Car accidents can bring comprehensive losses, and you have the right to sue the at-fault parties to compensate you for those losses. You will have physical pain and injuries to contend with, emotional trauma, and related financial fallout. Medical care is expensive. You may not be able to work to support yourself and your family.
Rather than bearing this stress alone, contact a car accident attorney from Shelly Leeke Law Firm as soon as possible following your accident. An experienced, compassionate lawyer will handle your case with skill, working to secure financial recovery and deliver a measure of relief from your stressful circumstances.
Personal Lawsuits Following a Car Accident
There is a traffic accident every 4.3 minutes in South Carolina. The typical path to securing damages following a car accident is to seek reimbursement through the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, there may be situations in which that insurance is not enough to cover your needs.
In these cases, you may choose to file against the driver personally, collecting compensation from their home or other owned property, car, or other assets.
Suing the At-Fault Party Personally
While you have the right to sue the at-fault party for damages, you might not get the results you need. The person may not have assets, or enough assets, to cover your damages, and you cannot collect what they do not cannot provide.
A Shelly Leeke Car Accident Lawyer Will Consider All Options
Winning a settlement decision may be vindicating but will not provide financial relief if you cannot collect actual compensation.
Your Shelly Leeke car accident lawyer will investigate your situation and determine if other negligent parties are culpable. For example, broken traffic signals or poorly lighted or maintained roads may have caused your accident. Your lawyer may suggest filing against the entities responsible for keeping roads in safe working condition.
The Financial Help You Need Following a Car Accident
Physical, financial, and emotional crises are the aftermath of a car accident. Your physical injuries will bring pain that may be permanent, probable loss of temporary or permanent mobility, or even catastrophic trauma to your body or brain. These injuries bring emotional suffering and stress as you and your loved ones must learn to cope with your changed situation and abilities.
Financially speaking, the injuries may be devastating, preventing you from working and earning money to support your household. You will probably face exorbitant medical costs as well. If you need ongoing care, those costs will continue to grow.
Your lawyer will evaluate your losses, determining their value, and will most likely pursue compensation for:
- Income loss, both current and potential losses
- Medical care and expenses
- Emotional duress and diminished quality of life
- Property damage, if your vehicle or other property was damaged or destroyed in the accident
South Carolina Follows a Comparative Negligence Fault System
Under the comparative fault system, you can sue the at-fault party for damages as long as you do not hold more than 49% of the blame for the accident. If you are 50% at fault or more, you can not receive a settlement.
If you are less than 50% responsible, but still bear some fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Simply stated, if you are 10% responsible for the incident, your compensation will be 90% of the total calculated settlement amount.
How Fault Is Determined
Fault is determined through negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance adjusters or lawyers, or by a jury if your case goes to trial. For the best outcome, leave these negotiations to your Shelly Leeke car accident attorney. Insurance companies often resort to unethical means to deflect blame, deny fault, and put the onus on anyone else, including you. Your attorney will not allow these unethical practices to stand or deprive you of a deserved settlement.
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate fairly or offers a settlement far below what you deserve, your lawyer will discuss trial options and potential outcomes with you.
How a Personal Injury Case Unfolds
Personal injury cases follow a procedure, and your Shelly Leeke car accident attorney will take your case through every step.
Your complaint provides an explanation and evidence of how the accident occurred, the injuries you have suffered, and why the at-fault party is responsible. The at-fault party’s lawyer (or the party’s insurance company’s lawyer) will file an “answer” responding to your complaint. Often, answers deny culpability, perhaps by blaming you for the accident.
During the discovery phase, your lawyer will review evidence the at-fault party plans to use at trial and their explanation for the accident. You and the at-fault party may be required to respond to written questions or interviews, as the discovery phase also includes depositions.
The American Bar Association defines deposition as “an out-of-court statement given under oath by any person involved in the case.” Usually, the plaintiff, defendant, and any witnesses are deposed.
During mediation, both sides work together with a third party to negotiate a fair settlement. The third party, the mediator, works to resolve disputes and show each side what they might risk by going to trial.
If mediation fails and the at-fault party’s attorney and representation does not offer a fair amount, your attorney will prepare for trial.
The trial phase is the last step in the lawsuit process. At trial, a jury will listen to arguments and evidence and determine whether you deserve a settlement and if you do, the amount the at-fault party must pay.
Shelly Leeke Is with You from Start to Finish
Following a car accident, your job is to focus on recovery. A Charleston car accident lawyer from Shelly Leeke Law Firm will handle your personal injury case. Whether you file against someone personally or through their insurance, or file against another office or entity, your lawyer will build a solid case and work toward a successful result.
Shelly Leeke Law Firm is dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality representation from attorneys who care. Call or message us today for a no-risk, no-cost consultation.