Timeline for a Car Accident Lawsuit in South Carolina
From the time of your accident until you reach a verdict in court, the timeline of a South Carolina car accident injury lawsuit follows a particular path. While the facts of each case are different, the process is the same, so you should be aware of it if you believe you may have a valid claim.
At the scene of the accident, the police officer will compile information that they will then use to file an official report that is filed with the insurance company. If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay all the damages that you are owed, you can file a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident. Once you file your complaint, the discovery period starts, and you and your lawyers will collect evidence about how the accident occurred and the damage that it caused.
Whether you are considering filing a lawsuit, facing an upcoming court date, or evaluating a settlement offer from the other side’s insurance company, you can benefit from the seasoned eye of one of the dedicated South Carolina car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers. Call us today to get started at (803) 451-4000.
What Is the Investigation Process in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Whenever a car accident causes death, injury, or at least a certain amount of property damage, the police officer at the scene is required by law to collect information about the accident and submit it in an official car accident report.
The police accident report will have information about the parties involved in the crash such as their names, license information, insurance providers, policy numbers, and contact information. The report will also contain a depiction of the scene of the accident, how it occurred, and the consequences to both the drivers, their vehicles, and any other passengers or pedestrians in the vicinity.
A police accident report is a critical piece of information for filing an insurance claim. Your Columbia car accident lawyer can also use it as a starting point for preparing your lawsuit. Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers can help you get an official copy of the police report for your car accident so that you can start the process of getting justice now.
In some of these rear-end cases, the front driver could share some blame – but it comes down to the specific circumstances that might make them partly at fault. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers can help you determine who’s to blame in crashes like these.
How Is Evidence Collected in a South Carolina Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you file a lawsuit and the defendant answers it, the South Carolina court that receives your complaint will set a date when the trial is set to begin. They will also indicate when the period known as “discovery” begins.
Discovery is the pre-trial period that takes up most of the time of any court case. This is the set time when both sides can gather evidence that they will use to make their arguments in court. This evidence will include information like what is contained on the police report, but it will also draw from other sources as well. Many of these sources will be records, such as photos and videos at the scene, invoices for hospital services, or quotes for auto repairs.
Perhaps the most important evidence that is collected and prepared during discovery is witness testimony. There are two general types of witnesses used in a car accident injury lawsuit in South Carolina: eyewitnesses and expert witnesses. Eyewitnesses are those individuals who witnessed the accident happen and can attest to how it occurred and who caused it. Expert witnesses can be used to explain more particular areas about which a jury might not be aware, such as how a vehicle’s excessive speed might have made a collision worse, or how much additional care an injury victim would require for their injuries in the future (and what that might cost).
At Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers have years of experience preparing documentary evidence and conducting depositions on key witnesses to help our clients recover. We strongly recommend that you use our services during the critical discovery period of your case.
What if the Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement?
South Carolina is an “at-fault” state, which means that the party that was at fault for causing the accident (or their insurer) is responsible for paying for your damages. Once the other side’s insurance provider hears about the accident, chances are that they will reach out to you with a settlement offer. If you agree to the settlement offer, you give up your right to pursue your claim further in court in exchange for a certain amount of compensation money.
Should I Take the Settlement Offer?
Settlement offers can be a useful tool for injury victims who want to see their recovery money sooner rather than later and avoid a trying and costly court case. However, that does not mean that you should jump on your first opportunity to settle. If you have a valid case, the first offer that you receive will likely be the lowest one you ever get. It can be worth it to have your Columbia personal injury attorney negotiate the terms of your settlement to make sure that you are being treated fairly.
What Is a Good Settlement Offer in a South Carolina Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you receive a settlement offer, the first thing you will want to do is go online and compare it to what others got in their settlement offer. The reality, however, is that every case is different, and requires specific and subjective evaluation of the cause of the accident, the injuries, and their effects on the victim’s personal, financial, and emotional well-being. We strongly suggest that you discuss the terms of your settlement offer with your Lexington car accident lawyer before you sign anything.
Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help with Your Car Accident Lawsuit
Don’t wait around hoping that justice will happen for you. Get your justice today with the help of the South Carolina car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers. Call our offices to hear more at (803) 451-4000.