Our Team Protects Your Right To File A Lawsuit
When we represent you, our team strives to settle your case without going to court. Still, if a favorable financial settlement cannot be reached, we work hard to ensure you can continue your fight for compensation in court. Per S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530, you generally have three years to file a lawsuit. Accordingly:
- If you or a loved one was injured in the accident, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the accident.
- If a loved one was fatally injured, you have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit after their demise.
With enough notice, our team can ensure that your lawsuit is filed within the allotted time if going to court is necessary. Doing so limits the risk of having your lawsuit dismissed without ever being heard.
Types And Causes Of A Car Traffic Collision In Columbia South Carolina
Some of the most common types of crashes in South Carolina include:
Some of the leading causes of car accidents in Columbia include:
- Inclement Weather
- Dangerous roadways
It is important for victims to contact authorities to make sure a police report is completed as soon as possible after an accident. In many cases, officers will issue citations to drivers who violate traffic laws. However, its important to remember that the police do not determine civil liability for a crash.
Failure To Observe Traffic Laws
Between disregarding traffic signs, failing to yield the right of way, and changing lanes improperly, thousands of injuries are caused by the failure to observe basic traffic laws. Drivers have a commitment to one another when on the road to signal their actions, account for other vehicles, and follow all traffic laws. When a driver is negligent and fails to perform these basic actions, they should be held accountable for the damages they caused. Typically, a police report will say whether there was a traffic violation related to the accident. We can speak with the insurance company of the other driver, obtain records and evidence, and examine the police report to prove the other driver caused your injuries due to negligence.
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Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident In Columbia Sc
After a car accident injury, you may be left reeling and unsure how to move forward. An injury can negatively impact your employment, social life, and relationships. As the medical bills stack up, you may be fearful about how you will pay for them and how you can reclaim your life. If your accident was a result of someone elses negligence or recklessness, letting Lori Murray fight for your rightful settlement can help you experience some hope and relief.
Liability And South Carolina Auto Insurance Laws
South Carolina law requires all motorists who register a vehicle in the state to carry a minimum amount of auto liability coverage. This includes:
- $25,000 for injury or death of a single victim
- $50,000 for all injuries or deaths in a single accident
- $25,000 for vehicle and other property damage
Liability insurance is designed to cover the injuries and damages sustained by the victims of an accident caused by the at-fault party. Assuming the at-fault motorist who caused your crash carried the required insurance policy, our experienced lawyers can file a claim with their insurer and attempt to recover compensation on your behalf up to the limits of the policy and in some cases, more.
Our Goal Is To Get You The Most Money FAST!
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What Should You Do If You Are In A Car Accident In South Carolina
There are some very simple steps to take after an accident:
Additional things to do after a car accident:
Dont Say Too Much to the Other Driver
After you realize that you and everyone else in your car has survived, youll likely feel a huge surge of relief. This may cause you to say a little too much to the other driverin particular, apologies or other statements that accept blame for the accident. The opposite can also happen. If you are angry and full of adrenaline after the crash, you could lash out at the other driver and damage your potential claim. Try to keep the conversation minimal until the police arrive.
Stay Off of Social Media
Dont Rush Through the Settlement Process
This is a big risk when the other party is clearly at fault. When one party is obviously to blame for the accident, their insurance company will move quickly to get the other party to settle before they realize the extent of their injuries. If you accept their first or second offer, youll likely be leaving a lot of money on the table. Even worse, its unlikely youll have enough to cover your medical bills and related expenses.
Do Not Pass on Medical Care
Do Not Handle Your Claim Alone
Establishing Fault After An Auto Wreck
In South Carolina, you can pursue a claim against the person who is at fault for the car accident. We are what is known as a comparative fault state, which means if a judge or jury determines that you are more than 50 percent at fault, then you cannot collect damages against the other driver or at-fault party. As long as you are 50 percent or less at fault, our Columbia car accident lawyers can help you work on collecting monetary damages.
Determining fault is not always easy. The police will make reports and can cite other drivers for traffic violations, but their initial impressions as to which party was at fault is not always correct. Our auto accident attorneys understand that often a crash scene needs to be more thoroughly investigated, independent witness statements need to be taken and accident reconstruction experts called in.
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Should You Accept Insurance Companys First Settlement Offer
The easy answer to this question is absolutely not. Though its understandably tempting, the reality is that an insurance companys first offer is by necessity its lowest. Regardless of what they say, the adjuster has every incentive to make their first offer low, giving them room to negotiate upwards if they must. Injured plaintiffs may need the money and feel pressured to accept anything thats offered, which is why it is crucial to rely on the advice of an experienced injury attorney who has been down the road before.
Your car accident lawyer can guide you on what numbers to accept and what numbers are simply too low. Your car accident lawyer will also understand when to push the insurance company for more money and when to stop pushing. Just like accepting a lowball offer is a mistake, pushing a company to pay more than you are entitled to receive can also be a costly error. By entrusting your case to a competent car accident lawyer, you can be confident that he or she is working to secure the best deal possible.
Time Since The Accident Occurred
The statute of limitations, discussed above, is a hard limit on your ability to recover compensation too long after an accident. If you try to file a car accident claim or lawsuit more than three years after the accident happened, the courts can shut down the claim immediately. However, filing a claim after a long time has elapsed can have other complications, even if you are still within the statute of limitations period.
Evidence might lose its value over time, making it harder to prove your case. Paper records can be lost or damaged, video evidence may be deleted or overwritten, and wounds will heal. Preserving records, documents, and photos properly is important, and your lawyer can help you do this if you contact them early on in your case.
People also might forget what happened. This means that your own testimony, as well as the testimony of any witnesses, might be weak evidence after a year or two has elapsed since the crash. Having your Columbia car accident lawyers put witnesses on record and allowing them to take depositions early in a case can help prevent these issues from affecting your claim.
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The Negligent Driver’s Insurance Policy May Not Be Your Only Source Of Recovery After A Wreck
This is extremely important. Many of the catastrophic auto accidents my law firm has handled involved situations where the negligent driver only had minimum limits coverage. In South Carolina, that means $25,000.00. So, what do you do if your medical expenses or lost earnings exceed that figure?
First, we want to make sure there aren’t any other insurance policies applicable to the driver. For instance, the driver may have been operating someone else’s car at the time of the collision, allowing us to recover the coverage on that vehicle, plus the negligent driver’s own car. Another example would be if the at-fault person was working when the wreck happened. In those situations, we may be able to seek recovery not only from the individual, but from the business for whom he was working.
Second, we need to check whether you have “underinsured motorist” coverage through your insurer. South Carolina law requires insurance carriers to offer it to you. If you have it, and your damages exceed the amount of money available from the negligent driver who hurt you, then an underinsured claim may be necessary. Additionally, there are some situations where you can “stack” your underinsured policies following a car wreck.
Third, if the car accident was caused by a drunk driver, the facts may permit a claim against the bar or restaurant that overserved him. This is known as a dram shop action, and we are currently handling several such cases in Columbia and other parts of South Carolina.
Common Columbia Auto Accident Injuries
Before you seek compensation for your car accident injury, first, you will need to assess the specific injuries you have suffered because of the crash. Auto collisions can be especially dangerous, so it is important for you to keep track of the suffering you have been put through. Unfortunately, the damage suffered could be extensive.
Injuries in auto crashes tend to be serious because the impact is likely to happen at high speeds. While cars have become safer than ever, a car crash can still leave you to deal with life-changing injuries.
Once you have suffered these injuries, you will need to fight to get the compensation you know you deserve. But even one injury is enough to make any undertaking a challenge, and you might have suffered several injuries. You may need someone to help you list your injuries and how much you have suffered because of them.
If you have suffered any of the following injuries or other serious losses, reach out to anauto accident lawyer for help with your claim:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
This is not an extensive list, but only an example of the many physical problems you might suffer after being a car crash victim and does not include the emotional injuries you may struggle with after your injury. Always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident since some injuries are hidden or may not emerge until days or weeks after the accident.
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South Carolina Car Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, South Carolina continues to suffer from high rates of car accidents and fatalities compared to the national average. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , South Carolina had the highest fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2017. This points to trends in our state of driving too fast, driving under the influence, and not following traffic laws. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety organizes the South Carolina Traffic Collision Factbook. According to the most recent data available, in 2017, South Carolina had:
- 141,874 total traffic collisions
- 39,466 collisions in which at least one person was injured
- 925 traffic fatalities, a 28.7% increase from 2013
- 200 of the 925 traffic fatalities were due to driving under the influence
When and where you drive contributes to your likelihood of being involved in an accident. For example:
With these statistics in mind, Goings Law Firm, LLC understands the importance of holding people accountable should they cause an auto accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in an car accident, you should contact us as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case with a qualified legal professional.
What Is The Average Settlement For An Sc Car Accident Claim
Every case is unique. After working with you on your case, a lawyer can help you determine the potential value of your case based on the facts and create a demand letter based on what they believe you are legally owed.. The individual circumstances of a car accident make a big difference in the amount of the offer. The Jeffcoat Firm never makes any promises of a certain dollar. No lawyer can ethically guarantee you any dollar amount. We can tell you some factors that will impact the size of the settlement:
- The extent of the injuries
- If the other driver was intoxicated while driving
- The long-term impact on health, quality of life, and ability to earn an income
- The medical expenses
- If there were medical complications
- The limits on the opposing partys insurance policies
- Any limits on your own insurance policies or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Very often the insurance companys first settlement offer is lower than what you deserve for your injuries. In cases of catastrophic injury, you must remember that there are no medical guarantees for a full recovery. Instead, your doctor will make a determination for when you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you settle your case before you know the long-term effects of your injury, you may not be collecting what you will need for the future.
The Jeffcoat Firm is available to help car accident victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call or contact us today doe your consultation.
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What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Car Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, especially if you believe you were injured, you might find yourself in a state of panic. You may be thinking about what you need to do, who you should talk to, and what you should and shouldnt say. Until you can contact a lawyer, it is usually best to avoid all but the most critical discussions concerning any injuries you may have sustained. Nonetheless, there are a number of specific actions you should and should not do in immediately following an accident.
Columbia Sc Car Accident Statistics
According to all data available, South Carolina is one of the most dangerous states for drivers. The state consistently ranks in the top five worst in roadway safety according to Wall Street 24/7s annual list.
According to the most recent edition of the South Carolina Department of Public Safetys Traffic Collision Fact Book, the Columbia Police Department investigates more injurious traffic accidents every year than any other municipal police department in the state. The only department that deals with more car accident injuries is the states Highway Patrol force, which operates throughout the state.
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Choose Anastopoulo Law Firm For Your Car Accident Claim Or Litigation
Our team will review the facts of your South Carolina car accident case and offer our advice on how to support and file a claim to recover compensation. If the insurer does not negotiate fairly for a just payout, we may be able to sue them on your behalf.
Discuss your case with a South Carolina car accident attorney from our team today. Call Anastopoulo Law Firm now at for a complimentary case evaluation.
Call or text or complete a Free Case Evaluation form
Common Causes Of Columbia Car Accidents
Accidents are sadly more common than you might often think. In a split second, a reckless driver can change your life forever. Distracted driving is one of the top reasons motor vehicle accidents occur. Every crash is unique. However, there are some common causes, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol .
- A car hits you while you are biking, walking across a street, or even on the sidewalk.
- Reckless truck drivers who have not followed regulations or are simply careless .
- Another vehicle rear-ends yours while at a traffic stop.
- A driver is distracted by their cell phone, eating food, or smoking .
If drunk driving is involved, an experienced attorney can work to protect your rights, but also indirectly the rights of others, since DUI is a common repeat offense if the defendants are not held accountable.
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Columbia Car Accident Lawyers
Unfortunately, car accidents in South Carolina are common. Devastatingly, these accidents sometimes lead to catastrophic injuries and even loss of life. If this is the case for you or a loved one, we are so sorry. We are here for you. It is our experience that the insurance company does not make the recovery process an easy one following a car accident in Columbia, SC. Were here to handle your case so you and your loved ones can put all your time, attention, and energy into what matters most: healing.
If youve been injured in a car accident and arent sure where to start or have tried to deal with the insurance company on your own and arent getting where you want to be, our team is here to help you. With over 60 years of combined experience, we have the skill and resources needed to get you the entirety of what youre owed under South Carolina law. Call our award-winning Columbia car accident lawyers today at 888-2200 or fill out our secure online request form for a free consultation.