The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reports in their most recent data that South Carolina leads the nation in deaths for every 115 Million miles traveled in a motor vehicle. South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports that auto accidents resulting in a fatality happened every 9.3 hours during the same time period. Auto accidents that resulted in an injury occurred about every 13.1 minutes.
These alarming statistics reveal the significant risk the average person takes when driving in South Carolina. The vast majority of people look out for their own safety and the safety of those who share the road when they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some drivers make poor choices that lead to accidents that might result in an injury or death.
If you have been injured in the Summerville area because of someone’s negligent or reckless driving, you might be entitled to recover damages related to your injury. Call Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation.
Hughey Law Firm Has Won Major Auto Accident Cases
Hughey Law Firm has years of experience in personal injury cases, including auto accident cases. Our team has recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Recent auto accident cases include settlements and verdicts that range from $250,000 to more than $1.6 million. These are examples and do not guarantee results in any particular case; however, the lawyers at Hughey Law Firm seek to get the best possible results for every client’s individual situation.
Auto Accidents Produce Many Injuries
Those who are involved in a car accident might sustain a wide array of injuries that vary based on the particular circumstances of the accident. Some of the most common auto accident injuries include:
- Fractured or broken bones;
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Internal bleeding often induced by broken ribs from a deployed airbag;
- Neck injuries such as whiplash;
- Back injuries;
- Head traumas including concussions and traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries that might result in paralysis;
- Amputations; and
- Burns that might result in scars or disfigurement.
Finding Fault in Car Accidents
Fault for an auto accident can lie with any number of parties. Drivers often bear a significant portion of the fault for multiple reasons, such as driving under the influence of a controlled substance, fatigued driving, following another vehicle too closely, driving too fast for conditions, and a wide variety of other moving violations.
Third parties might also be liable for some auto accidents. Some common examples include:
- A pedestrian or a bicyclist that causes a vehicle to swerve into another car.
- A business that poorly maintains company vehicles might be liable if the maintenance issue caused an accident.
- The state of South Carolina, a county, or a city might be liable when a poorly maintained road or highway causes an accident.
- A manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of cars or car parts may be liable when a defective vehicle or car part causes an accident.
- A bar or restaurant that over-serves a patron who subsequently injures another while driving might be liable.
Auto Accidents Are Expensive
Under South Carolina law, those who sustain an injury in an auto accident might be able to recover costs that are directly related to their injury which include:
- Medical costs including ambulance services, hospitalization, radiology, surgery, specialists, doctor visits, prescription medications
- Future medical costs in the event of a long-term disability
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Future lost wages, also referred to as loss of earning capacity, in the case of a long-term disability that prevents one from returning to work
- Rehabilitation and recovery costs including physical therapy and assistive devices
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Expect a Counterattack
Those who are liable in an auto accident will often do everything possible to avoid paying damages. Defendants and their insurance carriers have been known to use a wide array of strategies, including shifting the blame to the victim or a third party. The defense might claim that the injured party was violating traffic laws such as driving under the influence, driving while texting, or driving too fast for conditions. The insurance companies might downplay injuries or suggest that they were pre-existing conditions. Regardless of the strategy that the defense chooses, South Carolina’s “modified comparative negligence” rule provides an incentive for them to shift the blame.
In the typical personal injury matter, the court or jury will assign fault for the accident that caused the injury. The court will then reduce any damages by the percentage fault that is assigned to the plaintiff. For example, if the court or jury find that you are 30 percent at fault for your own injury in a car wreck, and you sustained $1,000,000 in damages, your award will be reduced by 30 percent to $700,000.
South Carolina, however, has another important rule when it comes to comparative negligence. A plaintiff cannot recover any damages unless the defendant is at least 51 percent at fault for the accident. This gives defendants a very strong incentive to shift as much of the blame to the victim as possible.
Skilled personal injury lawyers with experience in auto accident cases anticipate these tactics in order to protect your rights and advocate to get you the best outcome for your case.
Contact a Skilled Summerville Auto Accident Lawyer at the Hughey Law Firm
Like most personal injury law firms, Hughey Law Firm offers a free consultation for you to discuss the details of your case and find out if you are eligible to recover damages for your injuries. If you agree to retain Hughey Law Firm for your Summerville auto accident, it will be on a contingent basis, meaning Hughey Law Firm only receives payment in the event of a settlement or verdict on our clients’ behalf.
If you have sustained an injury in an auto accident in Summerville because of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that are directly related to your injury. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help guide you through the often complex legal process and take care of the details of your case, while you focus on rehabilitation and recovery. Email the skilled attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation.