Rear-end collision plans may seem cut and dry. After all, the person who rear-ended you is at-fault, right? However, rear-end collision claims can be more complex than you might have thought. Do not get stuck going through the claims process alone.
Maximize your compensation and demand justice with help from an experienced Charleston car accident attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm. Contact our office for a free consultation with a Charleston personal injury lawyer today to learn which legal options are best suited for your case.
How Rear-End Collisions Happen in Charleston
Many assume that the claims process is simple when you get struck from behind. However, that is rarely the case. Your South Carolina car accident laywer, at Shelly Leeke Law Firm, will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your car accident so we can identify liable parties and get the most out of your claim.
Rear-end collisions generally occur when one vehicle slams into the backside of another. However, although you might assume the driver who hit you is responsible for the accident, our investigation may reveal multiple liable parties. Rear-end collisions can be caused by negligent driving, including:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
However, they can also happen due to mechanical defects, dangerous road conditions, inclement weather, etc. For this reason, our team will need to carefully evaluate how your rear-end collision happened so we can determine who to sue for your damages.
What to Expect from the Rear-End Collision Claims Process
The claims process may be intimidating while you are healing from your injuries. However, your rear-end collisions lawyer in Charleston, SC, will handle your case from start to finish. That way, you do not need to feel the burden of taking legal action against the liable party.
Every person’s case is different. However, once you have a general idea of how the process works, you may feel empowered as you pursue your case. Here is a basic description of what you can expect when you decide to take legal action after a rear-end collision:
Your lawyer will conduct an in-depth investigation into how the accident happened. Since multiple parties could share fault for your damages, we will need to dive deep into the cause of the accident. If a negligent driver caused the accident, we might consider whether dram shop or social hosts share the blame for drunk driving.
Other parties who could share liability for your damages based on how the rear-end collision happened include:
- Government agencies
- Municipalities, including the city of Charleston
- The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT)
- Maintenance workers and technicians
- Government officials and executives
- Safety inspectors contracted by the government
- Government contracting road workers and other contractors
Gathering Supporting Evidence
As we work on building a powerful case against the liable party, we need to obtain evidence to prove fault. The burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence in rear-end collisions and other personal injury claims. The evidence we present must convince the jury that the defendant is likely responsible for causing your damages.
Examples of evidence that could be used to prove fault following a rear-end collision include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Footage obtained from businesses and nearby residences
- Video surveillance footage from dash and traffic cams
- Reports completed by accident reconstructionists
- Crash and police reports
- Forensic evidence, including the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration levels
- The defendant’s cell phone records indicate distracted driving
- Data from either vehicle black box or event data recorder (EDR)
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Our team will also handle the insurance company for you. South Carolina follows fault insurance laws. You file a claim with the insurance company of the party who hit you, and your lawyer will deal with insurance negotiations for you.
Since insurance companies are profit driven and lose money paying out settlements, you can bet they will attempt to deny your claim or reduce your settlement if possible. With our firm by your side, this will not happen. You will never be pressured into settling for less than your rear-end collision damages are worth.
Going to Trial
Unfortunately, even if we recover compensation through an insurance settlement, more is needed to meet your needs. Insurance generally only covers medical bills and vehicle repair costs.
You still have the right to compensation for every other loss, but you must file your civil lawsuit first. We will account for your damages info to maximize your restitution and ensure you have access to the funds you need to rebuild your life.
How Much Your Rear-End Collision Claim Could Be Worth
Your Charleston rear-end collisions lawyer will discuss the value of your claim after going over your damages in detail. There are multiple losses you could recover.
Some you have the right to while the court awards others. These are commonly referred to as compensatory and exemplary damages.
Your rear-end collisions attorney in Charleston determines how much your damages are worse. The various ways your life has been affected by the accident and your resulting injuries should be considered accordingly.
Compensatory damages refer to the losses you are entitled to recover. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
Punitive damages are not awarded often. When they are, it is because the court system determines the defendant’s actions are reprehensible or egregious. These are not a loss you deserve but an opportunity for the court to punish the defendant for their abhorrent conduct.
Get in Touch with a Rear-End Collisions Attorney in Charleston Today
While you heal from the trauma of your rear-end collision injuries, our team can work behind the scenes to gather evidence to prove negligence and liability so you can recover your losses.
Are you ready to take action against the at-fault party? If so, do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Charleston rear-end collisions attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm. Please fill out our online contact form or call us to start working on your case as soon as today.