The potential for having a serious or even fatal car accident is an unfortunate reality that millions of motorists face all over the country. South Carolina is especially dangerous, having the third highest rate of traffic deaths according to the National Safety Council.
If you’ve been in an accident in South Carolina, you may be wondering how much compensation you could receive in a car accident settlement. The answer is that there’s no hard-and-fast number that represents the typical car accident settlement amount in South Carolina, but there are several factors you can use to estimate how much your settlement amount might be as you pursue your car accident claim.
In this blog, I’ll discuss these factors to show how they could apply in your unique circumstances and how a car accident attorney can help you strive for maximum compensation. Read on to learn more:
Factors That Determine Compensation for a Car Accident Claim in South Carolina
The reason why an average settlement amount for car accident claims in South Carolina is hard to determine is because the circumstances of each car accident are unique, and so similar-seeming accidents might yield widely varying settlement amounts.
Some of the factors that go into South Carolina car accident settlements include:
- Medical bills – car accidents can result in serious physical trauma that can also be extremely expensive and difficult to treat such as:
- Brain injury
- Spine injury or paralysis
- Loss of limbs
- Chronic disabilityYour car accident settlement should cover all medical expenses arising from your injuries.
- Property damage – your car might be partially or completely destroyed, perhaps depriving you of your only means of transportation and causing you hardship for which you can be compensated. You can also recover damages for your vehicle’s diminished value.
- How at-fault you might be – South Carolina car accident law follows an idea called “Comparative Negligence,” in which the amount of compensation you can receive is based partially on how at-fault you’re considered to be or how much your actions contributed to the accident. If you’re found to be less than 50% at fault, you can recover damages based on the remaining liability that isn’t yours.
- Mandatory insurance minimums – South Carolina law requires drivers to carry certain insurance policies with minimum coverage amounts. These minimum amounts reflect potential compensation you could recover if you get into an accident:
- Bodily injury – a minimum of $25,000 of coverage per person for bodily injury and $50,000 for all persons injured in one accident. Claims for bodily injury may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Property damage – SC requires you to carry a minimum of $25,000 of coverage for all property damage in one accident, which includes other vehicles as well as other property such as buildings, fences, and walls.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist – SC also requires you to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with minimums that are the same you must carry for bodily injury and property damage ($25k/$50k/$25k).
- Other, optional insurance coverage that covers physical damage and can affect your car settlement amount includes:
- Collision coverage – for damages caused by colliding with an object such as another car.
- Comprehensive coverage – for damage to your car by causes such as vandalism, theft, arson, flooding, and colliding with animals.
- Statute of Limitations – In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to do so will make it extremely unlikely that you will receive a settlement. Note that three years may seem like a long time, but the wheels of justice turn slowly and building a case takes time. It may become more difficult to hire a lawyer as you get closer to the deadline, as well. That’s why it’s always in your best interests to submit your claim as soon as possible after the accident.
- Lost wages – If your injuries are so disabling that you’re unable to work, you may be entitled to damages for lost pay.
- Pain and suffering – Besides the disruption and medical bills, the physical and mental trauma caused by car accidents can be immense. Injuries from car accidents can be extremely painful, and car accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD, according to the American Psychological Association.
- Wrongful death – In the unfortunate event of the passing of a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages.
Common Pitfalls that Can Hurt Your Car Accident Case
Even if you’re completely not at fault and suffer significant injuries as the result of a car accident in South Carolina, you might not be able to recover all the compensation to which you’re entitled. This could be for several reasons:
Talking to the insurance company unprepared
An insurance adjuster will likely reach out to you soon after the accident. They may seem friendly and concerned, asking about what happened from your perspective. But you need to know that they’re likely financially motivated to minimize your payout as much as possible.
They may use what you say against you to make it seem like you bear more responsibility than you do to lower your payout. They may also offer you fast money today, which almost certainly wouldn’t cover the full amount of your damages.
Not seeing a doctor
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident, even if you look and feel fine.
Car accident injuries sometimes take days or weeks to show symptoms, and if you do not seek medical attention immediately, you might not be able to receive adequate treatment. You might also have a harder time recovering medical expenses for your car accident settlement.
Not keeping records
You should keep track of all the records that result from your car accident including bills, medical records, car repair quotes, and anything and everything that might be relevant to your injuries or damages. This will help you to prove how much compensation you should receive for your settlement.
Not speaking with an attorney
An experienced car accident attorney can help advise you as to your best course of action when pursuing your car accident claim. Many personal injury attorneys offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency basis, meaning they help you at no cost unless they can recover a fee. At the very least, a free consultation with an attorney can give you some peace of mind.
An experienced car accident lawyer in South Carolina can help you in the following ways:
- Deals with the insurance adjuster so you don’t have to. This minimizes your chances of being pressured to take less than you deserve, and includes negotiating with the insurance company to maximize your compensation.
- Uses their knowledge of South Carolina car accident law to explore all avenues of compensation, such as hidden insurance policies and additional medical bills.
- Organizes, manages, and tracks your claim for you based on their experience handling car accident claims in South Carolina. Their goal is to ensure that you never miss a deadline, and your case is as strong as possible.
Why Choose James Scott Farrin for Your South Carolina Car Accident Claim
We’ve recovered over $1.6 billion for 60,000 people1 because we follow a You-First Policy where we always act and advise according to your best interests. We operate on a contingency basis where we don’t accept attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation for your car accident. If we are able to achieve a recovery on your behalf, our fee is just a portion of it.2
In addition, our firm was recognized on the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” List for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.
Here’s what some of our happy clients say about us:
“They did an amazing job with my car accident case. They were very attentive, willing to answer all of my questions, patient, and most importantly looked out for what was best for me… Highly recommend.” – Carter L., Google review1
“I truly recommend James Scott Farrin for their outstanding services pertaining to my car accident.” – Beverly E., Google review1
“I was involved in a car accident and had no clue of what to do. A coworker referred me to James Scott Farrin… I immediately reached out to them. They always call right back and my experience with them was great. Friendly and professional staff. Always answer my questions with a quick turn around. Kept me posted on my case and always checked to see how I was doing. I would recommend them and if needed in my future I will be reaching out to this office for my future needs… I highly recommend this office to anyone seeking a personal injury attorney.” – Nicole C. – Google review1