Our Charleston Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Seek Justice
Charleston is known as a beautiful and iconic place to live and visit. Unfortunately, this status also makes it a major hub for car accidents. From a flood of tourists during peak vacation season to actual floods during King Tides in the Lowcountry, Charleston drivers deal with many challenges when traversing busy, dangerous roadways like US-17 and I-26.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) reported that Charleston County had the 2nd highest number of car accidents in 2020, with more than 13,000 collisions leading to nearly 3,600 injuries and 70 deaths. The number of total collisions climbs to over 20,000 incidents when you include Berkley and Dorchester Counties within the larger Charleston metropolitan area, making our community one of the most dangerous regions in the state for car crashes.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, our car accident lawyers in Charleston, SC can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies know when you have medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that could pressure you into taking a low settlement. The experienced Charleston car accident attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers have a deep understanding of relevant laws and can prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you. Call us today at 843-628-0100 or request your free consultation to get started.
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What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be a confusing experience. In order to keep everyone safe and protect your own legal interests, it’s important to:
- Prioritize safety first: You should check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and if you are able, get to a safe area off the roadway.
- Call 911: Emergency personnel can provide immediate medical attention and help ensure the accident scene is safe. It’s also important to get a police report from the Charleston Police Department to support the insurance claims process (and any potential legal action).
- Exchange information and document the scene: Make sure you get the insurance and contact information for other parties involved in the accident. If possible, get the contact info of any eyewitnesses as well, and take as many photos/videos as you can of the vehicles involved, their license plates, and the accident scene.
- Get a medical evaluation ASAP: Some injuries or conditions may not be apparent right after your accident, so you should see a qualified medical professional ASAP to determine the full extent of any injuries.
Contact a Charleston car accident attorney: An experienced car accident lawyer in Charleston, SC can help you understand the full scope of your legal options, even if you are unsure about pursuing legal action. They can also protect you when at-fault drivers or their insurance companies act in bad faith. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our Charleston auto accident attorneys have a deep understanding of the relevant state laws that will impact your case – contact us today for a free consultation .
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Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
There are many benefits to hiring a local attorney who knows the area your accident occurred in, understands the relevant state and local laws that could impact your case, and has an established network of resources in your area. When you work with the Charleston car accident attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we can help:
- Fully investigate your case to determine the full extent of damages you may be owed
- Establish liability for the accident
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf while protecting you from unfair settlement offers or other high-pressure tactics
- Seek a fair settlement or file a lawsuit if necessary
- Answer all of your questions and guide you through every step of the complex legal process
While you may feel overwhelmed after a car accident, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Contact us today for your free case review .
When Should I Contact a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer?
You should prioritize your own health and well-being after a car accident, so make sure to seek medical treatment ASAP. Then you should contact a Charleston car accident lawyer to review the details of your case – even if you’re unsure about pursuing legal actions.
Not every minor fender bender will require the assistance of a lawyer, but the following factors are likely to increase the complexity of your situation and the likelihood that you will need a lawyer’s assistance:
- It’s not clear who was at fault for the accident
- There were multiple parties involved
- The accident caused a significant injury or fatality
- You are not sure if the available insurance coverage will pay for all of your medical bills, lost wages, etc.
- You or the other driver’s insurance company is not being straightforward or is offering a settlement that doesn’t seem fair
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident?
Every state has time limits regulating how long you have to file a lawsuit after suffering a personal injury. These deadlines are called statutes of limitations. In South Carolina, the unique details of your case will help determine the specific timeframe you have to take legal action. Because there are so many circumstances that can change this timeframe, we recommend that you contact a car accident attorney in Charleston, SC to review the details of your case.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
The unfortunate truth about car accidents is that they can cause many serious injuries, including some that may not be apparent for weeks or even months. That’s why it’s so important to get medical attention as soon as you can after an accident. A qualified medical professional can help diagnose any injuries, including these common issues:
- Whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and other back/neck injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Burns, cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage or nerve injuries
- Mental and emotional suffering, including PTSD
Who Is Liable for My Injuries in a Car Accident?
As an at-fault state, South Carolina allows you to hold negligent drivers responsible for the damages they have caused. But establishing liability is not always a straightforward process, especially in South Carolina, where the doctrine of comparative negligence means your compensation can be reduced relative to the percentage of fault you shared in causing the accident (and damages are very difficult to recover if you share more than 50% of the blame). To prove liability, you must show:
- You were owed a duty of care. In the case of car accidents, all states require drivers to operate their vehicles with a reasonable amount of caution.
- The at-fault driver breached this duty of care by behaving negligently.
- Due to this negligent behavior, you suffered damages.
A Charleston car accident attorney can aid this process immensely. With years of deep expertise in the relevant state laws and the ability to call on accident reconstruction specialists and other experts, a good lawyer can help prove what exactly happened during the crash and who caused it.
South Carolina also requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage in the event of a car accident. Those limits include $25,000 for a single person’s injuries or death (with a $50,000 limit per accident) as well as $25,000 for property damage. If the other driver is determined to be at-fault and was properly insured at the time of the accident, our Charleston car accident attorneys can file a claim with their insurer in an attempt to recover compensation up to these limits (and in some cases, beyond these minimum limits).
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Accident in Charleston, SC?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Charleston, it’s very likely that you will need treatment at a local medical center like Roper St. Francis Hospital or the MUSC University Medical Center – and we all know how quickly medical bills can pile up.
Even if the other driver is proven to be at-fault for your accident, there is likely to be a significant gap between the time of your accident and the date you receive your settlement funds. So while they may be ultimately responsible for paying your medical bills, you may have to use other avenues to cover your bills during this gap.
If you have optional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance on your auto policy, that is often one of the first methods you can use, but most PIP policies only cover a few thousand dollars and can be exhausted quickly. Your health insurance can also provide some relief, although they will most likely want to be compensated from any future settlement funds. Our Charleston car accident lawyers can work with all of these parties to process your claim as quickly as possible, minimize any medical liens on your settlement, and do everything possible to maximize the final compensation you receive.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Auto Insurance?
Driving without insurance in South Carolina is asking for trouble in many ways. First and foremost, it is a criminal offense that can carry heavy fines (and even jail time for repeat offenses).
If you are in an accident while uninsured, you may also be on the hook for the other driver’s damages, which could be in the tens of thousands of dollars or more. The best way to avoid these additional complications is to make sure your auto insurance is up to date and meets the state’s minimum requirements.
What if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
South Carolina requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage that is equal to minimum liability coverage ($25,000 for a single person’s bodily injuries, with a $50,000 cap per accident, as well as $25,000 for property damage). Assuming you are properly insured, you should follow the typical claims process after a car accident, and your own insurance will process the claim.
It may be difficult to seek compensation beyond these limits, however, unless you have optional underinsured motorist coverage. You can also file a lawsuit, but the chances of recovering significant compensation may be limited. Typically, when someone doesn’t have auto insurance, it’s because they can’t afford it. With that in mind, they are unlikely to have the funds or assets to compensate you if you win a lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Pursue After a Car Accident?
A qualified, detail-oriented Charleston car accident lawyer can help you understand what damages that you may be owed after a car accident. Many people are not aware of all the types of damages that may apply, including:
- Medical expenses: This can include both services rendered and expected medical expenses in the future, such as doctor appointments, physical or mental therapy, prescriptions, medical appliances needed for your care, and more.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevented you from working or will prevent you from working to your full capacity in the future, you may be able to seek compensation for missed income, benefits, or promotions and your reduced earning capacity.
- Property damage: The cost of repairing or replacing your car can vary after an accident, and it’s common for insurance companies to try to offer you less than the full value of your property damage or loss. Our Charleston car accident attorneys can help you fight for the true amount of compensation you are owed.
- Pain and suffering: Not all damages or losses are visible or readily apparent. You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve experienced traumatic pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or permanent scarring and disfigurement.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Charleston Car Accident?
Each case is different and involves a complex web of unique factors and circumstances that will determine your settlement. Therefore, it’s difficult to establish an average settlement in any meaningful way. Some car accident settlements may be valued at just a few thousand dollars, while others could climb into the millions if they involve serious, life-altering injuries or fatalities.
While each case is unique, and our results for other clients do not guarantee the same results for your case, here are just a few examples of how our Charleston car accident lawyers have earned significant results for our clients:
- $4.1 million total recovered for a family hit by a truck.
- $3 million total recovered for the family of a moped accident victim.
- $2.5 million total recovered for two clients hurt in a highway collision.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Car Accident Case?
The answer to this question will also depend on the specifics of your case. Simpler claims with minor injuries could be resolved within six months, while severe injuries, complex negotiations, or litigation could make it a multi-year process. However, it’s helpful to understand the factors that can affect this timeline, including:
- If liability is disputed or difficult to determine, this will likely extend your timeline
- If the value of your claim is higher due to extensive injuries, death, or other damages, this will likely extend your timeline
- If your case must go to trial, this will likely extend your timeline
Ultimately, the best way to understand the likely timeframe for your case is to contact a Charleston auto accident lawyer for a free consultation .
How Do I Get a Temporary Rental Car After an Accident?
If your car is inoperable after your car accident, there’s a good chance you will need to visit a local Budget or Enterprise location to secure a rental car. In most instances, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for covering your rental car, although many policies only allow for a rental period between 5 and 10 days.
If you are without a car for longer than that, you may be able to request a rental extension from the other driver’s insurance company, or you may be able to apply your own insurance’s rental policy. If you do incur any out-of-pocket expenses, you will likely be able to recuperate those costs if you successfully prove the other driver is liable and receive a settlement.
What if I’m in an Accident in a Rental Car?
Overall, the process is very similar to the one you follow if you have an accident in your own vehicle. Many auto insurance policies cover damage to rental cars, but it’s best to fully understand your policy before driving a rental.
If you feel any area may offer insufficient coverage, you can typically purchase extra insurance from the rental company, such as liability, collision damage, and personal effects coverage. Again, it’s important to understand what those policies do and do not cover before purchasing extra insurance.
What Causes Most Charleston Car Accidents?
According to SCDPS traffic stats, the most common causes of accidents in Charleston (including Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties) are:
- Failing to yield the right of way (cited in more than 4,400 accidents in 2020)
- Driving too fast for conditions (cited in more than 3,800 accidents in 2020)
- Following too closely (cited in more than 3,200 accidents in 2020)
- Distracted driving / inattention (cited in more than 2,500 accidents in 2020)
- Improper use of lane change (cited in more than 2,300 accidents in 2020)
Our Charleston Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Serve Your Case
If you’ve been injured while driving on busy Charleston roadways like US-17, US-176, or US-52, you may be feeling overwhelmed about what to do next. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our diligent Charleston car accident attorneys have worked on more than 50,000 cases and established a track record of earning significant results for our clients.
We’re also proud winners of the 2017 Avvo Client Choice Award, a member of the Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, and we operate on a contingency-fee system, which means we only receive payment out of your final settlement or award (and not out of your pocket). Call us at 843-628-0100 or
request your free consultation
to get started today.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle in Charleston, SC
Our experienced Charleston car accident lawyers can handle a wide variety of car accident claims, including:
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