Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of accidents in South Carolina. In most cases, the driver at fault is the one in the rear vehicle, but certain exceptions do apply. In any case, identifying who was responsible is an important part of your financial recovery.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should always call 911 and take pictures and video of the scene of the accident. You may also talk to other parties and witnesses before leaving the scene, at which point you should seek medical evaluation immediately.
Once you have had your injuries evaluated and treated, reach out to one of the dedicated South Carolina rear-end car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers to get your free first-time case evaluation. Call us at (803) 451-4000 to learn more today.
Proving Fault for a Rear-End Car Accident in South Carolina
No two car accidents are exactly the same. However, there are some common factors in every collision that can indicate who was at fault. This is particularly important in at-fault car insurance states like South Carolina, where the party that was responsible for causing the accident is always the one that is responsible for compensating the other parties for their harms.
In the vast majority of rear-end collisions, one party is more than likely at fault: the driver of the rear vehicle. This is because the law places significant responsibility on drivers to take reasonable measures to avoid accidents with vehicles ahead of them.
The most important of these measures is leaving enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. By leaving a reasonable gap between vehicles, drivers provide themselves with the time and space to slow down or stop when necessary. However, many drivers fail to do this or even purposely drive up close to the car in front of them when frustrated by the pace of traffic. Tailgating like this is a leading cause of rear-end collisions not just in South Carolina but the country as a whole.
There are exceptions to the general rule that the rear driver is at fault in a rear-end collision. Drivers are expected to pay attention to the behavior of vehicles in front of them to avoid collisions, but when they are not provided enough warning to act, they cannot always be expected to avoid the accident. Behaviors like stopping short and failing to use turn signals may point blame in the direction of the driver in the front car.
For this reason, determining fault in a rear-end collision may not be straightforward. This is particularly true in cases of multi-vehicle accidents, or collisions involving three or more vehicles. The seasoned eye of a South Carolina rear-end accident attorney will be invaluable in determining who should be responsible for compensating you after a rear-end collision involving multiple parties.
What to Do After a Rear End Car Accident in South Carolina
To help you take the steps necessary to help you in your physical and financial recovery after a collision, our South Carolina rear-end car accident attorneys have provided the following helpful list of steps you should take in the period immediately following your collision.
No matter what the circumstances of your accident may be, you should always call the authorities at the scene of any collision. This is important not just to protect your immediate safety but also to secure compensation later. The law enforcement officers called to the scene will file an official car accident report that will be vital to you when dealing with insurance representatives or preparing your legal filings.
You can also act yourself to secure evidence that can help you down the road. The best way to do this is to take out your phone and document the positions of the vehicles, damage to the vehicles, the location of the accident, and any tire tracks left on the road or damage to guard rails. Some of this evidence will disappear after you leave, so it can only help to preserve it through photos and video.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
Another source of evidence that you can gather at the scene of the accident is witness testimony. Anyone who saw what happened that caused the accident can provide critical detail that you can use to recover compensation. It is incredibly difficult to track down eyewitnesses after you leave the scene, so do your best to get contact information from as many willing passersby as possible before you leave the scene.
Get Medical Attention
Once you leave the scene of the accident, you should go directly to your nearest emergency room or urgent care facility. This applies even if you believe you escaped the accident uninjured or if you think you can tough it out. Some conditions may not present themselves until much later or appear less serious early on. These are the issues that may cause real problems down the line, especially if they remain untreated for a significant period. But getting medical care early on also creates a medical record that establishes the direct connection between your accident and your injuries.
South Carolina Statute of Limitations for a Rear-End Car Accident
Once you have received medical attention for your injuries, we urge you to reach out to a seasoned South Carolina rear-end car accident attorney to get started on the legal process of your recovery. Under South Carolina’s statute of limitations, potential plaintiffs only have three years from the date of their collision to file their lawsuit.
Missing the deadline in your case will mean the loss of your ability to recover compensation. It may take a substantial amount of time to prepare everything necessary to file a winning suit, so it is important that you act quickly to give yourself the best chance of success.
Get Legal Help from Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers in South Carolina Today
When you call our experienced South Carolina rear-end accident attorneys today at (803) 451-4000, Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers will provide you with a free initial case evaluation.