Simply put, driving in South Carolina is dangerous, no matter how careful you are. That is because drivers entrust their lives and well-being to other drivers every day when they get behind the wheel. If another driver failed to act responsibly and caused an accident that left you injured, you can pursue just compensation through a lawsuit.
If you are involved in an accident, be sure to call 911 for a police report and visit an emergency room as soon as you leave the scene. Your medical care providers will look for symptoms of common car accident injuries, such as broken bones, whiplash, and brain injuries. Once you receive your diagnosis, you should discuss your legal options with your attorney as soon as possible, because the clock has already started to run out on your ability to file your case.
At Burriss & Ridgeway, we recognize how scary and difficult life can be in the aftermath of a serious car accident. Our goal is to provide you with the information and resources necessary to secure compensation that will allow you to rehabilitate comfortably. To hear more or to schedule your first appointment, call us at (803) 451-4000.
Knowing how to behave immediately after the shock of a vehicle collision can be difficult. Hopefully, by identifying a few key steps, you can help yourself stay safe and preserve the best possible opportunity to win compensation through a South Carolina car accident injury lawsuit.
You should have an official police accident report for every crash, regardless of what the other driver may try to say. You can have the dispatcher also send an ambulance to the scene to deal with any serious injuries to other drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. If the other driver attempts to leave the scene, provide the dispatcher with a description of the driver, their vehicle, your location, and as much of their license plate number as possible.
Limiting the amount of time between the accident and your medical treatment not only benefits your own personal health, but it also reduces the possibility of the defendant in your lawsuit arguing that you sustained your injuries elsewhere. Even if you believe that you are uninjured or that your condition is not serious, you should still visit an emergency room. Certain conditions, such as those listed below, may go undetected and worsen over time. We urge you to put your health first above all other priorities.
Once you have been thoroughly treated for your injuries and have received a prognosis, waste no time in contacting an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney. The sooner you act, the sooner you stand to receive the compensation that you need and deserve.
South Carolina uses “at-fault” insurance rules. This means that the victims of a car accident should seek compensation from the insurer of the driver who caused the crash. This is why it is so important to identify the cause of the accident. The at-fault driver may have behaved negligently, recklessly, or intentionally behind the wheel, particularly in any of the following situations
In almost every rear-end collision case, the driver of the rear vehicle is found to be at fault. This is because drivers are legally obligated to leave a safe amount of room between their vehicle and the one ahead of them. This gap allows for a gradual and controlled stop if the traffic pattern changes. Otherwise, the rear driver may not have enough time to react, thereby causing the accident.
Car accidents, no matter the circumstances, pose a number of risks to everyone involved. Below are some of the most common conditions resulting from car accidents that are compensable through a South Carolina lawsuit.
You may already be aware of the condition known as whiplash, as it is a well-established consequence of car accidents that provides grounds for financial recovery in lawsuits. Whiplash is a real and harmful straining of the neck muscles that can make a person’s day-to-day functioning difficult or even impossible. Whiplash may worsen over time, so it is important that it is treated early.
Simply put, the human body was not built to sustain the force exerted by a vehicular collision. While safety features in vehicles have taken great strides in recent years, you are still likely to suffer fractures of the bones in your hands, arms, ribs, collarbone, and face if you are involved in an accident. Some fractures may be so severe that they permanently hinder your ability to use that part of your body. Talk to your South Carolina car accident lawyer about the potential damages that you may be able to recover for such an injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) happen when forceful contact is made between the brain and the skull, causing bruising, swelling, or bleeding. Despite what you may have heard, TBIs such as concussions can be sustained without any direct contact to the head. These conditions are difficult to identify on your own, so we strongly recommend that you seek medical attention before they are allowed to exacerbate.
As we have mentioned already, getting a thorough medical evaluation and treatment after an accident is critical, not only for your own health but also for your later recovery efforts through a lawsuit. What many are unclear about is where they should go to get that care.
In all cases, the best option for your immediate care is your nearest hospital emergency room. Emergency rooms are open at all hours of the day and night and have the broadest capabilities for tending to car accident injuries. If your injuries are severe and immediate, hospital staff are obligated to treat you even if you do not have health insurance.
You may also choose to visit an urgent care facility. Not every urgent care provider operates at all hours, like emergency rooms, but they do accept walk-in patients, so you do not have to wait for an appointment. Urgent care facilities can treat many common injuries, but for conditions that are severe enough or require surgery, the urgent care physician may just send you to the nearest hospital.
Many car accident injury victims prefer to see their primary care physician with whom they have a relationship. However, we would caution against this route for a few reasons. It may take some time to find an opening to make an appointment with a primary care doctor, during which time your condition could worsen. Additionally, many primary care doctor’s offices will not treat car accident injuries as they cannot accept payment through auto insurance providers.
After your initial treatment, your injuries may require the attention and treatment of a specialist in that particular area. The specialist can be helpful not just in your physical recovery, but in your monetary recovery as well. If you need specialized medical care, our South Carolina car accident attorneys can locate a professional that can treat you and also testify on your behalf.
When a plaintiff successfully brings a lawsuit for car accident injuries in South Carolina, they win compensation from their case that is based on the harms they suffered as a result of the defendant’s behavior. These harms are both economic and non-economic in nature.
Economic damages are the costs you can calculate by tallying up receipts and bills for necessities such as medical expenses. They will also include compensation for lost income, which will likely affect a victim whose injuries prevent them from meeting the requirements of their occupation.
Non-economic damages are the more personal costs of the pain and suffering that a car accident victim will experience. Both the traumatic experience of the car accident and the hardship that the resulting injuries cause are grounds for noneconomic damages.
You should also be aware that a South Carolina court may decide to award a third type of damages, known as punitive damages, if the defendant’s particularly reckless or intentional conduct warrants additional punishment.
It is too difficult to predict what your case may be worth without a thorough accounting of the details surrounding the accident and your injuries. Share your story with a dedicated South Carolina car accident lawyer to get a better picture of what your case may be worth.
If you want to recover for injuries sustained in a car accident, you must begin your lawsuit within the legally allotted time frame. In South Carolina, that time frame is only three years. The clock begins to run on the date of the accident. In other words, if you do not file within three years of your accident, you will be unable to succeed in your case. There are some exceptions, such as where a government body is a named defendant in the lawsuit, that accelerate the timeline even further, so do not waste any time in calling the South Carolina car accident lawyers at Burriss & Ridgeway.
Looking for help evaluating your legal options for recovery after a serious South Carolina car accident? The experienced South Carolina car accident lawyers at Burriss & Ridgeway may be able to help. To find out more, give us a call at (803) 451-4000.
Our Caring Attorneys in Columbia, SC are here to help.