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Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers
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    Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers

    Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence in Columbia. If you have been injured due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to receive compensation for your damages.

    If you are a victim of a vehicle accident, you might suffer from various types of injuries that require extensive treatment to fully recover. However, obtaining compensation for these injuries can be a daunting process. Fortunately, our firm offers valuable support in navigating the litigation process and determining what your case is worth. No matter what type of car accident you were injured in, our car accident attorneys have the experience to help you recover what you are owed.

    For a free case review, contact our car accident attorneys at Burriss & Ridgeway at (803) 855-1040.

    Steps You Can Take After a Car Accident to Help Your Case in Columbia, SC

    If you have experienced a car accident, it is important to know what to do next to protect your rights. You might be hurt and scared, and the pressure of the situation could make it hard to focus. Nonetheless, you can take some measures that can significantly assist you in obtaining compensation later. After getting your case off to the right start, our car accident attorneys can take care of the rest and work to get you the compensation you deserve. To ensure you have the best chance of recovering damages, you can follow the following steps after suffering a car accident in Columbia:

    Call the Police

    If you get into a car accident, the first step you should take is to contact the police. Regardless of whether there are any injuries or damage to property, the police will arrive to investigate the incident and talk to those involved. After the investigating officers have gathered all the necessary information, they will create an official report that details what happened during the accident and any possible charges that might arise. Once this report is available, our team can assist you in obtaining it from the police department that handled your case.

    Exchange Information with Other Parties

    After calling the police, it is important to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to obtain their insurance information and, if possible, their name, address, and phone number to serve a lawsuit if needed. This information is typically included in the police report, so do not worry if the other driver refuses to cooperate. They cannot refuse to answer the police without consequences.

    It is also recommended that you talk to any witnesses present at the scene. They might have witnessed important details that could prove useful in court later. Be sure to obtain their contact information, as it might be required months later and could be easily forgotten if not recorded.

    Collect Evidence

    If it is safe to do so, use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene before leaving. This includes capturing any vehicle damage, debris on the road, the position of the vehicles after the accident, and any skid marks. These photos can also be used to show where you were injured and preserve key details such as the time of day and weather conditions at the time of the accident.

    Be sure also to document any injuries you sustained. Sometimes, injuries heal by the time you appear in court in front of a judge or jury, making them less visible. Taking photos of your injuries will help demonstrate that they were more severe than they currently appear.

    Seek Medical Treatment

    After a car accident, it is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not feel hurt, it is possible to have hidden injuries that might not show up until later. Thus, you should consult with medical professionals who can provide guidance on your body’s healing process and if additional treatment is necessary. Although it might seem unnecessary and time-consuming to visit the emergency room after an accident, having a record of your injuries is essential if you plan to pursue compensation through legal action. Your medical records will typically include your doctor’s conclusion that your current injuries were caused by the car accident you reported.

    Consult with Our Attorneys

    Our team will closely collaborate with you throughout the legal process to maximize your chances of receiving compensation for the damages you suffered. We will assist you in obtaining payment for your medical expenses and lost wages while also safeguarding your rights throughout your case. We can draft your complaint and other important documents and reach out to other parties on your behalf. If your case cannot be settled through negotiations, we are ready to take it in front of a judge or jury.

    Common Types of Car Accidents that Occur in Columbia, SC

    Car accidents can occur in various ways in Columbia. Some accidents might only result in minor damage that is not too difficult to recover compensation for. However, other types of accidents can cause severe injuries that might take years to recover from. Luckily, we are here to assist you in obtaining justice for your damages, regardless of the type of car accident you were involved in. The following are the most common ways individuals in Columbia are injured in car accidents:

    Rear-End Accidents

    A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle hits another that is either stationary or moving slowly in front of them. These types of collisions usually happen at low speeds, but they can still cause significant damage and injuries to those involved. Typically, the driver who hits the vehicle from behind is considered at fault since they should be able to see the other car if they are paying attention. However, there are instances where the driver in front can be responsible for the accident, especially if they are driving aggressively and brake-checking the car behind them.

    Head-On Accidents

    Collisions that happen when two vehicles collide head-on while traveling in opposite directions can be extremely dangerous, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities. These types of accidents usually transpire when one driver fails to yield the right of way at an intersection or when a driver crosses into another lane without first checking for oncoming traffic.

    Sideswipe Accidents

    A sideswipe accident is another common type of accident that happens when two cars collide side-by-side. This type of accident is usually caused by distracted driving or when drivers suddenly stop to avoid hitting an obstacle in their path. The damage is typically minor if the cars involved are not traveling too fast. However, the damage can be significant if both cars are traveling at high speeds. These cases can be challenging as the case typically comes down to one driver’s word against the other.

    T-Bone Accidents

    T-bone collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle at an intersection or curve in the road. This type of accident is extremely hazardous as it involves two types of impact: frontal and lateral. Due to the high speeds usually involved in such collisions and the limited room for evasion by the drivers, they often result in severe injuries.

    Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Car Accident in Columbia, SC

    Car accidents can be complicated, and it is not always clear who is responsible for the damages. If you are involved in a two-car accident, you might sue the driver who hit you. However, if multiple drivers contributed to the accident, you might need to sue all of them. Vehicle owners could also be held liable if they let careless drivers use their cars. Our goal is to help you navigate these legal matters and make sure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

    If you were involved in an accident with a commercial driver, their employer could be held responsible under respondeat superior. This means employers can be held accountable for their employee’s negligence if the accident happened while they were working. If a commercial driver hurt you while they were working, you can usually sue the driver and their employer, even if the employer was not directly involved in the accident.

    If you were injured while using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, the company might share some responsibility, but it is usually not possible to sue these companies. Their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. However, you can still sue the driver who caused the accident. In most cases, rideshare companies and their drivers have higher insurance limits, which can help cover your expenses.

    In rare cases, a flaw in your car’s design or manufacturing might have caused your injuries. If that is the case, the manufacturer or designer can be held responsible for the defective part that caused the accident. If your accident was caused by the negligence of a government agency, such as a city or state agency, they could also be held accountable. However, there are usually additional steps you need to take before you can file a lawsuit against a government agency, and we are here to help you through that process.

    Common Causes of Car Accidents in Columbia, SC

    Car accidents can happen for many different reasons. No matter what caused your injury, if it was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. Below are some common causes of car accidents in Columbia:

    Speeding

    In Columbia, car accidents frequently occur due to excessive speeding. This is why speed limits are implemented – to ensure that drivers follow safe speeds on most roads and highways. When drivers surpass these limits, they might face difficulties in controlling their vehicles, particularly on curves and hills where it is crucial to slow down. Speeding also increases the distance required to stop, which can pose a significant danger if there is a sudden need to stop for another vehicle or pedestrian.

    Traffic Violations

    In Columbia, a major cause of car accidents is drivers’ violation of traffic laws. These violations often result in severe injuries, including running red lights, not giving way, and ignoring stop signs or traffic signals. Every driver must ensure they follow traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs and obeying traffic signals. Failure to do so can result in accidents, particularly at intersections where drivers often fail to notice or respect traffic signals.

    Distracted Driving

    Recovering compensation for car accidents caused by distracted driving is a significant concern that our team can assist you with. When drivers become distracted by their cell phones or other technology, their reaction times slow down, resulting in less vehicle control on the road. This significantly increases the chances of colliding with another car or hitting an obstacle, such as pedestrians crossing the road or road construction. These types of accidents can be catastrophic because a distracted driver might not have enough time to prevent a collision.

    Illegal Lane Changes

    Car accidents are frequently caused by drivers who act negligently and make illegal lane changes. They fail to use their turn signals or keep a lookout for other drivers, resulting in sudden lane changes without warning or checking their mirrors. Such reckless behavior can lead to severe accidents, including head-on collisions if the other driver is forced into oncoming traffic.

    Tailgating

    Rear-end collisions caused by tailgating are a common occurrence in Columbia. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being tailgated, it is important not to speed up in an attempt to get away from the driver behind you. Instead, gradually reduce your speed until there is a safe distance between you and the tailgater before coming to a complete stop. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by someone’s negligence in following too closely, you might have the legal right to pursue a lawsuit against them.

    Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI)

    Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Columbia increases the risk of being involved in car accidents. As a popular beach destination, many people come to enjoy themselves, but some choose to drive after drinking irresponsibly. Driving while intoxicated impairs a driver’s reaction times and judgment, leading to dangerous behavior such as swerving between lanes or disregarding traffic signals. It is important to note that driving under the influence is not limited to alcohol, as drug use can also impair a driver’s reaction time and judgment to the same degree as excessive alcohol consumption.

    Time Limit to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Columbia, SC

    In Columbia, the law sets a specific period within which a legal case can be filed after an accident – it is three years from the date of the accident and is outlined in S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530. However, it is highly recommended that you refer your client’s case as early as possible, even though you have a three-year timeframe. Delays that are unnecessary or unexpected can have a significant impact on the case and the ability to file against the party responsible for the negligence. You will be cut off from recovering compensation if your case is not filed before the deadline.

    Our Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

    Call our car accident lawyers at Burriss & Ridgeway today at (803) 855-1040 for a free case assessment.