According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Palmetto State drivers became involved in a car accident every 3.7 minutes in 2018—more than 142,000 total. Of those crashes, over 2,000 resulted in serious injuries, and 969 caused fatalities. Car accidents occur for many reasons, but they often involve careless driving habits that have serious consequences for the at-fault drivers and those around them.
When you take to the road, you can control your driving. You can buckle up, follow all traffic laws, pay attention to your surroundings, and try to anticipate potential hazards. However, you can only do so much to avoid the dangerous actions of other drivers.
If you or someone you love suffered a severe or fatal injury in a car accident, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you seek financial recovery. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for your free case evaluation with our legal team.
Car Accidents in South Carolina
In August 2020, the New York Post published statistics regarding car accident fatalities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. An analysis of driving stats from 22 states, including South Carolina, showed that while traffic congestion decreased substantially in the first six months of 2020, the number of fatalities dipped only slightly. Researchers attribute the discrepancy to drivers taking advantage of emptier roads to drive at higher speeds.
This trend accounts for only one of the many that saw South Carolina car accidents increase by 19.5 percent from 2014-2018. According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA), vehicle damage costs in South Carolina have increased significantly compared to the rest of the country. PCIAA attributes this rise to several potential factors.
- Two in five roads in the state need repair, and one in five bridges have structural deficiencies or have become functionally obsolete.
- The state does not have ban handheld cell phone use while driving, although SC Code § 56-5-3890 does ban texting while driving.
- South Carolina has seen a large increase in the number of older drivers.
- Over 40 percent of South Carolina car accidents involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
- Speeding plays a role in 37 percent of the state’s car accidents.
- South Carolina has the fifth-highest fatality rate in the country for accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
If a driver’s reckless actions led to your injuries or the loss of a loved one, a South Carolina car accident lawyer could help you hold them accountable for your damages.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle collisions rank as the leading cause of significant trauma that leads to subsequent death among people aged 64 and under in the United States. While safety features have helped to decrease crash fatalities over the decades, the problem persists. Many components determine the severity of an accident, including the use of safety restraints and the angle at which an accident occurs. According to a journal article in Trauma, some of the most commonly reported car accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures, particularly of the spine, skull, lower extremities, ribs, and pelvis
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Aortic rupture
- Liver, spleen, and pulmonary contusions
If you experienced these or other injuries resulting from a car accident that occurred through no fault of your own, the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help. Contact our legal team 24/7 for your free, no-obligation case review.
A South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Establish Liability
In South Carolina, the driver who causes a car accident must cover the victims’ damages with their liability insurance policies. Insurance companies work for a profit, so their adjusters may try to shift blame onto another driver to minimize the settlement amounts awarded to victims.
When victims accept these settlement offers, which they often receive immediately following an accident and before they can assess their damages, they might find that it does not adequately cover their losses. A car accident lawyer can help you fight back against insurance companies’ unethical tactics and establish liability in your case so you can pursue fair financial awards.
Types of Evidence That Might Help Your Case
Attorneys often collect evidence that helps them build your case and prove the fault of the other driver. Some of the types of evidence that may prove beneficial include:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Repair invoices
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Cell phone records
In some cases, a personal injury lawyer might wish to use your testimony to support your claim. If so, they will help you prepare and answer all your questions, so you know what to expect.
To establish liability in your case, you must prove that the other driver’s actions meet all the criteria for legal negligence. A lawyer could do this by demonstrating that the at-fault driver:
- Had a duty to exercise caution and protect your safety within reason.
- Breached that duty either through a careless or intentional act or by failing to act.
- Caused your injuries or your loved one’s death through their breach of duty.
- Caused you significant financial damages resulting from your injuries.
Per SC Code § 15-1-300, South Carolina is a contributory negligence state, meaning that you could still collect an award even if the court finds you partially at fault for the accident, as long as your share of the blame is 50 percent or less. Your percentage of fault will reduce your award proportionately, so if the court assigns 20 percent to you and awards you $60,000, you will recover $48,000 (80 percent of $60,000).
Once you have proven liability in your claim, you can seek financial recovery from the responsible party within the three-year time limit established by SC Code § 15-3-530 for personal injury and wrongful death suits.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today to Get Started
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we understand the long-term impact your injury or the loss of your loved one could have on every aspect of your life, including your emotional and financial well-being. You do not deserve to suffer because of another person’s negligence. We can help you hold them accountable by seeking the monetary awards you need to get back on your feet and on the road to recovery.
Our South Carolina car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Call us today at (800) 223-5115 to speak with our legal team about your case.