If you were injured in a car accident in South Carolina, you probably have a million things on your mind. One of those issues might be your concern over your legal options for recovering compensation if another driver negligently or recklessly caused the accident. It’s reasonable that you might be wondering when the right time to call an attorney would be.
Generally, it is never too early to speak with a Columbia car accident attorney about your potential lawsuit. Your first priority should be your health, so you should be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident. Once you have received treatment, your lawyer can help you with a number of issues, such as gathering information, communicating with insurance representatives, and filing your lawsuit. You likely only have three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit, and preparing your case takes time, so you should act quickly to give yourself the best chance of success.
Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys are ready and willing to help you. If you were injured in an accident, Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers can help put you on the path to financial recovery. To schedule your first appointment today, call our offices at (803) 451-4000.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in South Carolina?
If you were injured in a car accident in South Carolina, you should absolutely speak to a South Carolina car accident lawyer. However, immediately after the accident, you may have more pressing concerns. Below is a summary of the steps you should take before you speak to your lawyer. After completing these steps, calling a lawyer should be the next thing you do.
Get to Safety
Your first step after a car accident should be to make sure that everyone (including yourself) is safe from any immediate danger. If possible, move your car over to the side of the road so that it is out of the way of other traffic. Make sure that your hazards are on and, if you have flares available, deploy them to warn other drivers about the accident.
Get Contact and Insurance Information
Once you and the others involved are safe, your primary job is to gather information. You should get contact and insurance information from the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. You should also try to get contact information for any potential eyewitnesses to the accident. Be sure to take pictures and video of the crash site, including the damage to the cars and any physical imprint left on the area such as tire tracks or impacts to guardrails.
Your first call should be to 911. If someone is severely injured and requires immediate treatment, you should request an ambulance, but you should also make sure that a police officer is dispatched to the scene. The officer can write up an official accident report which will be important down the line.
Get Medical Treatment
Once the issues at the scene of the accident are resolved, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many injuries that you may sustain in a car accident can linger under the surface. Without proper medical assessment, you may not know that you are injured, causing your condition to worsen if left untreated. Putting off medical treatment can open the door for the responsible party to suggest that your injuries occurred after the accident. The sooner you seek medical attention, the sooner you will receive a diagnosis and an estimate of costs, which is what will allow you to recover compensation for your injuries. It will be difficult for your lawyer to estimate the value of your claim without thorough medical records.
Call a Lawyer
Once you have been evaluated and begun treatment for your injuries, it is time to call a Columbia, SC personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options for recovery. You can recover for the harms you have sustained as a result of the responsible party’s negligence, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence, estimate the value of your case, and file it properly and timely with the appropriate court clerk.
How Long You Have to Call a Lawyer After a South Carolina Car Crash
The law of the State of South Carolina puts a time limit on a car accident injury victim’s decision to file their potential claim. The statute of limitations in South Carolina for car accident injury civil claims runs for three years from the date the injuries were sustained. In other words, you have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit with the clerk of the appropriate county court. That means you will need to call a lawyer well before that.
If you miss the three-year deadline imposed by state law, the court will likely have no choice but to throw out your case before you even have a chance to make your argument. For this reason, it is critical that you act quickly and speak to a South Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Certain exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist. For instance, if the car accident injury victim was a minor at the time of the accident or had a preexisting mental condition, they are considered to have a “legal disability” under South Carolina law. Once the “period of disability” ends (for minors, that means their 18th birthday), the victim will have one year to file their civil lawsuit. If the defendant leaves South Carolina and remains outside the state for at least one year during the available filing period, that time will not be counted towards the time limit.
Our South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Today
Are you overwhelmed by the consequences of a car accident that was not your fault? Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers may be able to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us to schedule your initial consultation at (803) 451-4000.