The impact your car accident injuries can have on your life is undeniable. When another party is responsible for causing your car crash, a reputable Greenville car accident lawyer can help you hold them accountable and recover the compensation you will need to cover your costs so you can move forward with your life. However, getting the liable party to pay up could be more challenging than you expected, and a Greenville personal injury lawyer can help.
We understand how confusing and overwhelming this time in your life must be. It is our goal to help guide you through the claims process and access the funds you will need to put this traumatic experience in the past. Contact our office for a 100% free consultation today and learn more about who could be at fault for your car accident, what to expect from the insurance company, and how to get the most out of your claim.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Is a Necessary Investment
When you call Shelly Leeke Law Firm for help, you can rely on an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer to gather the evidence needed to prove negligence and liability in your case. This way, you may be able to recover maximum compensation for your damages. Your Greenville car accident attorney provides hands-on, exceptional support and guidance to you throughout the entire claims process.
Having an attorney available to you is critical. It provides us with a way to help you determine if you have a case, what your rights to compensation may be, and the steps we need to take to determine who should be paying for your losses. Our primary goal is to provide you with exceptional legal service so you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Greenville Car Accident Injuries Can Be Debilitating
The types of injuries car accident victims endure can be absolutely traumatic. Not only can these injuries prove physically catastrophic, but the emotional toll may be too much to bear. Some of the most common injuries our car accident clients have reported include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Do not worry if you are dealing with another injury we did not list above. If your injuries have had a considerable impact on your life in any way, you may be due just compensation. Discuss your legal options further with our trial-tested legal advocates at Shelly Leeke Law Firm.
There Are Many Common Types of Car Accidents in Greenville
The type of car accident you were involved in could provide valuable insight into how the accident occurred and who is ultimately responsible. Your car accident lawyer in Greenville, SC, will need to analyze the cause of your collision to establish negligence and liability. Some of the more common types of car accidents our firm sees across Greenville include:
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Reckless driving accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Accidents at intersections
- Parking lot accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Left-turn accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Highway accidents
- Wrong-way driving accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
These are just a few of the different types of car crashes we see most often. If you have been involved in another type of motor vehicle accident, we did not include above, do not hesitate to contact our team. You can learn more about what legal options may be available to you and who could be responsible for causing your accident.
Your Greenville Car Accident Attorney Offers Insight into Potential Liability
The only way many car accident victims can recover compensation for their damages is by proving that someone else is responsible for causing the collision or the resulting injuries. Your car accident attorney in Greenville, SC, will scrutinize the type of car accident you were involved in, as this often leads to the at-fault party. It is not always a single person, such as the driver behind the wheel, who is fully at fault for the losses occurring.
There are many factors that can contribute to the cause of your collision. This can provide additional evidence that allows us to determine liability and prove fault based on a preponderance of the evidence as is required by the South Carolina civil court system. The cause of your accident will help us uncover the identities of anyone and everyone who may have played a part in the accident you are involved in.
You might assume the driver who hit you is responsible. However, this may not always be the case, which is why you should speak to a car accident attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm today. Here are some of the top causes of Greenville car accidents and respective liable parties.
Negligent Driving Often Causes Catastrophic and Fatal Injuries
Irresponsible and reckless driving are some of the most common causes of car accidents. In 2021, the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book shared there were 1,198 fatal car accidents. Some examples of negligent driving could include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Road rage
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Failure to stop
- Failure to yield
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Reckless driving
- Failure to check blind spots
- Making unlawful turns
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Making rude and unnecessary hand gestures to other drivers
There are many potential negligent driving offenses. Any time a motorist operates their vehicle in an unsafe manner, it could be considered negligent driving.
Malfunctioning Motor Vehicle Parts
In cases where driver negligence causes your accident, you can almost always expect to pursue a case against the negligent driver. However, there are some cases in which collisions are caused in other ways. For instance, vehicle malfunctions are not uncommon.
When tires blow out, steering columns are defective, airbags suddenly deploy, braking systems fail, or other defects occur, so can collisions. Virtually anyone involved in the manufacture and distribution of these motor vehicle parts could be named in your insurance and civil claims. That makes this a complicated case, and as such, having a Greenville car accident attorney by your side is critical.
For this reason, having a Greenville car accident attorney investigate the cause of your accident may be one of your best options. This could give you an opportunity to find out more about liable parties you may not have originally considered. You do not need to go up against vehicle manufacturers, distributors, motor vehicle dealerships, safety inspectors, company executives, or other liable parties, with Shelly Leeke Law Firm handling the details of your case.
Reckless Dram Shops
In instances where drunk drivers cause collisions, you may be anxious to make the drunk driver pay. However, it may surprise you to learn that other parties could share fault in drunk driving accidents as well. This includes social hosts and dram shop establishments.
Dram shops include any place of business that serves or sells alcohol. When a dram shop sells or serves alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated, they can be partially at fault if this drunk driver goes on to cause a collision. South Carolina dram shop liability laws under S.C. Code Ann. §61-4-580 allow you to seek total financial compensation where applicable.
You might also have the right to pursue a claim against a social host under S.C. Code Ann §61-4-90. This occurs most often when adults allow underage minors to consume alcohol, and the underage driver causes a drunk driving accident. You can learn more about whether dram shop and social host liability apply in your case when you discuss your car crash with your personal injury attorney.
Dangerous road conditions have also been known to cause car accidents in Greenville. If potholes are not filled quickly enough, missing or broken street signs are not replaced, or road construction zones remain improperly secured, for example, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other drivers on the roads could be at risk for severe bodily injury or death. Fortunately, you may have the right to take legal action against those responsible.
In most cases, the city of Greenville and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) are responsible for road safety and maintenance work. When they fail to make necessary repairs, respond to complaints, or hire skilled and experienced road construction workers, they may be partially at fault for your injuries and damages. Your car accident lawyer will review the evidence to determine who should be sued if hazardous road conditions contributed to your collision.
It may be possible to take legal action here, but it is also critical that you work with an attorney capable of taking on the more challenging scenarios present. That often means having an experienced personal injury attorney who is not afraid to go up against the local government to prove your case. We can do that for you.
How Shared Liability Could Impact Your Greenville Car Accident Claim
Many car accident victims are shocked when the liable party accuses them of causing the accident. However, this is one tactic you should be prepared for. Since South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence code, sharing blame reduces the at-fault party’s financial obligations. There are various ways this can impact your ability to obtain compensation.
This means your settlement will likely be reduced if you are partially at fault. The amount that will be deducted from your settlement will correlate with your portion of the blame. For instance, if you were not wearing your seatbelt when you were hit by a distracted driver, you might be found 10% at fault, which means your settlement would be reduced by 10%.
As your car accident attorney, you can rely on us to work to reduce and refute accusations of partial blame. It may be possible to gather evidence that shows you are not to blame and that you are owed compensation in your situation. The key here is to know that, without a doubt, you may benefit from an attorney protecting your rights in these situations.
How to Get the Most from Your Car Accident Claim in Greenville
Many car accident victims hope to avoid bringing their cases to court. After everything you have been through, it makes sense to want to avoid a lengthy and drawn-out litigation process. However, our car accident team may need to pursue a jury trial to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive.
Unfortunately, many insurance claims are limited in the types and amounts of coverage they can pay out. Policies are designed to max out at a certain limit, typically up to the amount purchased by the policyholder. They also only cover certain types of damages.
For instance, if the liable party had bodily injury liability coverage to cover your medical expenses but only purchased $50,000 in coverage, you may find yourself with remaining damages if your medical expenses were valued at more than $100,000. Taking your case to trial may be the best way to recover your losses in full so you are not bound by the restrictions of an insurance claim. This way, you can maximize your restitution.
What to Expect from the Insurer After a Car Accident in Greenville
South Carolina follows fault insurance laws. All motorists must have car insurance coverage while operating a vehicle. Then, if they are found liable for the accident, they can be ordered to compensate the injury victim for their damages.
This means you would begin by filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. Remember, the insurer is not on your side and has every reason to look for opportunities to issue denials or reduce your settlement. Take steps to protect yourself and your insurance settlement.
Your car accident lawyer will ensure you understand the insurance company’s financial obligations to your claim. We will also negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. This way, the insurance adjuster handling your claim knows you mean business.
When to Take Your Car Accident Case to Court
There are some instances in which insurance coverage is not enough to compensate you for the total value of your damages. When this happens, it may be necessary to take your car accident case before a judge and jury. If you are unsure whether you have the right to file a car accident claim, it is important to consider these questions:
- Is someone else responsible for causing your car accident injuries?
- Could another party be to blame, and you do not have all the information?
- Have your injuries significantly affected your life?
- Are your injuries expected to continue affecting your life for years to come?
When your injuries impact you emotionally, physically, financially, and psychologically, you may face an uncertain future. If you and your attorney determine that your suffering will continue for years or even the rest of your life, you must calculate those expenses into your damage request. This can ensure the person or party responsible for your injuries is held accountable.
Damages You Could Recover in Your Car Accident Claim
After a car accident, it is vital to seek restitution for every loss. However, many victims are surprised to learn of the various types of damages they can seek. For instance, you might have realized you could seek compensation for your lost income, medical expenses, and vehicle repair costs.
Yet, there are other financial losses and non-economic damages you may be owed. These are commonly known as compensatory damages. Examples include:
- Compensation for your reduced quality of life
- The costs of your future medical care
- Personal property damages
- The diminished value of your vehicle
- The emotional trauma and distress you experienced in the collision
- Embarrassment related to disfiguring skin scars
- Loss of companionship, society, protection, and love
- Shame, shock, and anticipation
- Rental car costs
- Loss of household services, including childcare expenses
- Loss of benefits provided by your employer
- Diminished earning potential and lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Auto repair expenses or the costs of purchasing a new vehicle
- Increases to your insurance premiums
- Any out-of-pocket expenses
Punitive Damages for Car Accident Victims
Car accident victims may also recover punitive damages as part of their injury settlements. According to South Carolina South Carolina Code §15-32-530, punitive damages are awarded rarely. The court system has the authority to award punitive damages when it deems the defendant’s conduct is reprehensible, grossly negligent, abhorrent, intentionally malicious, or egregious.
However, it is important to remember that punitive damages are not compensatory. No one has the right to punitive damages. They are generally only awarded when South Carolina civil courts find it is absolutely necessary to impose punishment beyond the compensation you are owed.
Alleviate Your Frustrations and Fears by Working with Our Legal Team at Shelly Leeke Law Firm
You should never be forced to deal with the consequences of your car accident if another party is responsible for causing it. You can take steps to hold them accountable and recover the damages you deserve. Get help navigating the claims process.
A reputable personal injury attorney can help you identify those responsibly and accurately calculate the value of your claim so you can maximize your financial compensation. While you heal from your injuries, our team can build a powerful case and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. We will never allow you to be taken advantage of during these difficult times.
We can handle the insurance company for you, providing you with a clear level of support as you fight for the compensation owed to you in these cases. We will not allow the insurance company to take advantage of you, either. Let our team go to work to prove your case and provide you with the support you need now.
You Should Never Feel Rushed
One key note to provide to you is that you should never feel as though you have to settle your car accident claim too soon before you know about all of your losses. Our legal team will work to ensure you have the financial protection you need to avoid financial limitations imposed by insurance companies. Let us handle their threats and pressure so that you can be confident in getting the most compensation possible in your situation.
Do Not Let the Statute of Limitations Adversely Impact the Outcome of Your Car Accident Case
Your car accident attorney will be responsible for getting your lawsuit filed within the civil court system. This must be done before the statute of limitations deadline expires. Under South Carolina law, you have up to three years from the accident date to take action on your claim.
This is critical. Missing your deadline could have devastating consequences. While your attorney may be able to argue the statute of limitations was tolled or find another valid reason to pursue your case despite this expiration date, if we can get your lawsuit filed before time runs out, it will ease your worries considerably. Most court systems are legally obligated to refuse to hear cases if the statute of limitations has passed.
However, extenuating circumstances may apply. Maybe your child suffered an injury or your injuries were not diagnosed until several weeks after the collision, for example. In either case, do not put your car accident case in jeopardy by waiting too long to get started.
Get in Touch with Greenville’s Top-Rated Car Accident Law Firm Today
Reach out to a dedicated Greenville car accident attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a free consultation today. Our team is proud to serve Greenville, Durham, Walterboro, North Charleston, and surrounding communities. When you are ready to get started, fill out our convenient contact form or call our office.