyer. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should consider taking the following steps:

  • Check yourself and others for visible injuries: If anyone is having difficulty moving themselves, do not attempt to move that person. Make sure airways are clear and check for any visible injuries.
  • Call for help: Call 911 for anyone involved in the car crash who needs medical care urgently. If you need non-emergency attention, use the non-emergency police line.
  • Park your vehicle in a safer area, if possible: If you can move yourself away from the flow of traffic safely, do so. Moving your car will also ensure easier access for any emergency vehicles.
  • Exchange contact info with the other party and witnesses: You will need to share proof of insurance as well as contact information with the other drivers involved. Make sure you get the full names and addresses as well as phone numbers or email accounts of other drivers and eyewitnesses. In the event of a hit and run, eyewitness accounts will be even more important for pursuing compensation.
  • Gather as much evidence and information as possible: Details about the crash such as video footage from nearby cars, photos of the accident site, and proof of weather conditions can all help strengthen your compensation claim.
  • Cooperate with the local police officer: In South Carolina, having an accident report is an important part of filing a car accident claim. You must cooperate with local law enforcement even if you believe you are at fault.
  • Get a head-to-toe assessment done for your injuries: As soon as you can, make sure you are seen by a medical provider who can check you out for additional injuries after a South Carolina car wreck. There may be damage done by the crash that you are not yet aware of, such as muscular trauma, nerve damage, concussion, or internal bleeding.
  • Maintain records of your injuries, damages, medical bills, and more: For extensive injuries, you may consider keeping a journal highlighting your expenses and losses after an accident.
  • Speak to a South Carolina car accident lawyer:  As soon as you can, contact a South Carolina car accident attorney. Do not post on social media about the accident or admit liability to an insurance adjuster until you have spoken with a lawyer.

Should I Sue After a Car Accident?

Not every car accident requires an attorney, but having one by your side can greatly increase your chance of getting fair compensation if you have been injured, have extensive property damage, or are facing a lawsuit.

There is no need to work with a car accident attorney if you are experiencing only very minor injuries that a doctor has certified will not lead to a major problem, and the other party has duly covered your medical checkup bills. Likewise, you may be able to avoid suing after a car accident if there was not much damage to your car, and no one in either vehicle was injured.

In almost every other case, however, consulting with a car accident attorney in South Carolina is in your best interest. Contacting a car accident lawyer does not necessarily mean your case will go all the way to trial. However, working with a legal advocate gives you the chance to sue if the other party refuses to compensate you for your injuries and losses.

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Do I Need an Attorney After a Car Accident in South Carolina?

It is your decision to hire a South Carolina car accident attorney after a crash. Typically, it makes sense to speak to a lawyer if you are experiencing injuries or trauma after a car accident. At HawkLaw, we can help you with all of the following areas:

  • Review the entire background of the case: Not all car accidents are cut and dried. When brakes fail or unsafe roadway conditions play a part in your injuries, you may be able to file a claim for third-party compensation. An experienced attorney can pick up on these and other nuances in your case that you may not have considered.
  • Collaborate with other experts: HawkLaw can help you find the right doctors in your area and speak to accident-reconstruction experts who can help strengthen your case.
  • Determine the full extent of your injuries and other damages: Many accident victims do not consider the additional costs of aftercare, including future medical bills or the loss of earning potential due to an accident-related disability.
  • Assist with disputing liability: If there is a doubt regarding who caused the accident, then you need a lawyer who will fight hard for your interests. Remember, fault is crucial in South Carolina personal injury lawsuits.
  • Communicate with other parties: Your car accident attorney will be your first line of defense when it comes to communicating with insurance companies who are trying to offer you a low settlement or deny your claim.
  • Handle your paperwork: Filing correctly and on time in the South Carolina court system is necessary for pursuing compensation. We are experienced in state and county filing guidelines and regulations.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement offer or present your case at trial: A South Carolina car accident lawyer will be by your side every step of the way, gathering evidence, filing relevant paperwork, conducting all the legal formalities, interviewing and examining witnesses, and presenting your case. Should a fair settlement not be able to be reached, they will also fight for your rights at trial.
Woman exiting her car holding her neck after a rear end car accident

South Carolina Car Accident Laws

South Carolina’s car accident laws allow for “comparative negligence” in personal injury claims. This means that if you file a claim against someone, he or she may argue that you are partially to blame for the accident or that you share fault. In those cases, your damages will be reduced by your share of the fault.

  • Insurance adjusters often try to raise the possibility of comparative negligence.
  • If you are deemed 30% responsible for an accident, for example, your damages will be reduced to 70%.

Example: You suffered $100,000 worth of damages in an accident for which you were deemed 30% responsible. You would only be able to recover $70,000 at most.

It is our job at HawkLaw to work to preserve your right to fair compensation. To do that, we will collaborate with you to gather evidence for your case. We also will work closely with the insurance company on your behalf so there is less risk that you will say something that endangers your case. Our South Carolina injury lawyers understand not only the ways in which these companies try to lower your compensation, but also have the skills to often negotiate a better settlement than the insurance company offers for our injured car accident clients.

South Carolina Accidents: Car Accident Statistics

According to the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book 2020 Edition, there is a motor vehicle accident every 4.3 minutes in South Carolina. Car accidents frequently leave families struggling and individual victims fighting for their lives.

The South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book 2021 Edition finds that there is:

  • One injury accident every 14.1 minutes
  • One fatal accident every 7.9 hours
  • One property damage accident every 4.8 minutes
  • One motorcyclist death every 2.3 days
  • One bicyclist death every 15.9 days
  • One pedestrian death every 1.9 days
  • One teen driver involvement in an accident every 1.4 hours
  • One child younger than eight who dies or suffers from serious injuries every 4.9 days

If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a car accident like this, take action now. Whether the crash was caused by a distracted driver or a truck accident brought on by a tired operator, you have the right to seek compensation. A simple mistake made by a careless driver, poorly maintained roads, or reckless decision-making can create long-term obstacles for you and your family. From broken bones to brain injuries or even death, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you pursue financial compensation for all of your losses.

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving is more common than many people believe. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that:

  • Nearly 30% of all deadly car wrecks in the state involve impaired motorists.
  • South Carolina law enforcement officials make nearly 22,000 DUI arrests in one year.
  • One person dies from a drunk driver-involved accident every 30.8 hours.
  • 231 children under the age of 15 were killed in drunk driving collisions in South Carolina in one year.
couple exiting their vehicle after a bad car accident

Causes of Car Accidents

Auto accidents in South Carolina happen in many different ways. Some of the most common causes of car accidents that South Carolina personal injury lawyers regularly see include:

Aggressive Driving

Road rage can affect the choices you make behind the wheel and cause dangerous or even deadly accidents. While it’s normal to feel frustrated in traffic, aggressive driving is a leading cause of accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Engaging in reckless behavior like speeding, following too closely, or merging without warning while driving puts people at risk.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence in South Carolina is a serious offense. Any time a person gets behind the wheel impaired, thebrain is unable to focus on the task of driving well enough to operate a vehicle safely. Driving under the influence can mean getting behind the wheel after several drinks or driving drowsy due to prescription painkillers.

Distracted Driving

Texting, talking, and looking at navigation devices can all lead to distracted driving. Texting and driving is illegal in South Carolina, no matter the situation. Sending a text can always wait until your car is safely parked. If you have been hit by a distracted driver, speak to a car wreck attorney about potential compensation.

According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, on average, two auto accidents every hour involve a distracted motorist. Distracted driving encompasses all of the following:

  • Texting: Sending or reading a text message on a cell phone while operating a vehicle is highly dangerous.
  • Eating: Those who drive and eat at the same time are unable to focus fully on the road in front of them.
  • Using a phone: Even though a person may think they can talk on the phone while operating a vehicle, doing so can be distracting if they pay attention to dialing a number, answering a call, or getting too involved in the conversation.
  • Grooming: Applying makeup, fixing hair, or other grooming activities are common instances of distracted driving.
  • Navigation systems: While navigation systems are designed today to minimize the amount of distraction a driver has, using this technology during the act of driving can be dangerous if the driver focuses too much on their phone rather than on the road.
  • Passengers: Talking to passengers, especially in heated conversations, may cause the driver to make mistakes behind the wheel.

If you have been the victim of a distracted driver, try to gather any evidence about the incident to report to the police during the initial accident report. Be sure to let your attorney know what has occurred as well. Did you see the driver engaging in an activity that caused them to be distracted? Did you smell anything on them? These are all valuable information in your case.

Inexperienced Driving Mistakes

When an inexperienced driver gets behind the wheel they often have less-practiced amount of safe driving skills and slower reaction times. This can lead to numerous consequences, including car wrecks that cause serious injuries.

Poor Road Conditions or Bad Weather

South Carolina unfortunately has some of the worst roads in the country. This is why in many situations, driving in poor road conditions can lead to spin-outs, blown tires, and collisions. Potholes and other poor maintenance that cause an accident or damage can lead to severe injuries and long-lasting trauma.

Additionally, wet and slick highway surfaces contribute to many South Carolina accident reports. Sudden South Carolina thunderstorms or adverse weather conditions cause spikes in traffic incidents each year. Whenever you can, avoid driving until the pavement is fully dry, and stay indoors whenever you receive reports of adverse weather.

Equipment Failure

Some car accidents can occur as a result of equipment failures, such as tire blowouts, brake malfunctions, and airbag issues. You may be able to file a third-party liability claim in the event that your injuries were caused or worsened by equipment failure in a vehicle.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Today’s cars have many safety features that minimize the damage you suffer in an accident. However, injuries still happen, even in minor crashes and fender benders. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents and the accompanying symptoms to watch out for:

Mild Concussions

While mild concussions often heal with proper medical care, they can still be debilitating for quite some time and carry serious symptoms. Signs of concussion include headaches, confusion, nausea, and dizziness. You may also experience a loss of balance or coordination, as well as tinnitus, or a ringing sound in your ears. Concussions should always be evaluated by a doctor.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can cause people to lose the ability to control their limbs, suffer temporary or lasting paralysis, as well as experience cardiovascular issues. Spinal injuries often come with breathing problems, muscle tingling or weakness, numbness in the chest, arms, or legs, and involuntary bladder or bowel function.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is invisible, insidious, and often life-threatening. Even in light vehicle crashes, the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine finds that approximately 30% of total deaths occur up to 3 hours post injury and are often due to major internal bleeding. Although symptoms include dizziness, weakness, low blood pressure, numbness, vision problems, and headache, you may miss signs of internal bleeding without proper medical evaluation.


Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when your head “whips” forward and then suddenly stops. Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, and can manifest weeks after the initial incident. Symptoms involve neck pain, muscle stiffness, headaches, tenderness or pain in the shoulder, and tightness or difficulty with movement.

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are often associated with severe car accidents, but in reality, they can happen in a crash of any size. Brain injuries can lead to loss of function or even death. They are often caused due to blunt force trauma during a car wreck.

Back Injuries

At their worst, back injuries can lead to paralysis and a loss of mobility. However, even minor back injuries such as spasms, strains or tears, or slipped discs can lead to months or years of agony. Back pain can contribute to chronic disability as well as other side effects like depression, addiction, and obesity-related illnesses.

Broken Bones and Fractures

Broken bones and fractures can take months to heal, requiring you to take time off from work and miss important life events.

Facial Injuries

You may be able to pursue compensation in the event that a facial injury from a car accident leaves you with an altered appearance or disfigurement. Additional damages are available for car accident victims in South Carolina who require reconstructive surgery or face other lasting consequences.

Paralysis/Permanent Disability

After a car wreck in South Carolina, you may be paralyzed or require ongoing care. A car accident lawsuit can help account for additional costs related to paralysis or permanent disability such as home healthcare, renovations to living quarters, and different transportation for your future needs.

Psychological Trauma

Car accident injuries can reach below the surface in more ways than one. Many car accident victims report experiencing psychological trauma, increased anxiety, depression, pain, and lowered quality of life. Whether these consequences are temporary or lingering, our South Carolina car accident law firm can work to get the total cost of your accident included in your settlement figure.

How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

While many car accident injuries manifest immediately after the accident, some may take days or weeks to appear. Adrenaline, shock, trauma, and concerns for others’ safety can all limit your ability to accurately self-assess your condition in the aftermath of a crash. Always see a doctor to ensure that you are appropriately evaluated after a car wreck. If you notice any new symptoms appearing or worsening, contact your doctor to rule out additional concerns.

How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

Serious injuries can result from car accidents for all parties involved, but South Carolina is a “fault” state for auto insurance. This means that clear proof of who is at fault for the accident must be presented to earn fair and just compensation for the auto accident.

An experienced car accident lawyer will look into eyewitness reports, traffic camera footage, statements from police officers, and your testimony to determine liability. In multi-vehicle pileups, accurate reconstructions of the event may be necessary, as well as insight from traffic experts and cross-examination of the involved parties. HawkLaw’s car accident legal process uncovers the vital evidence you need to support your claim as we fight hard for your rightful compensation.

Average Car Accident Settlement in South Carolina

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating the average car accident settlement amount. Some factors that inform how to calculate a car accident settlement in South Carolina include the scope of the damage, the amount of medical bills you have accrued, any future care or accommodations required, time taken off work, pain and suffering, and any additional losses or damages. The amount you receive is also influenced by how much you may have been at fault for the crash, as well as any other contributing factors to your injuries.

There are two main types of damages available in car accident cases: monetary and non-monetary.

Monetary damages include:

  • Emergency medical expenses: This may include all medical care you received at the time of the accident, including in the emergency room.
  • Cost of future medical treatment: This may include hospital stays, medications, complication-related costs such as from infection or repeated procedures, as well as long-term rehabilitation care.
  • Loss of income: This is from the time you are out of work due to a medical condition or for court appearances.
  • Household expenses: If you have to make changes to your home due to the incident, such as renovating your home for wheelchair-accessibility, you can claim compensation for it.
  • Canceled trips: Being unable to embark on a planned trip could be eligible for compensation.

Non-monetary damages include:

  • Mental anguish: You may suffer emotional distress at the time of the accident that can impact your health and your quality of life. You may also find yourself experiencing ongoing difficulties due to conditions like PTSD, which require therapeutic care for recovery.
  • Pain and suffering: In some situations, the pain resulting directly from the accident may not improve in the long term.
  • Loss of companionship: If your loved one died as a result of an accident, you may have lost years with them due to someone else’s mistake.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

Bills after a car accident start piling up right away, from an ambulance ride to a tow truck. Unfortunately, compensation takes longer to come in, which means it can take several weeks or months before your car accident settlement is finalized. In cases involving questions on the degree of fault or third-party liability, it may even take years before your case is fully settled.

One main factor in determining the timeline for most cases, however, is your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Most judges require you to reach this point before you can settle your car accident lawsuit. While it may seem like a hassle, waiting until you have reached MMI is actually in your best interests. It ensures that your settlement amount accounts for the total cost of your recovery as well as any future expenses.

Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation If I Was In a Car Accident?

You can receive workers’ compensation if you were injured in a car accident; however, your eligibility for the same depends on whether the accident happened while performing the duties of your employment. In addition, you might want to consider the following:

  • In most cases, you waive the right to sue your employer if you accept workers’ compensation
  • Workers’ compensation only covers medical expenses and lost wages
  • You can simultaneously pursue workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim

An experienced South Carolina lawyer can help you figure out the best way forward after a car accident that happened during the course of your employment.

Car Accidents in South Carolina: What is the Statute Of Limitations For Car Accidents?

South Carolina Code Section 15-3-530 places a three-year time limit on personal injury claims in most circumstances. The three-year clock starts running on the date the accident occurs or the date of death in the instance of a wrongful death claim.

It is ideal to seek immediate help with your case soon after the accident. Let our attorneys handle the process every step of the way after that. Even if you think the statute of limitations has lapsed, reach out to us to learn what options can offer.

How Can the Car Accident Attorneys at HawkLaw Help Me?

Our car accident attorneys are there to help we meet all of your goals, whether that means settling as quickly as possible to pay your bills or fighting for the maximum amount you can recover. At HawkLaw:

  • We have a breadth of experience in handling car accident cases, including drunk driving cases, workers’ compensation lawsuits, and more.
  • Our attorneys are highly qualified and understand South Carolina laws and procedures.
  • Our fees are contingent upon whether we secure you a favorable verdict/settlement offer. In other words, you only pay if we win.
  • We offer free consultations to all car accident injury victims. Contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.

Our results speak for themselves and showcase the hard work our attorneys put into for the benefit of our clients:

Car Accident

Winnings: $500,000*

Car Accident

Winnings: $400,000*

Car Accident

Winnings: $2,800,000*

Recent Client Testimonials

“I was in a fender bender at around 15 weeks pregnant in April. Attorney Anthony Stadler and his paralegal Cynthia assisted me with reaching a settlement that best fit my needs. I am very happy with the professionalism and the consideration I received.” –Ann C.

“Casey, Sarah, and Brandon did a great job with my case. It took 15 months and I won a substantial settlement that I was pleased with, without having to go to court. Thanks!” – Katie.

“I have worked with Sarah and the Hawk Law Firm since my car accident on 7/17/22. Sarah has always been kind and very responsive through out the process. I debated on involving a lawyer, but after speaking to Sarah for the first time she made me feel comfortable about the process and I knew I had made the right decision. There were a lot of things I wouldn’t have known to do or consider If I had not reached out. I hope to never go through anything like this again but if I do they will definitely be my first call. Thank you Sarah for making the process easy and helping me get things settled.” – Promise R.

Car Accident Lawyer Near Me

HawkLaw offers multiple locations to make our services as convenient to you as possible. With offices in Greenville, Spartanburg, Charleston, and Columbia we want our clients to have easy access to stop by and speak with our attorneys. Our Greenville location is right off of I-385, on Pelham Road. In Spartanburg, we serve this populous South Carolina city with an office at 5506 Reidville Road.

Talk to an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

After a car crash, an experienced car accident lawyer with HawkLaw will strive to be your biggest ally. We will be your first line of defense against at-fault drivers and insurance companies seeking to lower their own bottom line. Our attorneys have a breadth of experience navigating the complexities of car accident claims, and know how to help you secure the best possible compensation. If you need help after a car wreck, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Who’s At Fault?
In South Carolina, insurance companies use the state’s 51% rule, as dictated by the precedent of Ross v. Paddy, to determine fault for a car accident. Under the 51% rule, you will receive payment from the insurance company if it can be proven that you bear 50% or less fault for the accident.
Should I File an Insurance Claim If I Am At Fault In a Car Accident? 
It’s not legally mandated, but it’s in your best interest to contact your insurer if you’re at fault for an accident. While there’s a high potential that your insurance premiums will go up, your insurer will be more open to discussing options with you if you contact them immediately after the accident. You can also retain your HawkLaw car accident attorney to discuss matters with the other driver’s insurer.
What Happens After a Car Accident That Is Your Fault?
After a car accident, you must cooperate with the police officer who responds to the scene of the crash, even if you believe you are at fault. You should also consider reporting the crash to your insurance. Working with a car accident attorney can help determine how much liability you carry for the accident, as South Carolina does follow a comparative negligence standard. This means that you may still be able to recover some compensation for your damages if you were less than 50% at fault for the crash and the other party’s contributory negligence caused you injuries.
When To Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
After you have spoken to a doctor and been fully evaluated, it is a good idea to consult with a car accident attorney in South Carolina. A legal advocate can help you avoid making incriminating statements to another party or an insurance company, which we know from experience, might be on the lookout for ways to reduce their total payout.
When Is It Too Late To Go To a Doctor After a Car Accident?
It is never too late to see a doctor, especially if you are still experiencing symptoms from a crash. However, it is in your best interests to see one as soon as possible to rule out any life-threatening medical conditions. Additionally, the longer you wait for a consultation, the harder it may be to prove that your injuries are directly linked to the accident in your case.
Who Pays Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
While you can submit claims to your own insurance for reimbursement after a car crash, you can also pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance with the help of a car accident attorney.
How Long After a Car Accident Can I Claim Injury?
You have up until three years after the crash to file a claim for personal injury under South Carolina accident laws.
What Happens After a Car Accident Deposition?
A deposition is part of the discovery process where parties answer questions in real time under oath. After a car accident deposition, your case will likely transition to the pre-trial or mediation phase. During this phase, each side will make their case for how much compensation they believe they should receive or payout. If you cannot reach a fair settlement, your South Carolina car accident attorney can represent your claim in a courtroom trial.
How Much Should I Settle For After a Car Accident?
There is no one answer for how much your car accident claim is worth in South Carolina. For instance, a fatal car accident in South Carolina will likely involve a much higher settlement than a case that covers broken bones and limited property damage. Contact an experienced car crash attorney for help understanding what you can recover from your case, and how much you should settle for.
Can I Lose My House Due To an At-Fault Car Accident In South Carolina?
You may be ordered to pay out-of-pocket damages if you are found to be at fault for the accident and the judge orders a settlement amount that is higher than your insurance coverage. In limited cases, this may involve collection efforts against the at-fault driver’s assets. However, these kinds of cases are rare, since most collections first come from insurance companies including underinsured motorist coverage.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
3 Caledon Ct # A
Greenville, SC 29615
+1 (864) 514-4383
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.