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Car Accidents

Hurt in a car accident? Your next steps may determine how much, and if, insurance pays you.

Whose insurance do you file with? What happens if your claim is denied? We wrote this guide to help you.

Hurt in a car accident? Your next steps may determine how much, and if, insurance pays you.

Whose insurance do you file with? What happens if your claim is denied? We wrote this guide to help you.

AUTO ACCIDENTS OVERVIEW
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This page refers to Car Accidents law in South Carolina.

Since laws differ between states, if you are located in North Carolina, please click here.

South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers That Can Fight For You

Unfortunately, car accidents happen in South Carolina. Often. And expenses accumulate. Quickly. You need to see a doctor, your car needs to be repaired, you can’t return to work yet, and you’ve got an insurance company claims adjuster calling or knocking at your door and asking questions. Our team of car accident lawyers helps our clients fight for the compensation they may deserve.

  • Our firm has helped tens of thousands of personal injury victims.1
  • We have investigators who can come to you and can visit the accident site.
  • Our attorneys understand insurance company motivations and tactics.
  • We have 24/7 toll free phone access at 1-866-900-7078.

Put experience on your side.

What Should I Do After Being Injured in a Car Accident that Wasn’t My Fault in South Carolina?

First things first, you need to take care of yourself. Print out this list of important things to do after a collision, and keep it in your car so you are always prepared. Included in this list are several key steps that will help you protect your rights and have the necessary information on hand when you seek compensation for your injuries later. An experienced car accident attorney can help you with these steps so that your rights are protected.

After you talk with the police and record the accident details, get medical attention quickly. There are many reasons why it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after a car collision, but one of the most important ones is that the record from this initial visit will be reviewed by the insurance company to determine the extent of your injuries – and this factors into how much they may pay you.

Next, talk to an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer who may be able to help you:

  • Advise on medical care and obtain records
  • Investigate the accident
  • Document details
  • Determine fault of drivers
  • Keep track of paperwork
  • Explain your legal options
  • File an insurance claim
  • Evaluate insurance offers
  • Negotiate with insurance claim adjusters
  • File a lawsuit if needed

WHAT TO DO AFTER A MINOR CAR ACCIDENT

For minor car accidents that don’t involve injuries, you may not need a lawyer. In these cases, you should:

  • Document the accident.
  • Collect documentation (police reports, insurance information).
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Decide whether to file an insurance claim.

However even minor injuries can get worse with time and can actually end up being major injuries once your adrenaline wears off from the wreck. So if you’re injured, consider taking advantage of a free case evaluation with a qualified attorney.

No two car wrecks are alike, and the lawyers across the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin have years of experience handling car accident cases. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us at 1-866-900-7078, and let us put our experience and resources to work for you.

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When Do I Need to Get a Car Accident Lawyer in South Carolina?

In general, if you’ve been injured it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car crash in South Carolina, before you file a claim or accept an early settlement check from the insurance company. An attorney can help you pursue the compensation you may deserve if you or a loved one are involved in a car accident that results in:

  • Missed work
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Ongoing medical treatment
  • Scarring or disfiguration
  • Death

Car Accident Stats in South Carolina

You hear about traffic accidents daily on the news, and if you commute to work, you probably witness plenty of fender benders in real-time. You see the smashed up vehicles on the side of the road and the EMT teams taking care of victims experiencing whiplash and other serious injuries.

In 2018, there was one traffic collision every 3.7 minutes, one injury collision every 13.8 minutes, and one fatal collision every 9 hours in South Carolina. With more cars on the roads each year, S.C. car accident statistics generally keep showing increases, and more people are being injured in collisions on the road. (Note: These statistics include all vehicles on the road but the most common vehicle involved in traffic collisions and fatal traffic collisions was the automobile.)

Rate of traffic accidents including injuries and deaths in South Carolina.

These numbers may sound scary, but they don’t become real until you or a loved one become one of the statistics. And once that happens, you need to contact a South Carolina auto accident lawyer immediately.

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has handled many different types of car accident and DWI cases. We work with medical experts and accident reconstructionists to strengthen our clients’ cases and try to get you the compensation you may deserve. If you have been hurt in a car accident, call our offices now at 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation. We have your best interests at heart. We stand up to insurance companies and demand justice for clients.

Should I File a Claim If I’m Not at Fault?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you should file an insurance claim after you discuss your case with a car accident attorney. It’s important to get sound legal advice from someone who knows how to read and interpret South Carolina car accident reports, who understands the state’s laws, and who is knowledgeable about the process.

Rate of traffic accidents including injuries and deaths in South Carolina.
In general, there are three processes for trying to recover damages from a car accident:

  1. File a claim with your insurance company, depending on the type of coverage you have.
  2. File a third-party claim directly with the at fault’s driver’s insurance company.
  3. File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to try to be paid by any other insurance policies covering them.
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In South Carolina, How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

South Carolina is a “fault-based” state for car accidents which means that the law puts the responsibility for paying for injuries on the person who causes the injuries. If you are injured in a crash caused by the other driver, you can seek compensation for your damages through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance provider. If they have insufficient insurance, there may be other coverages available, and you may be able to file with your own insurance carrier to make up the difference, depending on the coverage you have.

In 1991, South Carolina recognized a modified comparative negligence (or modified comparative fault) rule which determines the amount of damages you may recover in a car accident claim. This rule states that your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of negligence, or fault, assigned to you. And in South Carolina, your fault must be 50% or less in order to recover any damages. This allows you to collect even if you are partially negligent in an accident.

An Example of Modified Comparative Negligence

  • Driver A is driving 10 miles over the speed limit.
  • Driver B runs a red light and hits and injures Driver A (ouch!)
  • The jury looks at the facts of the accident and establishes that Driver A is 20% at fault for speeding and Driver B is 80% at fault for ignoring the red light.
  • Driver A receives 80% of the awarded amount.

100% – 20% = 80%

Car accidents can be complicated and establishing who was at fault in a collision, and how much they were at fault, can be difficult. This is why it is important tocontact an experienced car accident attorney, who can help try to establish fault and strengthen your case.

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How Long After a Car Accident Can I Claim an Injury in South Carolina?

A calendar marked with the date of a car crash and filing a claim two days later.Insurance companies generally require you to report claims as soon as possible. Before calling the insurance company, it’s prudent to get medical help and consult with a lawyer who knows South Carolina car accident law about your insurance claim. We will do this kind of initial case evaluation for free.

After you file an insurance claim, the insurance company can either pay it or deny it. If the claim is denied or unsatisfactory, a lawyer can try to negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, a lawyer can then file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

In South Carolina, a person generally has three years from the date of the car crash to file a personal injury lawsuit with the courts. This time period may be shorter depending on the facts and circumstances of the crash. For example, if the at-fault driver was a government agent, this time period is only two years. If you don’t file your legal claim within this timeframe, called a statute of limitations, the courts will likely dismiss your claim and you may have missed your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries (there are very few exceptions to this).

The accident attorneys at James Scott Farrin know how to stand up to insurance companies and fight for the compensation you may deserve. Our lawyers are skilled at working with insurance company accident investigators and negotiating settlements with insurance claims adjusters.1 They make sure that the insurance company knows that if a settlement is not in your best interest, our team is prepared to fight hard for every penny you might be owed.

How Long Does a Settlement Take?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The specifics of each car accident affect the timing of the case’s possible settlement: How complex was the crash? How many parties were involved? What types of injuries were sustained? How extensive were the injuries? What insurance policies were involved? Did everyone agree on who was at fault? And the list goes on.

This is why it is important to contact a car accident attorney early in the process – one who will help gather documentation and push hard to represent your rights as quickly as possible with the insurance company.

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How Much Can I Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?1

A car accident settlement depends on many different factors. It’s similar to a giant puzzle with interlocking pieces – each individual piece is related to several others and when carefully placed together, they create a picture of what happened and what compensation may be deserved.

Be especially cautious of any claims adjuster who offers you a check without first thoroughly investigating your claim.

A car-shaped puzzle with pieces representing settlement details and damages.

The lawyers at James Scott Farrin can help you piece together all the many different pieces of your claim. Call us today at 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

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Will My Car Insurance Cover My Needs After an Accident in South Carolina?

It depends. This is not a very satisfying answer, but automobile insurance policies differ from company to company, and people purchase varying levels of insurance coverage.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will walk you through what your car insurance policy covers and discuss your options depending on the at-fault driver’s insurance. Remember that insurance companies employ professionals. Some may use negotiating and delay tactics to limit the amount of money they pay out in damages – money that may be owed to you. You may need a professional on your side also – one who will fight to try to get you the compensation you may deserve.

Who Is Responsible for My Rental Car in an Accident?

An agent at a car rental center handing over a set of car keys.
If you are not at fault for the car wreck, the other driver’s insurance should pay for your rental car, and that rental car should be similar to the car that you were driving at the time of the accident. However, if there is an ongoing debate about who was at fault or how much each driver was at fault, the insurance company may delay in paying for your rental car. This is when having a lawyer on your side early in the claims process may help.

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What Types of Insurance Cover My Car Accident?

Let’s cover the basics of auto insurance coverage in South Carolina here. There are essentially two types:

  1. Car insurance that covers damage to your car & other property
  2. Car insurance that covers your injuries, time out of work, and other damages

Type 1) Car Insurance Covering Damage to Your Car & Property

In South Carolina, all drivers are required to purchase Property Damage Liability and Uninsured Motorist Insurance, and also have the option to purchase additional Collision Insurance, Comprehensive Insurance, and Underinsured Motorist Insurance. These types of insurance cover expenses related to vehicle and property damage.

Below is a chart which lays out the main types of required and optional auto insurance that cover car and property damage in South Carolina.
Types of car insurance covering personal injury expenses, including liability and medical coverage.

Type 2) Car Insurance Covering Injuries, Time out of Work, and Other Damages

All South Carolina drivers are required to purchase Bodily Injury Liability Insurance and Uninsured Motorist Insurance and have the option to purchase additional medical coverage via Underinsured Motorist Insurance and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance. PIP, also called MedPay and Medical Pay, provides additional medical coverage in the event of an accident regardless of whose fault the accident was. These types of insurance cover personal injury-related medical expenses.

Below is a summary chart which lays out the different types of required and optional auto insurance that covers personal injuries and related damages in South Carolina.

Types of car insurance covering property damage, including liability and physical damage coverage.

Do I need PIP Insurance in South Carolina?

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage is optional, and it can help pay your medical expenses quickly without waiting on a settlement or a verdict. South Carolina law states that any amount paid out of your PIP will not reduce the amount of your compensation when your settlement or trial is complete.

Should I Accept the Insurance Check?

Probably not. Do not accept an insurance check or any payment until:
A red X over an insurance check being handed to a client.

  • You have gotten medical treatment and recognize the extent of your injuries.
  • You have consulted with an auto accident lawyer and understand the full scope of your claim.

Some insurance companies may be motivated to settle cases as inexpensively and quickly as possible. Many are for-profit companies, and they want to keep their expenses low so that their profits remain high. One way of doing this can be to offer lowball payments to trusting claimants before serious injuries are realized and related bills have accumulated. It is important to discuss your options with a licensed attorney knowledgeable in this area of the law to help you weigh your options and risks.

A licensed car accident attorney at James Scott Farrin understands the ins-and-outs of auto insurance in South Carolina. We’ll review all policies and collision facts and advise you on what to say and what not to say to claims adjusters so that you can try to recover all of the damages you may deserve.

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Get a Free Case Evaluation from the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

For a free evaluation of your case, contact us. We will discuss your rights and try to answer any questions you may have. And we will only take your case if we think we can help you. We work on a contingency fee basis so you don’t have to pay an hourly attorney fee.2

Call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click on the live chat option.

We also help motorcycle accident victims and truck accident victims fight for just compensation. Serious injuries demand serious attention. Remember, we mean business!

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