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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Your Legal Questions Answered.

Answering Your Questions. Protecting Your Legal Rights.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you probably have many questions. Below are the answers to many questions faced by accident victims in South Carolina. If you do not see the answer to your question, just call our office or email Shelly directly - [email protected].

Research Your Case. Expand Your Knowledge.

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  • How do I get a rental vehicle after a South Carolina accident?

    If you have rental coverage on your auto policy you can contact the adjuster for your insurance company and they can get you into a rental and seek reimbursement for the costs from the at-fault party's insurance company. If you do not have rental coverage on your insurance policy, then you need to contact the at-fault party's insurance company and go through them directly about getting a rental vehicle. This may take a little longer because usually they will want to speak with their insured to confirm the facts about the accident and then contact you about getting you into a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. If you have any problems, we are certainly willing to assist you in this process as it can be confusing; however, the quickest way to get into a rental vehicle is to contact with the insurance adjuster directly and speak with them about the rental coverage and the property damage only.

  • Will I be able to afford your services?

    We understand that the financial burden of being involved in an accident is immense. As a result, we work on a contingency basis. Therefore, you will not have to pay us if you are not awarded money through settlement or trial. We will do everything in our power to get you the compensation that you deserve. If we are successful in doing so, then we recieve a percentage of what you are awarded based on a sum that is dictated by the Court. In addition, we are reimbursed for the expenses that were incurred through the trial.

  • Is my case going to cost more money if I was referred to your law firm by another South Carolina attorney?

    No, you will pay the same amount regardless of whether or not you were referred to us. The contingency fee still applies if you have been referred to us so you therefore will not pay any amount if you do not receive an award through settlement or trial. In some instances, two attorneys from different law firms may share the contingency fee, but this does not come at an extra cost to you.

  • What should I absolutely avoid saying after an auto accident in North Charleston, South Carolina?

    Your key goal-at least when it comes to your words-after an auto accident in North Charleston, South Carolina, is to protect your potential accident claim. This means you need to avoid saying anything that can discredit you as a plaintiff, witness and/or injured victim.

    Your North Charleston, SC, injury lawyer is your best bet when it comes to formulating an approach to your personal injury claim, but he or she is not always going to be directly by your side. It is up to you to keep their advice at the forefront of your mind. Ask your attorney for a detailed list of the types of phrases that could damage your claim and how to approach your communication with everyone from your doctor to the insurance adjusters to your own employer.

    For a general idea of some of the most potentially damaging things you could say after an accident in North Charleston, South Carolina, please keep these 5 phrases in mind. They are some of the more destructive things you could say: 

    • "I have no idea how the accident happened." - This may seem harmless, but in fact, it may imply that you weren't paying attention to your surroundings while you were driving.
    • "I don't need medical care." - If you dismiss medical responders at the scene of an accident, it may lead the insurance company to question whether you were truly injured.
    • "I'm sorry." - Don't apologize at the scene of the auto accident and don't apologize in subsequent conversations with insurance adjusters. This is perceived as an admission of liability.
    • "It's all his/her/their/your fault." - Avoid playing the blame game and let your attorney handle any assertions of liability.
    • "You're right. I probably don't need an attorney." - The insurer may try to tell you that you don't need a lawyer, even if your injuries were severe. This is simply not their decision to make and you owe it to yourself to get a second opinion. 


    Your legal team will give you more specific details about what you should and should not do and say after you have suffered injury in an accident.

    Seeking the Help of a North Charleston, SC, Injury Lawyer

    The South Carolina personal injury attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a North Charleston personal injury attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • Question from a reader of Legal News: What happens if you had no injuries, but were falsely accused of failing to yield the right of way, when you were parked at the time of impact?

    If you were charged with fault for an accident, but you do not agree that you were at fault or think the accident report is incorrect, you should contact the police officer at the police department that investigated the accident. Tell the officer that you would like to file an amended report or provide your statment as to the facts of the accident. If the officer agrees that the report is incorrect, he may file a supplemental police report and correct the error.

    You should also contact your insurance company and give them the facts of the accident so that they know that you dispute the police report or the charges against you. They should take your version of events in to account when conducting their investigation in to liability. Typically, an insurance company does not accept liability and pay the damages to another party's vehicle if you were not at fault in the accident.

  • What is the formula for determining what a fair settlement will be for my South Carolina car accident case?

    When it comes to determining a fair settlement in a South Carolina car accident there is no set formula. It will all depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident in South Carolina and the various factors that may play into it. It is best to consult with a Charleston personal injury attorney to get a better understanding of what your legal options are and the types of compensation you can expect to potentially receive.

    In general, there are certain considerations made when it comes to determining a fair settlement in a South Carolina car accident claim. One of the first factors considered is who was negligent. It must be proven that another party was responsible for your South Carolina car accident, which can be done with different types of evidence.

    Evidence to prove negligence in a South Carolina car accident may include:
     

    • the police report;
    • pictures from the accident;
    • witness statements;
    • expert testimony; and
    • other documentation.  


    Another consideration that is made in determining a fair settlement for a South Carolina car accident is the amount of monetary damages you sustained.
    This can include property damage, your medical bills, any wages you lost from missing work, and other items with set values (bills, receipts, etc.).

    You also need to take into consideration your non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Your Charleston personal injury attorney can help you determine a fair amount for these subjective damages.

    Since each South Carolina car accident is unique, it is best to consult with a Charleston personal injury attorney who will take the time to carefully evaluate your case. An attorney can make a determination as to whether or not you have a valid claim and provide you an estimate on how much compensation you may be entitled to recover once they become familiar with your case.

    Seeking the Help of a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney 

    The Charleston personal injury attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Charleston personal injury attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • What happens when you leave the scene of a South Carolina accident?

    When you leave the scene of an accident in South Carolina, you can actually face criminal charges.

    Leaving the scene of an accident after a South Carolina car crash can result in misdemeanor charges, jail time, fines and even felony prosecution when serious injuries and death result. In fact, if you leave the scene of an accident and someone was seriously injured or killed in your South Carolina car crash, fines may range from $5,000 to $25,000. Not to mention, up to 25 years in prison.leaving the scene of a south carolina accident

    The only exception prescribed by state laws is when you leave the scene of an accident to seek help from authorities.

    On another note, leaving the scene of an accident doesn't allow you to have the time to understand what led to your South Carolina car crash. When you call police, seek a traffic accident report and get witness information, you may realize that you didn't even cause your South Carolina car crash. 

    When you've been injured, as well, the decision of whether to stay at the scene of the accident can make the difference between being able to file a South Carolina personal injury claim against the other driver or facing penalties.

    Since the minutes, hours and even days after a South Carolina car crash can be fuzzy, you may find you need a Summerville car accident lawyer to help you make sense of the circumstances surrounding your accident. When initial traffic accident reports don't necessarily point to who was at fault for your accident, a Summerville car accident lawyer's investigation may be more revealing. 

    By staying at the scene of your South Carolina car crash and contacting a Summerville car accident lawyer as soon as possible, you'll have taken the first steps toward protecting your potential personal injury claim.

    Seeking the Help of a Summerville Car Accident Lawyer

    The South Carolina personal injury attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Summerville car accident attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • What happens when you fail to report a South Carolina accident?

    Failing to file a report after an accident in South Carolina could result in criminal charges against you so it's very important that you do so. When it comes to dealing with your accident and the injuries you have sustained, consulting with a Goose Creek personal injury attorney should be a priority.

    Piecing together the details of your accident in South Carolina requires evidence. A Goose Creek personal injury attorney can investigate the details of your accident and collect that evidence; however, you have a part to play in this.

    Preserving evidence is first done with the injured party. Having a copy of the accident report can be a crucial piece of evidence in your South Carolina personal injury claim. 

    The accident report may provide details that indicate the other party was negligent or it may disprove any contribution you may have had to your accident in South Carolina. This is just one piece of evidence that can really help your South Carolina personal injury claim.

    There are other pieces of evidence that can also be helpful in your claim such as photographs of the accident scene, statements from witnesses, copies of your medical records and any other documentation related to your accident in South Carolina.

    When you have been injured in an accident in South Carolina, you should seek the help of an experienced Goose Creek personal injury attorney. They can carefully evaluate your case to determine if negligence was the cause of your injuries and help you proceed with filing a South Carolina personal injury claim.

    Seeking the Help of a Goose Creek Personal Injury Attorney 

    The Goose Creek personal injury attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Goose Creek personal injury attorney for a free information packet and consultation, 1-888-690-0211.

  • How is it decided who is responsible for a South Carolina traffic accident?

    Deciding who is responsible for a South Carolina traffic accident will depend on a number of factors. If you have been injured in an accident in South Carolina and are considering filing a South Carolina personal injury claim, you should speak with an attorney.

    In order to hold someone liable for damages related to an accident in South Carolina, it will be necessary to prove that person's fault. While in some cases it may be obvious, in other circumstances, it may be very complicated.

    Typically what constitutes fault for an accident in South Carolina is negligence or carelessness. Even if more than one party contributed to the accident, all parties who are at fault will be responsible for paying some or possibly all of the damages suffered.

    Liability is also based on whether the individual had a duty to make sure another party wasn't injured. There may be circumstances in which an accident in South Carolina was not preventable. It could also be that someone failed to obey a traffic signal or was distracted while driving, such as talking on a cell phone.

    When more than one party is at fault, the case can become even more complicated. If an injured party is found partly responsible, the amount of damages received may be decreased by their percentage of fault. 

    To fully understand responsibility in an accident in South Carolina, it is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney. A South Carolina personal injury attorney will help you with every aspect of your South Carolina personal injury claim so that you stand a better chance at getting a fair and full settlement.

    Seeking the Help of a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney 

    The South Carolina personal injury attorney team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a South Carolina personal injury attorney for a free information packet and consultation - 1-888-690-0211.

  • Must I call police if I am involved in a South Carolina traffic accident?

    Yes, you should call the police if you are involved in a traffic accident in South Carolina. The police will prepare a traffic accident report including contact information on all parties involved in the accident and the police officer's opinion of how the accident happened.

    If you suffered severe injuries in the accident in South Carolina, you should consult with a North Charleston personal injury lawyer to discuss filing a claim for damages. Your North Charleston personal injury lawyer will need the traffic accident report to help determine issues of negligence.

    Additionally, according to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you must provide proof of insurance if your vehicle has been in an accident that caused property damage, injuries or death. The police officer will provide all drivers with the FR-10 insurance verification form, which their insurance companies must complete. 

    The deadline for returning the FR-10 form to the DMV is 15 days after the accident in South Carolina,
    and it must be returned whether or not you caused the accident. If you miss the 15-day deadline, you could face suspension of your driver's license and registration. You will also face suspension if you lack automobile insurance.

    After the police officer investigates the accident in South Carolina, he or she will send a traffic accident report to the DMV. To get a copy of the traffic accident report, you will need to complete the FR-50 form and pay a $6 fee.

    If your North Charleston personal injury lawyer suggests you move forward with a personal injury claim, you might be able to pursue compensation for current and future medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering and lost earnings.

    Seeking the Help of a North Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer

    The North Charleston personal injury lawyer team at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is available to help accident victims cope with the legal implications of a serious injury. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and Workers' Compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.

    Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a free copy of our South Carolina injury book. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a North Charleston personal injury lawyer for a free information packet and consultation - 1-888-690-0211.

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