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Sumter Car Accident Lawyer

Sumter Car Accident Lawyer

Sumter Car Accident Attorney

We all know that we might end up in a car accident every time we get in a vehicle, but we never really believe that it could happen to us. When it does, though, it can be a tremendously impactful event. If there are injuries, that creates a whole further mess of issues financially and psychologically. Serious enough injuries can lead to lifelong complications. A Sumter car accident lawyer, though, may be able to help.

The costs of an accident are legally the responsibility of whoever caused the accident. Even if it’s just vehicle damage, the costs can often have a significant impact on someone’s savings and finances. In practical terms, the reason why drivers carry insurance policies is so that those providers will cover the costs of an accident, and that is who you will usually be seeking compensation from in these accidents.

However, it may be necessary to file a personal injury claim, or at least have the credible threat of one, to get the compensation that you’re seeking. That’s what the team at Axelrod & Associates can help car accident victims do.

Sumter Car Accident Lawyer

Proving Liability in a Car Accident

Being required to provide compensation in a car accident claim is based on liability. That liability is demonstrated by showing that the liable party committed an act of negligence. This then led to the injuries that the plaintiff suffered.

A civil claim can use a variety of different evidence to make the case, including photos and videos of the accident, eyewitness accounts, and even a car crash expert to explain what happened. To prove negligence requires demonstrating three elements.

Duty to Care

The first thing that an injury lawyer must show is a duty to care. This is generally a simple process in any car accident since it is generally well-understood that drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and carefully. A duty to care means that someone needs to take reasonable precautions to avoid creating extra danger or risk for those around them. This is a familiar standard for any case involving motor vehicles.

Breach of Duty

Not living up to the responsibility that someone has, or failing to take reasonable precautions, is known as a breach of duty. How this works in a car accident will depend on who is liable. In most cases, though, it’s another driver failing to follow the rules of the road or driving distracted, drunk, or reckless. Your lawyer must prove what happened and how it was a breach of duty.

Cause of Injury

Finally, your lawyer must demonstrate that the breach is the direct cause of the injuries that you suffered. This means that the breach must be the cause of the accident, which an expert witness can help explain to a jury, and that the accident was then the cause of the injuries. There are cases where a breach may be unrelated to an accident or where injuries that are unrelated have been claimed to be a result of the accident. That’s why your lawyer must be able to prove both.

Restitution for a Car Accident

The restitution in a car accident claim is paid out in two forms of damages. They cover the costs that are a direct result of the accident. This means that your lawyer must be able to demonstrate that link. If they can, it creates the connection between the duty to care, the defendant’s breach of that duty, and your injuries, thus making the defendant liable.

The two forms of damages that these costs are addressed through are:

  • Economic Damages – These damages address costs like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Those losses with a financial element, even extending into the future, are compensated through economic damages. In the case of serious injuries, this also includes future medical costs and loss of earning capacity.
  • Non-Economic Damages – Mental anguish or pain and suffering can also result after an injury. These and other psychological or emotional costs are compensated through non-economic damages. The funds, of course, won’t fix everything, but they may help you better manage these issues.

FAQs for Car Accident Lawyers

Q: Who Might Be Liable in a Car Accident?

A: Liability in a car accident is a result of someone’s negligence causing the accident. This means that any party whose actions led to the accident is a candidate for liability. In most cases, people assume that it’s just another driver who would be liable for an accident. While that may often be the case, it isn’t always so.

For instance, governments are responsible for the upkeep and signage of the roads, so if an issue with that leads to an accident, they could be liable. A failure of a car part could also lead to liability for another party, like the manufacturer or installer of the part. In some cases, it may even be the employer of a commercial driver who could be held liable if they had a policy or some other issue that could be the cause of the accident.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim?

A: The statute of limitations sets a deadline by which a claim must be filed. In most car accident claims, this means that the plaintiff must file a claim within three years of the incident that led to the injuries that you’ve suffered.

However, there are some circumstances in which the limit may be a little different. For instance, if you are trying to hold the government accountable, this could reduce the deadline. On the other hand, if those injured didn’t discover their injuries until later, this could potentially extend the deadline. A car accident lawyer can help you determine which statute applies in your situation.

Q: Will Comparative Negligence Reduce My Damages?

A: Comparative negligence could reduce the damages that you receive. Under this system, the defendant’s lawyers are given the opportunity to argue that you are responsible for your own injuries or that you are at least partially at fault. They have the burden of proof for demonstrating the same components of negligence for your actions in the accident. If they are successful, then you will be given a percentage that the court believes represents your share of fault for the injuries.

If your share of fault is greater than 50%, then South Carolina laws say that you can’t collect any damages. However, if it is less than that, then you may still collect damages, though they will be reduced proportionately to the share of blame that you have for the injuries. For instance, if you are thought to be 20% at fault on a damages award of $100,000, then the final amount that you can collect is $80,000.

Q: Is It Better to Fight a Claim in Court or Settle Out of Court?

A: Whether to settle a case or fight it in court will usually be a very personal decision and highly unique to the specifics of your case. A variety of factors will dictate the decision, including what’s being offered, how long you are willing to wait for the funds, and your risk tolerance. There are, though, some general advantages to consider in terms of settling rather than fighting in court, even though it may mean getting less money than the maximum that you could receive in court.

A settlement has the advantage of avoiding the risk inherent in a court case, where you may get a ruling that goes against you or you may lose out on some damages based on a comparative negligence claim. A settlement will also generally result in your receiving funds much sooner than by going to court, which could take months or even years.

A Sumter Car Accident Law Firm Can Help You Seek What You’re Owed

The costs of a car accident are often significant. The more serious the injuries, the greater the medical bills and psychological toll of the accident. These often make the damage to a vehicle seem far less important by comparison, but that’s yet another cost that needs to be addressed. Fortunately, the law has dictated that those who are responsible for the accident are also responsible for the costs. In most cases, though, they won’t be paying directly. Rather, their car insurance provider will be.

Insurance companies aren’t eager to pay what they owe. That’s the reason, though, that the ability to file a civil claim exists. If all else fails, you can use the ability to file a claim as a means of seeking the restitution that you’re owed. Sometimes, the legitimate possibility of going to court is enough to avoid doing so.

Working with a Sumter car accident lawyer, though, can be the most effective way to ensure that you’re able to get fair compensation. An experienced team, like Axelrod & Associates, understands how to work with the insurance companies while, if necessary, being prepared to make the case against them in court. If you need help seeking what you deserve after a car accident, contact us today.


Need help? Contact Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

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