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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Car accidents happen every day in Florence and throughout South Carolina for many reasons, and the aftermath of any accident can be very difficult for the average person to navigate on their own. If another driver has recently caused an accident with you or a loved one, you have the right to seek accountability and compensation for the losses you suffered from the incident. However, this process may be more challenging than you might initially expect, and a Florence car accident attorney can be an invaluable asset for overcoming whatever your case may entail.
The team at Axelrod & Associates, P.A., has years of professional experience helping clients with all types of civil claims for damages, including car accident claims. If you are unsure how to proceed with your recovery efforts after an accident in Florence, our team is ready to provide the guidance and support you need to make sense of your situation and reach optimal results in your car accident case.
As a fault state, South Carolina requires an injured driver to prove liability for their accident before they can pursue compensation for their damages. Every driver in the state is required to have auto insurance that includes bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. When a driver causes an accident and harms another motorist, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the victim’s damages. However, before the victim can claim compensation, they must clearly establish fault for the accident.
Your Florence car accident lawyer can help gather the evidence you may need to prove fault for your recent accident. Most car accidents reported result from negligence, or failure to use reasonable care behind the wheel. A few common examples of negligent causes of car accidents in Florence include:
These are just a few of the most common examples of negligence behind the wheel that can easily result in a devastating collision. It is also possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to cause a car accident. The most common example of this is driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. When a driver has broken the law in causing an accident, they not only face liability for the victim’s damages but also criminal prosecution from the state, and the penalties they face, if convicted, can increase dramatically if they cause serious bodily injury or death to another party.
The first step in the recovery process after a car accident is filing a claim against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. As long as the driver who caused your accident has auto insurance as required by state law, it is possible to recover compensation up to the coverage limits of their policy. However, even if the fault for your accident is perfectly clear, this does not mean that dealing with insurance company representatives will be easy.
Insurance companies typically train their representatives to look for all justifications they can find to reduce a settlement offer as much as possible or deny a claim outright. In some cases, insurance company representatives even knowingly engage in bad faith tactics, hoping to take advantage of desperate claimants unaware of their rights. When you have a seasoned Florence car accident attorney representing you, the insurance carrier will be less inclined to attempt any such unethical handling of your case. Your attorney can help you recover a fair settlement offer. If you have outstanding losses that insurance can’t cover, they will help you construct your personal injury suit against the at-fault driver.
When your auto insurance claim against an at-fault driver only yields compensation for part of your damages, any remaining losses can be recovered with a personal injury claim. Success with this claim requires clear proof of liability, meaning your damages must have resulted from the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and not any other cause. Once your Florence car accident attorney has helped you establish liability for your accident and recovered as much compensation as possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance, you can proceed with claiming compensation for remaining losses with a personal injury claim.
Under South Carolina’s personal injury laws, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for any damages the defendant caused that their insurance cannot repay. These damages may include:
You could be eligible to claim more compensation than you may have initially expected, and the right attorney handling your case will significantly improve your chances of maximizing your final recovery. Additionally, the manner in which the defendant caused your accident can lead to further compensation beyond your economic and non-economic damages. For example, if you were hurt in a DUI accident, the defendant may owe you punitive damages in addition to their liability for your other claimed losses. Punitive damages are awarded at a judge’s discretion to punish a defendant for egregious negligence and/or criminal misconduct.
Any car accident case has the chance to escalate into a contentious legal battle between the parties involved. It’s possible for the victim to face an arduous series of interactions with an insurance company. In this situation, they will need to prepare for a more demanding personal injury case. It is inadvisable for any car accident victim to attempt their recovery efforts unassisted. The right attorney is a tremendous asset when it comes to not only establishing liability for the accident but also for recovering maximum compensation for your claimable damages.
When you choose Axelrod & Associates, P.A., to represent you in your recovery efforts, we will immediately begin searching for the evidence you may need to firmly establish fault for your damages. We will assist you in filing your insurance claim, and if the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier interferes with the claim, we will resolve any such issues as quickly as possible.
If a personal injury suit is necessary for your recovery, you can trust our firm to provide ongoing support through each stage of your case. We will assist you in gathering proof of the full extent of your damages so the defendant is held fully accountable for the harm they’ve done. We will seek to settle your case outside of court if possible to streamline your recovery, but you can count on our team for representation in court if litigation is necessary to resolve your case.
A: In a no-fault state, drivers use their own auto insurance to cover damages after an accident, regardless of who caused it, but South Carolina follows the fault rule. This means that whoever is responsible for causing an accident is liable for the resulting damages. If you can prove another driver is responsible for your recent crash, you can file a claim against their auto insurance to recover your losses and then pursue a personal injury claim to recoup damages their insurance can’t cover. Proving fault will be an essential first step in your recovery efforts.
A: Proving fault for a car accident typically requires several forms of evidence. Your attorney might seek to obtain footage captured by the traffic cameras around where the accident occurred, as well as testimony from witnesses and others involved in the accident. Physical evidence from the scene of the crash and digital evidence like vehicle computer data or cell phone records could also factor into your case.
A: The state upholds a modified comparative fault rule, which means that every liable party in a vehicle accident case will have a fault percentage assigned that reflects their level of liability for the accident. If a plaintiff is partially at fault, their fault percentage is deducted from their final case award as a penalty. However, they can only claim damages if they are less than 50% at fault. Otherwise, they lose the ability to claim compensation from the defendant.
A: You are technically able to pursue compensation for your car accident without hiring legal counsel, but this is inadvisable for several reasons. Any mistakes in the early stages of your proceedings can lead to severe consequences or even loss of your right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. Even if you managed to succeed in proving fault for the accident on your own, you could unintentionally accept a much smaller settlement than an experienced attorney could have obtained for you.
A: The majority of personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. When you have a contingency fee agreement with your attorney, you only pay them once they have won your case, and your fee is a percentage of the total compensation they recovered for you. However, if your attorney is unable to secure compensation for your damages, then you pay nothing, so there is no risk to hiring an attorney to represent you on a contingency fee agreement.
The attorneys at Axelrod & Associates, P.A., have years of professional experience handling a wide range of civil cases for our clients in Florence and surrounding areas, including complex vehicle accident claims. If you have been injured by another driver’s actions in Florence, we will help you hold them accountable and guide you through all the various stages of your recovery efforts. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Florence car accident attorney you can trust and learn more about the legal services we provide.
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