When you drive a car, you are often left to trust in the safety of the other drivers around you. When other drivers make mistakes on the road, they can cause accidents that leave you with serious injuries and other damages. These damages can be quite expensive, and you should speak with a Sumter, SC car accident attorney for help after any car accident case involving injuries.
Your attorney can help analyze your case and calculate how much your case is worth. Your lawyer can also help you understand whether your case can be filed through insurance or whether a lawsuit would be better to get you the damages you need. From there, we can fight to represent you and advocate on your behalf, working toward full payment for your injuries.
For help with a car accident claim, reach out to the Sumter, SC car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers. Call (803) 451-4000 to get started with a free case review today.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident in Sumter, SC
Many people want to resolve the question of fault in their car accident case. Drivers worry that they might have been at fault for their crash, and they worry that anything they say could be used against them as evidence of fault. In reality, fault in a car accident case is determined by laws and facts, and many victims can still get compensation even if they might have shared some degree of blame.
Being cautious about what you say after a car accident is important. Our Sumter car accident lawyers can advise you on what to say before you speak with insurance companies, as many statements will be interpreted as admissions of fault. While insurance companies might use these statements however they want, potentially interpreting them as grounds to deny a claim, that might not work in court, where judges and juries look at all of the facts to determine fault.
However, it is also important to look at what the other driver says when determining fault because their admissions can also be used against them. Write down and try to remember anything the other driver says because it can be used later to help prove fault. Even statements like “I’m sorry” or “I can’t believe I did that” can be used.
Beyond admissions, courts look to the rules of the road and how the accident happened to determine fault. If either driver committed a traffic violation, that is usually good evidence that they were at fault for the crash. If the other driver was speeding, ran a red light, tailgated you, or even turned without a turn signal, that information can help prove that they were at fault for the crash. Suppose they committed some unreasonable act or did something else unsafe behind the wheel that was not specifically a traffic violation. In that case, that could also be used as evidence that they breached their duty to drive in a reasonable manner.
Courts can also assign partial fault to multiple drivers. If you were in a multi-car crash, multiple drivers can each be held liable for the portion of fault they shared in causing the crash. In many cases, this means accounting for the victim’s fault as well.
Even if you were not perfect, you could still be entitled to compensation. Your Sumter car accident lawyers will work to argue against claims that you shared fault in causing your crash and try to redirect all blame toward the other drivers. However, if the court does find that something like a distraction or slight speeding violation on your part contributed to the crash, they can make you accountable for a portion of your own damages.
In South Carolina, the law allows any victim to recover damages as long as they were not more than 50% at fault for the accident. If the defendant shared some portion of the damages, they might miss out on full damages. However, courts can still order at-fault drivers to pay their fair share of the damages to the victim.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Sumter, SC
The most common outcome in a car accident is vehicle damage only (i.e., no injuries). These cases can often be handled through insurance, and whoever is at fault will have their insurance pay to repair all damaged vehicles. Any injury case should be treated much more seriously. Even though some of the most common injuries are minor ones, you should always speak with a Sumter car accident lawyer about your car accident injury case.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
As mentioned, many car accident injuries are minor. However, a high number of small injuries from cuts, scrapes, and bruises can still result in an overall expensive medical bill or redressable pain and suffering. Severe cuts and lacerations, intense road rash injuries, and substantial bruising and hematomas can be much more severe and result in higher compensation.
Damage to the tendons, muscles, and other tissue in the neck is commonly called whiplash because of the head’s back and forth “whipping” motion. This injury is quite common in car accidents, especially rear-end accidents. Whiplash injuries can ultimately result in long-term pain, lost time at work, and even permanent injuries, so always speak with a Sumter car accident lawyer about whiplash injuries.
Swerving and Changing Lanes
Sometimes, drivers become so frustrated with the pace of traffic that they decide the best way to get moving is to shift lanes back and forth erratically. This reckless behavior is often accompanied by the failure to use turn signals or check blind spots before making the lane shift. Even worse, these situations often occur in high traffic areas, meaning that more than two cars may be involved in the accident. Using a Sumter car accident lawyer is particularly helpful when trying to determine the cause of a multi-car accident.
Broken arms, legs, ribs, hips, and collarbones are all common after car accidents. Even skull and spinal fractures are not uncommon, potentially leading to life-long disabilities. Talk to a Sumter car accident attorney if you or a loved one suffered any severe breaks or fractures.
Common Injuries Sustained in Sumter, SC Car Accidents
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 Sumter, SC 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 Sumter, SC car accident lawyer about the potential damages that you may be able to recover for such an injury.
Traumatic Brain 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.
For Help with a Car Accident in Sumter, Call Us Today
The Sumter car accident lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers represent injured car accident victims and fight to get them the compensation they deserve. For a free case evaluation, call us today at (803) 451-4000.