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An auto accident is a traumatic event that leaves victims with personal injuries, emotional stress, and financial hardship. When injured in an auto accident on a South Carolina roadway, victims must concentrate on recovery—not lost wages and medical bills. If you or a loved one have experienced injuries from an auto accident due to no fault of your own, seek legal help right away.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the economic loss associated with auto accidents totaled an estimated $4.54 billion in 2016, an increase of 5 percent over 2015. Economic loss includes property damage, medical costs, and lost productivity, but does not include intangible costs like pain and suffering.
There are many contributing factors when it comes to auto accidents. SCDPS lists the following five characteristics as primary causes of auto accidents:
Male drivers comprised 69.8 percent of drivers in fatal collisions. Female drivers represented 26.5 percent, with the remaining 3.7 percent of drivers’ gender unknown.
The months of November, March, and August 2016 witnessed the most accidents. More than half of the accidents occurred between the hours of 3:01 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.
Fatal collisions occurred on secondary roads more than any other routes. There were more than 91 fatal collisions resulting in 105 deaths on South Carolina interstates.
Clear or cloudy weather conditions accounted for 89.8 percent of fatal collisions, with 86.7 percent occurring on dry surfaces.
Of the South Carolina motor vehicle accidents in 2016, automobiles, pickup trucks, and SUVs accounted for 76.7 percent of the vehicles involved in fatal collisions.
Motorcycles did not go unnoticed in the SCDPS report. Of motorcycle-involved collisions, there were 1,907 nonfatal injuries and 148 deaths during 2016.
The Columbia, South Carolina auto accident lawyers of the Hughey Law Firm have represented thousands of clients throughout the state, helping clients recover compensation from auto accident injuries. The Hughey Law Firm lawyers have experience in the following case areas:
An alarming number of motorists do not carry the proper amount of insurance required to cover liability and property damage costs of an accident. When filing a claim with your own uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, chances are you will deal with hostility and delays. Dealing with insurance companies takes experience and skill—let the Columbia auto accident lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm deal with the insurance companies for you.
Often, a settlement is possible without going to trial. One example is the $1.65 million pretrial settlement reached in a wreck on Wadmalaw Island. Although unusual for an auto collision case, the pretrial negotiations for this alleged reckless driving case resulted in a highly successful outcome for our client. The victim’s injuries were severe, and factors such as his life-care plan, economic loss estimate, vocational evaluation, and medical bills led to a respectable settlement—without the victim ever filing a complaint.
The Hughey Law Firm successfully represented Johnny Odom for injuries he suffered during a van wreck. Odom, a prisoner, was transported in a privately owned van from a correctional facility in Greenville, South Carolina, to one in Colorado. The van driver detoured to Florida, where other prisoners were awaiting transport to the same Colorado facility. During transport, Odom was handcuffed but not buckled into his seat. A drunk driver collided with the van around 4 a.m., causing the van to flip several times. Odom, handcuffed and unable to help himself, experienced severe injuries from being thrown about the van, including spinal and neck injuries. We successfully obtained $670,000 in compensation for our client.
Geneva Gathers, a South Carolina sweetgrass basket maker, was tending to her stand along U.S. 17 when she was suddenly struck by a tire thrown from a nearby collision. Gathers was required to sue the owner of the vehicle that caused the accident, even though she was just a nearby pedestrian. Lawyers from the Hughey Law Firm applied the “Tyger River”’ doctrine to promptly settle the case without trial. The Tyger River doctrine, defined by the Fourth Circuit in Smith v. Maryland Casualty Company, 742 F. 2d 167 (1984), reads:
“[T]he insurer owes to the insured the duty of settling a personal injury claim covered by the policy if the settlement is the reasonable thing to do, or, that the insurer is liable to the insured if the insurer’s failure to settle is due to either fraud or bad faith or negligence.”
Simply put, it is often appealing to defendants to settle within the limits of their policy rather than face the prospect of a protracted litigation— particularly when the plaintiff is a valued member of our community like Ms. Gathers.
While it isn’t possible to guarantee the outcome of a claim based on previous cases alone, the years of dedication, passion, and aggressive advocacy on behalf of clients illustrates the level of service prospective clients can hope to achieve with the Hughey Law Firm.
No one is immune to the risks of an auto collision. It is a risk we take every time we enter a vehicle, ride a bicycle, or go for a walk. While sometimes an accident is just that—an accident—an avoidable collision that causes serious harm to others demands accountability. Safe travel is everyone’s responsibility. When bystanders like Geneva Gathers or Johnny Odom are injured due to the negligence or bad acts of others, it’s our duty to ensure they do not go uncompensated.
The Columbia, South Carolina, auto accident lawyers of the Hughey Law Firm want their clients to focus on recovery while they focus on justice. The Hughey Law Firm is a full-service litigation firm practicing in state and federal courts throughout South Carolina. For a free consultation, call (843) 881-8644 or contact us online. If you’re a South Carolina resident in need of a legal team with experience, integrity, and proven results, reach out today.
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