Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of accidents on the roads of South Carolina. However, the reality is that most injury victims do not know how best to get the money that they are owed from the side that caused the accident. One potential path to recovery is a lawsuit, but another is a settlement.
By settling your lawsuit, you give up the right to pursue legal action in exchange for money. You should take the time to ensure that the amount of money you receive is fair in light of your harms. The best and only way to do this is to work with a dedicated South Carolina car accident lawyer.
When you call (803) 451-4000, you can get a free initial case evaluation from the dedicated South Carolina car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today.
How Do Settlements Work for Rear-End Collisions in South Carolina?
If you are involved in an accident in South Carolina and another driver is to blame, you may pursue compensation from the other driver and their insurance provider. This is typically done through legal action. However, not every case makes it all the way to a court verdict. Many claims are resolved outside the courtroom through settlement.
A settlement is an agreement between someone with a valid personal injury claim and the party against which the claim is. When a settlement is reached, the injury victim receives a certain amount of compensation in exchange for waiving their right to pursue their claim in court.
Settlements can be helpful tools to avoid costly litigation and guarantee that the victim receives compensation for their claim sooner than they might if they had to wait for a case to reach a verdict. However, anyone evaluating a settlement offer from an insurance company must do so carefully or risk leaving a substantial amount of money on the table.
How Much is Fair for a Rear-End Collision Settlement in South Carolina
There is no standard for how much a settlement offer for any type of auto accident will or should be. Each collision is different and impacts the injured victims in unique ways. These and other factors are included in the determination of fair value for a settlement. Therefore, it is too difficult to predict a fair settlement offer for a given rear-end collision without careful consideration of the specific circumstances.
Insurance companies are large enough that they typically use a formula to determine what they should offer. Most formulas will take the total potential economic damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other monetary costs related to the injuries). This number is then multiplied based on the severity of the accident and resulting injuries.
For example, a rear-end accident that results in whiplash that will resolve in six months with physical therapy might earn a multiplier of around two. Conversely, an accident that results in a spinal fracture that may affect the victim indefinitely might receive a multiplier of four or even five.
The formulas that these insurance companies use are more complicated than this, or they may use different formulas altogether. Still, by using this framework, your South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you determine just how much the insurance company believes you are willing to leave on the table.
What Should You Expect from a Settlement Offer After a Rear-End Collision in South Carolina?
While no two settlements are the same, there is one consistent factor across all settlement negotiations that you should bear in mind. In almost every case, the insurance company making the initial settlement offer will come in at a number that is substantially lower than what you stand to recover in court.
In coming to this figure, the insurance company is factoring in the cost of litigation, the time the victim would have to wait until their case is resolved in court, and the victims’ general anxiety about pursuing a legal claim with the possibility that the case does not go their way. The number may be even lower if the insurance representatives believe that the victim has not yet gotten legal representation.
This is why you should always be careful about taking the insurance company’s initial assessment of the value of your claim as fact. To fully evaluate the settlement proposal that you are considering, we urge you to contact your experienced Columbia car accident attorney.
Is There a Deadline for Accepting a Settlement Offer for a Rear-End Collision in South Carolina?
Many people end up getting less from their settlement than they deserve because they believe they are obligated to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer. This is far from the truth. You are free to reject, counter, and negotiate your settlement agreement, even after you have filed your formal lawsuit.
Victims and insurance companies may reach settlement throughout the pre-trial and even the trial process, right up until the court renders a decision on their case. In fact, the further into the legal process the negotiations go, the higher the settlement value tends to climb.
The only deadline that you should worry about in your case is the statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit within South Carolina’s three-year statutory window from the date of the accident, you will likely lose your chance to recover through a court case or settlement. Insurance companies know this and may attempt to drag their feet through the negotiations process. If you suspect that this may be happening in your case, you and your Lexington car accident lawyer should work quickly to get your filings prepared and filed to preserve your claim.
Discuss Your Settlement Offer After a Rear-End Collision in South Carolina with Burriss Ridgway Injury Lawyers
To find out what your case may be worth and how to get it, reach out to the seasoned Sumter car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgway Injury Lawyers by calling (803) 451-4000 for your free initial case evaluation today.