If you suffer an injury in a car accident in Walterboro, SC, you may be eligible for damages. To find out, explore your legal options. Get in touch with a Walterboro personal injury lawyer, and they can help you determine if now is the right time to file a claim.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm has plenty of experience with auto accident cases. Our Walterboro car accident lawyer is available to discuss your claim. Contact us today.
Damages You Can Recover After a Walterboro Car Accident
Every car accident is different, and the damages you can recover after your crash depend on many factors. You can ask for economic and non-economic damages. Some of the reasons why compensation is awarded after auto collisions include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Car damage
- Pain and suffering
Economic damages are quantifiable, while non-economic ones are subjective. A Walterboro car accident attorney can help you calculate your losses. Once you determine this amount, you can file your claim and request a reasonable amount of compensation.
How a Walterboro Auto Crash Claim Works
The average settlement for an auto accident claim varies. To get started with your claim, notify your insurance company about your crash. Then, your insurer will work with the other driver’s insurance provider to determine who is at fault.
In South Carolina, drivers are required to carry liability and uninsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver in your crash has sufficient policy limits based on your losses, you may get compensation without having to sue. However, if the other driver does not have adequate coverage and your uninsured motorist protection is insufficient, you may have to move forward with a lawsuit to get compensation.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm has an outstanding track record in auto collision cases. Our car accident lawyer in Walterboro can help you file a personal injury lawsuit in accordance with South Carolina’s statute of limitations. For more information, reach out to us.
How Long You Have to File a Car Accident Claim
Do not wait too long after your auto crash to submit your claim. There is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina. Beyond three years, you cannot file a claim from anyone responsible for your car accident injury.
A car accident attorney in Walterboro can go over your legal options with you. It may be beneficial to submit a claim to an insurance provider. If the insurer does not respond or denies your request for compensation, you can sue the at-fault driver.
The time it takes to settle a car crash claim is based on the willingness of the parties involved to resolve the case. Your lawyer represents your best interests. They help make sure you do not have to approve a “lowball” settlement.
How to File a Wrongful Death Car Accident Claim
You can file a wrongful death claim relating to an auto crash. The statute of limitations for personal injuries applies to this type of case. A lawyer can discuss your accident and help you submit your claim.
Per South Carolina Code §15-51-10, a wrongful death refers to a loss of life that occurs due to a negligent act. For example, a motorist may drive while intoxicated. If this driver causes an accident that kills someone, the family of the deceased person (decedent) may be eligible to sue.
The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit may be a decedent’s parent, child, or spouse. In some cases, a legally appointed heir or executor of an estate may be able to request damages. The plaintiff may request economic and non-economic damages in their lawsuit.
Who to Sue in a Car Accident Case
In many lawsuits, the driver responsible for a crash is considered the at-fault party. There are times when another party is at fault. To determine liability, review the facts of your case with an auto accident lawyer.
If you get into an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be able to hold the ridesharing company accountable for your crash. At other times, a trucking company or auto parts manufacturer may be partly responsible for your collision. With help from an attorney, you can figure out who to sue and prepare your claim accordingly.
Keep in mind that South Carolina is a fault state. This means to get compensation after your auto accident, you may need to go through the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. Expect the insurer to protect their own best interests over yours — and expect your attorney to fight hard to get compensation for you.
How an Auto Insurance Company Handles an Accident Claim
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is likely to do everything possible to avoid paying out your claim. For instance, in the first few days after your accident, the insurer may contact you. They may push you to accept a settlement or accept some or full responsibility for your collision.
When you hire an auto accident lawyer in Walterboro, you do not have to negotiate with an insurance company. Your attorney can answer frequently asked questions and many others about car collision claims. They can engage with an insurer on your behalf and make sure you do not say or do anything that could compromise your case.
If an insurance company calls you following your auto accident, notify your attorney. Do not say anything on the record, as this could be used against you. Instead, let your lawyer handle negotiations with an insurer, and your attorney will keep you up to date.
How Comparative Negligence Applies to a Car Accident Claim
The negligent driver in your auto accident case may claim you were in some way responsible for your collision. Based on the South Carolina Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, this motorist may be able to avoid paying damages. Because if you are found to be primarily responsible for your car crash, you cannot receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
As an example, a judge or jury may find you are 60% at fault in an auto accident. If this happens, the judge or jury rules in the defendant’s favor and says you are primarily responsible for your collision. You will not receive any compensation in spite of the fact that both you and the defendant are partly at fault.
Comparative negligence can also cause you to receive less than what you originally requested in your auto accident lawsuit. If a judge or jury finds you are 20% responsible for your crash, you will still get compensation, but the damages you receive are reduced by your percentage of fault. In this scenario, you would get 80% of the damages you initially requested.
How to Prove Fault in an Auto Accident Case
Evidence can play an important role in your car accident case. If you preserve evidence from the accident scene, you may be able to show that the other driver was negligent. This can compel a judge or jury to award damages.
To prove fault, you must show that the defendant in your case had a duty of care toward you. This duty is a legal obligation to avoid careless acts that could put you and others in danger. When the defendant caused your accident and injury, they violated this obligation.
Along with these things, you must verify that the defendant’s actions resulted in losses. You can provide medical records, pay stubs, and other documents that highlight your damages. These pieces of evidence can strengthen your argument and make it clear to a judge or jury why you deserve the most compensation possible.
File a Car Accident Claim
If you are considering an auto accident lawsuit in Walterboro, partner with the Shelly Leeke Law Firm. We are here to help you with your car crash case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.