Anyone can be in a car crash, regardless of how careful they are on the road or their adherence to safe roadway driving practices. This is because most car accidents are the result of another road user’s carelessness or negligence.
Unfortunately, these mistakes have disrupted lives and caused innocent victims financial ruin. But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. With the help of our experienced North Charleston car accident attorneys at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, you can recover your losses and get compensated for your injuries and/or property damage.
Who Is Liable in a North Charleston Car Accident Injury Claim?
Before you can recover compensation and get a fair settlement that will cover your losses, injuries, and other expenses, you have to show that the other road user was responsible for your accident and the ensuing injuries or losses. However, it’s not enough to just level the accusation against another person.
A key part of the claims process is identifying what caused the car accident in the first place. This will serve as the basis for identifying the liable parties and, ultimately, the settlement amount that you can claim. Most car accidents are typically caused by the following:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy
- Not yielding to the driver who has the right-of-way
- Dangerous driving practices like sudden brake-checks
- Failed vehicle parts
- Tire blowouts
- Bad roads
- Poor weather conditions
These are some of the most common causes of car accidents in North Charleston.
Possible Liable Parties in a Car Accident Claim
Once the cause of your auto crash is identified, you will have a better idea of who can be liable for your accident. Liability can come from:
- The other vehicle’s driver
- A third-party vehicle (this is more likely in the event of a multi-car wreck)
- Government agencies
- Car parts manufacturers (for instance, Kia Sorrento recently recalled 377,000 SUV units due to faulty parts)
These are some of the parties that can be held liable for your auto wreck. Your car accident lawyer will be in the best position to identify who to go after for the recovery of your losses.
Proving Negligence in a North Charleston Car Wreck Case
According to the 2020 South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book, Charleston recorded over 13,000 vehicle wrecks, with 3,600 resulting in injuries and another 68 leading to fatalities. That’s a lot of negligence on the roads.
The sad thing about these accidents is that they could have been avoided if drivers had been more careful or paid attention while driving. No wonder South Carolina drivers are ranked third-worst in the country.
Once the liable party is identified, it is time to establish the concept of negligence. Negligence is the basis on which all traffic collision cases are built in South Carolina. So, before your auto crash attorney can file any injury claim, they will have to first determine that the defendant was liable. To do this, they’ll prove that the following elements were present in the car accident:
- Duty of care: This is the obligation of reasonable safety that a road user owes others. For example, all drivers are obligated to employ safe driving practices and act in a way that ensures that other road users are safe.
- Breach of duty: This applies when the driver acts in a way that threatens the safety of other road users. For example, if a driver tailgates another driver or runs a red light, that’s a breach of duty.
- Causation: This is when the breach of duty results in accidents and injuries to other road users. For example, if said driver runs a red light and T-bones a vehicle that had a right of way, it means that the driver’s actions directly cause the victim’s injuries, property damage, or suffering.
- Damages: These are the losses that the victim suffers because the other party crashed into their vehicle and caused them injury. For example, an injured victim has to pay hospital bills, or a car owner has to repair or replace their car because of the collision.
Once your car accident attorney in North Charleston, SC, can establish the elements of negligence, you can be sure that you’ll likely get a fair settlement that will cover your losses, pay for your treatment, repair and/or replace your vehicle, and compensate you for your pain and discomfort.
Compensation You Can Claim in a North Charleston Auto Crash Injury Claim
The value of an auto accident claim in North Charleston is often determined by several factors. These include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether your vehicle can be repaired or replaced
- Whether you can go to work or not
- If you are likely to lose income because you are recovering in the hospital
- Your need for physical and/or mental rehabilitation
- Modifications to the house and/or vehicle to aid your movement in and out of the house (e.g., the addition of a ramp to the house)
Depending on your case, you may be able to claim one or more of the following damages:
These are compensation for losses that can be easily calculated and quantified because there are usually receipts and invoices. Examples include:
- Wage losses
- Medical treatment expenses
- Property repair or replacement
- Diminished income-earning capacity
- Possible loss of future income
These are damages that you cannot easily quantify because they are usually subjective. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Emotional anguish
- Psychological issues arising from the injuries
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Although it’s not as common as economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are awarded when there’s solid evidence that the other driver acted with malicious intent that meant you harm. An example of this is if another driver intentionally rams your vehicle from the back with the intention of causing you harm.
Talk to an Experienced North Charleston Car Accident Attorney
The amount of compensation you’ll get largely depends on your North Charleston car accident attorney’s skills and experience. The auto crash lawyers at Shelly Leeke Law Firm are very dedicated and experienced at dealing with car accident cases in North Charleston and greater South Carolina.
If you’re looking for seasoned and competent car wreck lawyers that can fight for you and work hard to ensure that you get a befitting compensation, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.