Cars have made our life much more simplified, but they have also created many dangers. It is important to be informed about how to prepare yourself for these dangers. Also, what to do if you find yourself in an accident.
If you were involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you deserve compensation. Dan Pruitt has extensive experience representing clients in South Carolina car accident cases. Find out how he can help you win your case.
Car Accident Statistics in South Carolina
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, an accident happens about every 4.9 minutes. Injury-related crashes happen every 17 minutes, and fatal crashes happen every 10 hours.
In all, about 30,000 South Carolina car accidents result in injury every year. Many of these injuries are quite serious and greatly reduce the quality of life. 800 of these annual accidents are deadly.
Car accidents are also costly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolinians pay out over $1 billion a year on car accident damages. The money covers property damage, medical expenses, and compensation for injuries.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many types of car accidents that can occur on the road. Here are some of the most common.
1. Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of collision. They occur when the driver in the car behind the other vehicle is speeding, tailgating, driving distracted, or driving drunk. They can also happen when the driver in front stops unexpectedly. Rear-end accidents are almost always the fault of the driver in the back.
2. Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents usually occur when drivers are getting over and fail to check their blindsides adequately. As a result, they end up crashing into the side of the vehicle next to them.
3. T Bone Accidents
T Bone accidents typically happen at intersections when one car turns and another car hits them. This could be because the car that’s turning does not have enough clearance to do so, or it could be because the car is going straight speeds to try to get ahead before the car can turn.
4. Head-on Collisions
Head-on collisions are rare, but they can be deadly. They are most common when a driver gets onto a freeway or one-way street going the wrong way. They can also happen when a car jumps the median on a road or freeway. They are often the result of drunk driving.
What are the Most Common Causes of a Car Accident?
Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including the following:
1. Driving Distracted
With people increasingly reliant on their devices, there has been a rise in distracted driving over the past few years. But people aren’t only distracted by electronics. They may be looking at the scenery, eating, or being involved in their thoughts, making it difficult for them to concentrate on the road.
2. Driving Impaired
Despite the many campaigns that raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving, many people still get into their cars intoxicated.
3. Driving Fatigued
Experts say driving fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving intoxicated.
4. Disobeying the Rules of the Road
Speeding and disobeying traffic signs and lights can cause accidents.
5. Debris in the Road
Debris can make drivers swerve or stop short, causing an accident. If a nearby construction site causes the debris, the city or a contractor may be liable for damages.
6. Bad Weather
Drivers must take extra precautions when there is poor visibility or when roads are slick.
7. Faulty Equipment
Accidents can be caused by faulty equipment. For instance, the brakes of a car may give out, resulting in a collision. In these instances, the car mechanic or manufacturer may be at fault for the accident.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
There are many types of injuries that result from car accidents, and some are quite severe in nature. Here are a few examples.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones are usually not very serious, but, in some instances, they can require surgery and lead to ongoing pain.
- TBI’s: Traumatic brain injuries can cause cognitive issues and lasting symptoms.
- Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when the impact of the accident causes the driver’s or passengers’ heads to go back and forth, injuring the neck. It is usually a temporary condition, but it can have lasting effects.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are dangerous and can result in paralysis.
- Amputation: If an extremity is severely injured in an accident, it may need to be amputated.
- Burns: If a car catches fire, drivers and passengers may get burned. Severe burns will require surgery and may lead to infection.
- Internal Organ Injury: Internal organ injuries are very serious and can even be fatal.
- Facial Injuries: Facial injuries can happen when the windshield smashes or if impact occurs in the facial area. They may require reconstructive surgery.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident Occurs?
There are steps you should take after a car accident occurs that can help you build a strong case. These are as follows:
- Take Pictures: If you are feeling well enough, use your camera to take pictures of the accident, making sure to capture all angles and signs of damage. These will serve as strong pieces of evidence in your case.
- Get Witness Contact Info: if anyone is around who saw the accident, get their contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf.
- Call the Police: It’s advisable to call the police no matter how dangerous the accident may be. Law enforcement will create a report that can be used as evidence.
- Get Medical Help: It’s essential to call for medical help, even if you don’t think your injuries are that bad. They may get worse over time. If you hold off on seeing a doctor, it will be difficult to prove that your injuries were tied to the accident. If you see a doctor right away, they will create a medical record proving your injuries were caused by the collision.
- Get Driver Information: Collect the insurance information and get the license plate numbers of all the drivers that were involved in the accident.
- Never Admit Guilt: It’s best to hold off on talking about the accident to the police, insurance companies, or anyone other than close friends or relatives until you’ve spoken to a lawyer. What you say could incriminate you.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Car Accident Claim?
After a car accident occurs, many people are reluctant to hire a lawyer to help them win their claim. They think it will result in extra time and money, and they may choose to just go through insurance.
This may be the way to go if you’re dealing with a relatively small claim, but if damages and injuries are severe, you’ll want a lawyer on your side.
Insurance companies are infamous for being stingy with their payouts. The amount they offer may seem like a lot, but once you apply it to all your expenses and losses, you’ll find you barely have enough to go around.
Providers can also take your words out of context, making it seem like you were at fault for the accident. In these instances, you may end up with no payout at all.
A lawyer will know exactly how much you should be getting for your accident, and they will negotiate with insurance companies to see to it that you get your fair share. Your attorney will also school you on what to say when talking to providers and see to it that your words aren’t taken out of context.
What Damages Can I Collect in a Car Accident Claim?
The damages you collect will vary depending on the extent of your injuries and your personal situation. Here are some you may be looking at…
1. Medical Expenses
These damages will cover medical expenses incurred directly after the accident as well as ongoing expenses that may cover things like prosthetics, in-home nursing, and wheelchair ramp installation.
2. Loss of Wages
Loss of wages will cover money lost for taking off work to recover from your injuries. It will also cover a loss of future earning potential. For example, if your injuries are so severe that you are unable to go back to work on a permanent basis or if they restrict you from performing the duties of your current job so you are forced to take a lower-paying position, these damages will have you covered.
3. Emotional and Physical Pain and Suffering
Your injuries may reduce the quality of life, causing ongoing emotional and physical pain and suffering. At-fault parties will be made to compensate you for these damages. It may be difficult to put a monetary value on these intangible elements, but your lawyer will use their years of experience to come up with an amount that is fair.
4. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are put in place if the at-fault party’s actions in causing the accident are considered excessively reckless. They are meant to discourage the individual from partaking in similar behavior in the future. They are often awarded in impaired driving claims.
5. Wrongful Death
If the victim of the accident dies from their injuries, the case becomes a wrongful death claim. The family of the decedent may go after the defendant for a loss of income due to the deceased no longer being able to contribute to the family financially. Damages can also include emotional pain and suffering and funeral and burial expenses.
Who is at Fault for a South Carolina Car Accident?
One of the most important tasks your lawyer will have is determining who is at fault for the accident. It’s essential to find out who is at fault and how at fault each driver is.
South Carolina is a comparative negligence state. That means that the compensation you get for your accident will be reduced by how at fault you are for the accident.
So let’s say the jury determines that you are 30% at fault for an accident and the total damages are $100,000. That means that you can collect $70,000, or total damages minus 30%.
If the jury finds you to be more than 50% at fault for the damages, you will not be able to collect at all.
What is the South Carolina Statute of Limitations?
South Carolina’s statute of limitations on a car accident claim is three years. That means you will have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the defendant to become compensated.
Why Dan Pruitt is the Best Choice for Your South Carolina Car Accident Claim
Car accidents are a common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that claims can’t get complicated. To increase your chances of a winning result, it’s important to have a reliable lawyer on your side.
Dan Pruitt has years of experience dealing with Greenville, South Carolina personal injury claims. He is known for treating the people he represents with the utmost care and respect. That is countered by aggressive negotiating skills that ensure his clients get the best possible outcomes.
Car accidents cause serious injuries that can greatly reduce the quality of life. Don’t let at-fault parties get away with it. Schedule a free consultation with Dan Pruitt. He will see to it that justice is served.