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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Is the other driver automatically at fault for rear-ending me in a South Carolina crash?
If you have been involved in a rear-end car accident in South Carolina, and your car was the vehicle that was rear-ended, then the accident will almost always be the fault of the driver who hit you from behind. There are few exceptions to this rule, but they're fairly rare with regards to rear-end crashes.
The exceptions to the rule of automatic fault in a rear-end car accident occur when:
- your brake lights or tail lights were not working, which may have been a factor in the rear-end car accident;
- a chain reaction caused several cars to rear-end each other; or
- your car had mechanical problems but you failed to move off the road.
Even if you were partly responsible for a rear-end car accident in South Carolina, you may still be eligible to receive damages, as long your percentage of fault did not exceed 50%.
Damages that you may recover after a rear-end car accident in South Carolina include:
- damage to your vehicle;
- medical expenses for injuries that you sustained;
- physical or emotional pain that you suffered; and
- the loss of any past, present or future wages.
To recover damages after a rear-end car accident in South Carolina, you can consult with a Charleston accident attorney. An attorney can evaluate the factors surrounding your rear-end car accident to determine the strength of your potential injury claim.
Contacting a Charleston Accident Attorney
South Carolina residents can take comfort knowing that the attorneys at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm are there to help them settle their personal injury claims. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and worker's compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.
Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a copy of our complimentary consumer guide, The South Carolina Accident Book for Personal Injury Victims. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Charleston accident attorney for a complimentary information packet and consultation - 888-690-0211.
When is hiring a South Carolina personal injury attorney necessary?
Accidents that result in serious injury and substantial property damage are often best handled with the help of an experienced Charleston personal injury attorney. Many victims who try to settle these cases on their own end up with inadequate settlement amounts.
Remember that in order to file a South Carolina personal injury claim, another party must have been responsible for your injuries. If you were the at-fault party for the accident, you do not have a valid claim. Your claim will also be denied if there is no injury sustained or if the injuries are minor and do not result in substantial medical bills or loss of income.
When your South Carolina personal injury claim is denied and you know that you were not completely at fault and do have a valid claim, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit could take the matter of your settlement to a full court trial where a judge and jury would become involved.
At this time, a Charleston personal injury attorney's help would be critical in proving and settling your claim for a fair amount.
Your attorney can:
- collect additional evidence;
- provide expert witnesses to support your claim; and
- negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Any time you have been involved in an accident where you sustain injury, it's never a bad option to discuss your case with a Charleston personal injury attorney. Many attorneys offer free consultations and will advise you on when a South Carolina personal injury claim is necessary and whether you may need legal assistance to settle your case.
The Help of a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney
South Carolina residents can take comfort knowing that the attorneys at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm are there to help them settle their personal injury claims. Our firm's focus on personal injury cases includes injury from auto accidents, including pedestrian and bicycle injuries, work-related injuries and worker's compensation claims, and injuries resulting from dangerous prescription drugs.
Before you file a South Carolina personal injury claim, request a copy of our complimentary consumer guide, The South Carolina Accident Book for Personal Injury Victims. When you're ready to get started on settling your accident claim, contact a Charleston personal injury attorney for a complimentary information packet and no-cost consultation - 888-690-0211.
Are you required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in SC?
In South Carolina only people under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets; however, research shows that helmets help prevent injury and many people voluntarily wear them while on their motorcycles. In 2008 Myrtle, Beach South Carolina passed its own helmet law, which was ruled invalid by the South Carolina Supreme Court in June 2010.
Are motorcycles really more dangerous than cars?
As with all vehicles, you are assuming a risk while driving. Research shows that injuries occur in 80% of reported motorcycle crashes. Only 20% of people involved in car wrecks report injuries. It has also been reported that a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to be injured or killed in an accident that involves a motorcycle and a car.
One of the reasons why, statistically, motorcyclists are more dangerous than cars, is because of the size of motorcycles. When checking the roadways for clear traffic, they are easier for other drivers to miss because they are not as big as cars. The typical driver's eyes are trained to look for cars on the road, therefore making them prone to not seeing motorcycles. Also, a motorcycle's small size often fits perfectly in drivers' blind spots.
Another reason why a motorcycle is more dangerous than a car is that driving it is more complex and requires balance, whereas a car is simpler and does not require balance. The fact that a motorcycle has two wheels makes it less stable and more likely to become out of control in an accident than a car with its four wheels.
The last reason why motorcycles can be more dangerous than cars is that they are more vulnerable to dangers in the road, such as potholes, puddles, and debris. The instability of the two wheels can cause a simple swerve to miss an object in the road into a serious accident.
By using safety measures such as wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, you can greatly decrease the likelihood of being involved in a crash or suffering serious or deadly injuries. If you have been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident that was not your fault, consider contacting us today. Set up an appointment with our experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney, Shelly Leeke, today by calling 843.277.6061.
I was in an accident that was the fault of another driver. I didn't have insurance at the time of the accident. Can I still be compensated for my injuries?
It is always important to have car insurance at all times and whether or not your insurance was in affect at the time of an accident will impact you ability to recover damages against the at-fault party for your injuries. If the accident was the fault of another driver, you are able to file a claim with his or her car insurance company for your injuries and property damage.
You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages associated with the accident. Be aware that the process may be more difficult because you were not insured at the time of the accident and you may receive a traffic citation for driving an uninsured vehicle.
I was involved in an accident where the other driver was on drugs. Is this considered driving under the influence?
Yes, driving under the influence means alcohol or any illegal substance such as drugs. To learn more about the standard used to determine if they were driving under the influence., read "Driving Under the Influence: Don't Even Think About It."
How long do I have to bring my case against a person who was driving under the influence?
In South Carolina, in most cases, you have three years to file a lawsuit against someone for injuries sustained in an accident when they were driving under the influence. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Drunk driving accident cases may also involve claims against the bars and nightclubs where the person became intoxicated. The statute of limitations for cases against the bar or nightclub is typically three years. However, in some cases, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is less than three years, so you should always consult with an attorney to find out the statute of limitations for your particular case.
What damages can I recover in an accident case that was caused by a person who was driving under the influence?
If you are injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you are entitled to recover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damages and other expenses directly associated with the accident. Because the driver who hit you was intoxicated, which is illegal, you may also be able to obtain punitive damages.
Punitive Damages are damages which may be awarded to the Plaintiff by a judge or jury in certain cases where the negligence is more severe than simple negligence. Punitive damages are meant to deter the conduct which caused the accident, in this case, drunk driving.
I was hit by a drunk driver. Do I have to go to court?
Unless you are subpoenaed, you are not required to be in court during the adverse driver’s hearing or trial. However, you should cooperate with the solicitor's office who is prosecuting the defendant for the DUI. Your cooperation may help with the conviction of the drunk driver for the criminal portion of the case.
Your civil case for damages against the defendant is a separate case, and you have the right to purse a settlement from the drunk driver's auto insurance company or the driver himself.
My wife was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver who had just left a bar. Is there any way to sue the bar?
Yes, in South Carolina, a person, a bar or a restaurant is not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person. If a bar serves an intoxicated person and that person then causes injury to someone else, the bar may be sued for liability as a result of the damages caused by the intoxicated person. This is referred to as Dram Shop Liability. If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced accident attorney will be able to assess and evaluate all the potential claims you may have against the drunk driver and possibly the business or person that served him alcohol.