Car accidents are not uncommon, but they can be terrifying and devastating, especially without a seasoned car accident lawyer on your side. While some people walk away unscathed, others sustain severe injuries and losses that have lifelong consequences.
Most of these accidents are preventable, as reckless driving and distracted driving are the primary causes.
When someone experiences an injury or property damage due to an accident caused by a third party, South Carolina law stipulates that they may be eligible for compensation. However, navigating the nuances of personal injury is not for the average person, and that’s where a reputable legal representative comes into the picture.
Proving liability and damages owed during a time of pain is challenging and may end in undesirable results if you go about it on your own. A car accident lawyer will assess your case and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
In the state of South Carolina, you must prove negligence in order to be awarded damages. This is an intricate process that requires the right paperwork and solid evidence in order to be deemed eligible for compensation. In a time when you should be focusing on treatment and recovery, it is advisable to let the right lawyer do the heavy lifting.
A competent and reliable attorney can help in various ways, including:
Investigating the Accident
In order to be awarded damages for medical bills, damaged property and other expenses, you will require evidence. To be specific, you need evidence that shows the other party was negligent and responsible for the accident that caused injuries and losses.
A reliable car accident attorney in Bluffton can work with the relevant parties to acquire camera footage, collect testimony from witnesses, analyze car damage and get the police report. Once they have all the necessary statements and documents, they will compile them in a claim that holds the party at fault liable.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Another important reason to get legal representation is to handle insurance providers. These companies are notorious for attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting victims by looking for ways to deny claims or by offering them lowball settlements.
By handling the insurance companies on your own, chances are they will try every trick in the book and even delay the claim process to make you even more desperate. A seasoned auto accident lawyer knows how to handle stubborn insurance adjusters and will help recover the settlement amount you deserve.
Without extensive knowledge of personal injury law, it can be difficult to tell exactly which damages you’re eligible for. A seasoned car accident lawyer can assess the accident’s effect on every aspect of your life to determine which damages should be awarded. In South Carolina, some of the recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses: These entail the cost involving treatment and rehabilitation as a result of the injury. Examples are doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medical procedures, medication, and assistive equipment like wheelchairs or hospital beds.
- Property damage: This entails damage to the vehicle or other property as a result of the accident. If something is damaged and needs repairs or replacement, the expense will be included in the settlement.
- Lost wages: These are damages designed to compensate for the lost wages as a result of being unable to work due to the injury.
- Reduced earning capacity: Some injuries can leave you in a position where you are unable to work like before. This also calls for compensation.
- Pain and suffering: The pain resulting from an auto accident can be excruciating and prevent you from participating in your daily tasks and pleasures. As such, you may be eligible for these damages.
Most car accident cases end in the negotiation stage as all parties involved don’t like the expensive and time-consuming process of trial. In some situations, however, you may fail to come to an agreement with the insurance company, and the only viable option is to take the matter to court.
An auto accident attorney can help create a solid case and handle the difficult process of dealing with the other party in court. They will present the evidence they have collected, bring witnesses to the stand and make a well-made argument as to why you need to be compensated.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
In Bluffton, SC, very few lawyers charge a retainer or hourly fee for personal injury cases. Instead, most of them work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. As the term says, they are contingent on whether you win the case or not.
This is beneficial for you as you do not have to pay anything out of pocket and will only have to make a payment if you receive compensation. Typically, car accident lawyers will ask for a percent cut of the monetary award, which is agreed upon prior to pursuing the case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
South Carolina has strict deadlines in regard to filing car accident claims. According to According to S.C. Ann §15-3-530, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If the deadline passes, you have no legal grounds to file a lawsuit and may lose your chance to secure a financial settlement.
Most individuals tend to think that this is more than enough time and instead focus on treatment and recovery. However, delaying increases the chances of having a weak case. The other party may claim that your injury was not severe or was pre-existing, and waiting only gives them time to create other tactics that may work against you.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Being involved in a car accident can upend your life, especially if you sustain severe injuries. However, you do not have to suffer the financial hardship that follows due to the fault of another party. With the right car accident lawyer, you can ensure you get justice and the compensation you deserve.
At McDougall Law Firm, we have a team dedicated to helping victims of careless driving recover damages. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so don’t hesitate to call us at 843-438-4386 and get the best representation in Bluffton.