A driver of a GMC pickup truck was killed when he was ejected from his seat. The driver was making a left-hand turn when he ran off the side of the road, which caused his car to flip. This car accident caused the man to die at the scene. The state troopers determined that he was not wearing his seatbelt when he was ejected from the car. It has yet to be announced whether it was excessive driving on his part that caused the pickup truck to flip or a faulty brake or some other defect in the car.
According to the South Carolina Tortfeasors Act, if the man’s family were to seek damages for his wrongful death, loss of companionship, pain, suffering, or loss of enjoyment the family will need to be able to prove that the fact that the man was not wearing a seatbelt had little to do with contributing to his death. For instance, the family would need to prove that it was the fact that the car flipped that the man ended up passing away. If it was determined that GMC’s fault was no greater than 50 percent then it would only be liable for the percentage of the indivisible damages.
This falls under the theory of comparative negligence, which provides that injured plaintiffs may recover compensation for their damages minus their own level of fault. Using an example, if GMC was deemed 60 percent liable and the remaining 40 percent fell on the driver, the driver (or his or her representative) could recover full compensation minus that same 40 percent.
If it is determined that an insurance company must pay any claims for a car accident, then the laws in South Carolina state that it must be done in a reasonable and prompt period of time. Although prompt and reasonable is a measure it can vary from claim to claim. If this case requires an extensive investigation into what made the car flip, whether it was the fact that the motorist was driving too fast or that the car had a design flaw, then there could be an extended investigation. Things that normally slow a claim down include whether there were numerous cars involved or the presence of inclement weather, among others. If this is the case, it is important to have an attorney who has worked with insurance companies to ensure that this reasonable amount of time does not become unreasonable.
Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?
Even when a person does not wear a seatbelt, it is a reasonable assumption that a car will not flip over from turning onto a highway. Greenville attorney Dan Pruitt has worked with many families that have lost loved ones in car accidents where the accident was not fully the person’s fault. During these cases, especially those that turn deadly, it is essential to have a personal injury attorney who can work with on your behalf to ensure that you are receiving the all of the benefit that your family deserves under the law. We are standing by to answer your call and listen and to assist you with your injury case or wrongful death case. Contact us at 864-280-7660 so set up your free initial consultation today.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.