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Columbia Auto Accident Attorney

Injured in an Car Accident in South Carolina? Let Us Help!

Car accidents are one of the most common sources of personal injuries. They can happen for a wide range of reasons, some remaining out of a driver’s control, while others are tied directly to their own negligent behavior. The dangers of driving are significant, which is why it is crucial that every driver devote their full attention to the road. When this doesn’t happen, it frequently leads to devastating accidents and subsequent injuries.

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we have represented countless car accident victims. Our Columbia car accident lawyer utilizes his insight and experience to provide the meaningful counsel our clients need during such a trying time.

We also represent pedestrians and those whose injuries were caused by dangerous and defective vehicle design, negligent roadway design, or improperly marked construction areas. If you want to know if you have a case, fill out a free case evaluation today.

Car Accident Laws in South Carolina

Filing a Claim After a Collision

If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, you may be wondering what your legal options are to obtain your entitled compensation. There are certain steps you need to take to preserve your right to file an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. The following page is an overview of the South Carolina car accident laws.

Reporting a Car Accident

If the crash involves a bodily injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage, you need to call the police to the scene of the accident. An officer will provide a crash report, which you can obtain a copy of upon request. If the accident is not investigated by law enforcement officials, you must complete and send a Traffic Collision Report form to the DMV.

South Carolina Follows a Traditional “Fault” System

South Carolina is considered a “fault” car accident state, which means the driver who caused the collision is also financially liable for the losses from the crash, such as property damage, hospital bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. In “no-fault” car accident states, on the other hand, means injured drivers must rely on their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of their own auto insurance policy to receive compensation for out-of-pocket expenses (not non-economic damages) – regardless of who is the at-fault party.

Car accident victims in South Carolina can seek financial compensation by the following:

  • Filing a claim with their own insurer, which will likely file a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver

What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Blames Me for Causing the Crash?

If the at-fault driver partially or completely blames you for causing the car accident, South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence” system, which means your award will be reduced by your percentage of negligence, so long as your share of fault is not greater than the other parties.

For example, if the jury awards you $100,000 in damages, but it also believes you were 25 percent liable for causing the collision, you will only be able to keep $75,000 or 75 percent of your total award.

Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit in civil court. This three-year time limit also applies to car accidents involving wrongful death. However, it is wise to file a claim as soon as possible.

Insightful Answers to Your Accident-Related Questions

Contact our office today at (803) 359-3301 to speak with our Columbia car accident attorney if you have more questions about your auto accident in SC!

Why Hiring a Legal Advocate Is So Important

While many people envision a drawn-out, lengthy lawsuit when they think of legal action, this is not always the case. Simply filing a claim with your own and the other driver’s insurance can be considered a significant action that may require legal support. When you work with a skilled legal representative, they can help you gather the necessary evidence and facts to strengthen your case.

Even as an injury victim, if you sit back and expect the justice system or insurance companies to dole out compensation to you without any advocacy on your behalf, you may walk away empty-handed. By securing a car accident lawyer in Columbia, SC who understands the system and knows how to craft a strategic claim or case, you can enjoy peace of mind and security.

Our South Carolina car accident lawyer handles all types of cases including auto accidents caused by defective tires, truck crashes, texting while driving, and interstate collisions. We know how to fiercely represent our clients and fight for the justice they deserve following a serious car accident.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident Injury?

If you have been injured in an auto accident in South Carolina, there are a few important steps to take after the accident:

  1. Seek medical attention: Make sure you seek medical attention as your first priority after a car accident. Even if you don't think or feel like you were seriously injured. You may have hidden injuries or internal damage that only a medical professional can find.

  2. Report the accident: Report the accident to the police and your insurance company. Under South Carolina law, you are required to report any accident that results in injury, death, or property damage of $1,000+ to law enforcement.

  3. Gather evidence: Make sure you collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident as you can. Take photos of the vehicles involved, any damage to property or the road, and any injuries you sustained. Get the contact information of any witnesses and make notes of what they saw.

  4. Contact a personal injury lawyer: If you have sustained significant injuries, it's important to contact a car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

  5. Follow up on medical treatment: Make sure to attend all follow-up medical appointments and treatments to ensure that your injuries are properly documented and treated. This will also help your auto accident lawyer build a strong case for your car accident claim.

Do I Have a Valid Auto Accident Case in Columbia, SC?

Often times those injured in a car accident will hesitate before contacting an attorney regarding their situation. One concern is whether or not their situation justifies contacting an attorney and whether or not an attorney would consider their case. When our office reviews a prospective accident case we look for substantial injuries that were caused by someone else. What qualifies as a substantial injury varies from case to case - but generally requires more than a single emergency room visit. When considering whether or not the accident was caused by someone else we listen to your side of the story.

We have successfully settled several cases were our clients were originally ticketed by the police. The goal for personal injury representation is to assist our clients in recovering more money that they could on their own (even after paying legal fees and costs). There is no fee to have your case professionally screened by our Columbia car accident lawyer. Our office enjoys meeting new prospective clients. If for any reason we don't think your case requires the intervention of a auto accident attorney in SC, we will share our opinion with you - and hope that if you do need legal services in the future that you will again consider our office.

For honest and trustworthy representation from an auto accident attorney in Columbia, SC, contact us today.

Should I Give a Recorded Statement After a Car Accident in SC?

After a car accident, it is not unusual for the adjuster to try to pressure the victim into providing a recorded statement. If you were involved in an accident, they may tell you that you have to provide them with a statement in order for them to process their claim. You are not required to provide a recorded statement, or a written statement, to an insurance company as part of the claims submission process under South Carolina law. It is in your best interest not to speak with the other driver's insurance company or make any statements (oral or written).

Pressure to Give a Recorded Statement

Typically, an insurance adjuster will request a recorded statement immediately or very soon after an accident and sometimes when people are still shaken up. The primary reason that the insurance companies want you to give a recorded statement is so that they can use it later to either deny your claim altogether or to help them reduce the amount that they must pay in settlement. Oftentimes forgotten details, or the fact that the extent of the injuries or damages are not yet known, will make it impossible for you to provide a full and complete account of what happened.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to supplement or amend your statement this may be used against you to challenge your credibility, honesty and character. Providing a recorded statement without the advisement of a legal representative from our Columbia car accident lawyer can rarely result in a favorable ending.

If you are being pressured into providing such a statement you would be advised to seek the advice of a Columbia, SC car accident attorney regarding your situation today! Call us at (803) 359-3301.

Who Pays for My Injuries From a Car Accident in SC?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, because it depends on the individual situation and many elements involved in the situation.

The answer depends on the following factors:

  • Who is legally at fault for the accident?
  • How much are the medical bills?
  • How much liability insurance do they have?
  • Did I purchase my own insurance to help?
  • Do I have personal injury protection on my policy?
  • Do I have medical payment coverage on my policy?

The individual who is at fault does not always have to be the driver who received the ticket. The at-fault party is the one that liability can be assessed against in later legal proceedings. If the accident was your fault, then the other driver's insurance will not be involved in your claim. The amount of damages you can be compensated for will have a significant part in what insurance policies may be implicated in the case. The other driver's insurance company is only responsible up to the limits of the liability coverage purchased for that vehicle. In South Carolina this could be as little as $25,000 which means it is helpful to have purchased your own insurance to help.

The insurance company might not tell you that you can be entitled to damages for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Chiropractic expenses
  • Car repairs and maintenance
  • Lost wages from work

Your Personal Auto Insurance in Columbia, SC

When you purchase automobile insurance your agent is required under South Carolina law to offer you uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage up to the limits of the liability insurance you purchase. Uninsured insurance covers your damages in the event that the other driver did not have any car insurance, when they are at fault. Underinsured insurance covers your damages in the event that the other driver - when they are at fault - does not have enough car insurance to pay your damages.

If you purchased personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payment coverage from your own insurance company it will pay for your medical expenses regardless of whose fault the accident was. Even better, if the other driver was at fault and their liability insurance also pays your medical expenses you get to keep the money. In cases where the accident was your fault, and you do not have adequate coverage, then there will not be any coverage available for you beyond your own personal health insurance.

Get Counsel You Can Rely on Following a Car Accident in SC

When it comes to finding an attorney to take on your case, there are many factors you should consider. Is the legal professional experienced in handling car accidents? Do they have good reviews from former clients and their peers? Will they prioritize your needs and your case? It can be challenging to determining whether or not a legal advocate will provide these things.

Attorney Snell has the following accolades to back his service up:

  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating
  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • A+ rating on the BBB

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, our Columbia, SC car accident lawyer remains transparent and honest the entire time. We never make false promises or guarantees and ensure that you are treated fairly every step of the way. We even work on a contingency fee basis for many injury cases, never charging a single fee unless we secure a favorable outcome. You can rely on our firm to provide tough negotiation, aggressive litigation, and compassionate guidance in all the right times.

We are ready to deliver the legal support you deserve. Contact our Columbia car accident attorney!

  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • American Association for Justice
  • South Carolina Association for Justice
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney Personal Injury

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