How can a Piedmont, SC attorney help you after a car accident?
If you’ve been in an auto accident in Piedmont, SC, it can be difficult to know whom to turn to for help. After an accident, you may still be recovering from injuries and dealing with damages that you have suffered. By retaining the service of a qualified attorney, like Bryan Ramey, P.A., you can relieve the stress of your auto accident process.
What are the benefits of handing your case over to an attorney?
Firstly, a qualified car accident attorney has the experience of handling these types of cases and knows the process well. By knowing proper court procedures, how to make convincing arguments, how to work with the prosecution and judges, you will have a much better chance of helping you than if you were to handle things yourself. Letting a skilled car accident attorney handle your case will reduce the stress of a terrible situation as well as increase the likelihood of your winning your case.
What should you do after you’ve been in an accident in Piedmont?
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention to assess any injuries you have sustained. If the injuries are severe, you need to call for emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. If the injuries are not life-threatening but apparent, it will be wise to have someone else take you to a hospital. If you are unsure of the severity, seek assistance immediately. Even an accident that seems insignificant, could result in serious unnoticeable injuries.
You will also need to trade information with the other driver. Get a full name, contact information, and insurance information. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident happen. You will need as much information as possible to support your accident claim and a witness can be extremely useful in helping your case.
Once you have exchanged information, you will want to take a few notes about the incident. Jot them down and take note of when and where the accident happened, who was involved, and every detail you can remember about the scene of the accident. Note anything that might be helpful for your attorney.
Pictures Are Important
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” holds true. By having pictures, you will give insurance adjusters or a jury a better idea of the accident and it will help to improve your chances of winning your claim. Seeing the physical injuries and damages to your vehicle that were caused by the wreck can be very influential for your case. The images do not have to be at a professional level, just use your phones camera to take pictures of the scene and any damages to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle as well as any injuries you received from the accident.
Why should I seek medical attention immediately?
It is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will help to reduce the risk that injuries could get worse. Some injuries will get worse rather than better without medical attention. Delaying your treatment will also give ammunition to the insurance company to deny your claim. They may claim that if you were really injured you would have sought help sooner. They may even claim the injuries occurred elsewhere rather than the accident you’ve claimed. Going to see a medical professional quickly will help to strengthen your claim.
Injuries commonly associated with car accidents
Car wrecks can cause a variety of injuries. More severe injuries maybe: comas, permanent disability, paralysis, spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury. Some of the more serious injuries include: fractured bones, neck and back pain, muscle damage and less severe brain injury. Minor injuries may include bumps, cuts, and sprains. Even though they are different levels of severity, they all are worth some amount of compensation.
Why you (almost always) should not accept the insurance company’s first offer?
A large part of any car accident case in South Carolina is dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. Specific tactics for negotiating will vary case to case, but one aspect that seems to be the same in these cases is, that you should not accept the first offer from the insurance company. They will most likely offer you the lowest amount that they can within reason. It is generally known that during a negotiation that an individual’s first offer will be their lowest. Insurance adjustors are aware of this practice, and so should you.
One other reason to delay the insurance company’s offer is because your injuries may become worse, affecting the amount that you would be owed. If you accept their offer out right, you will not be able to make a claim later for other medical costs you incur. That means that any other medical bills that you receive must be paid out of pocket.
What if I am partially responsible what happened?
If you are in an auto accident in Piedmont, SC you may be found partially at fault for the wreck. Do you forfeit rights to insurance compensation? Luckily, no. This is thanks to South Carolina’s modified comparative negligence laws. The law says that if the plaintiff is at less fault than the defendant, they are still eligible for some compensation.
What does this mean exactly?
It means that as long as the plaintiff is found less responsible than fifty percent responsible, they can collect damages. For example, if you were rear-ended, and found out that your brake lights were out, the individual that hit you is mostly at fault, but you hold some responsibility also. If during a trial, the jury determines you to be 10% at fault, you will lose 10% of the total claim that you would’ve been awarded.
Why do I need to act quickly?
It is of the utmost importance that you act fast when you’ve been in a car accident in Piedmont, SC. The main reason is that evidence tends to disappear. The longer it takes you to contact a lawyer, the higher the chance that a witness may move or change phone numbers, certain reports disappear, medical records might be deleted, or other vital evidence goes missing. By getting representation quickly, they will be able to collect evidence and have retain information that will help your case.
Also, you should act quickly because of legal limits known as the statutes of limitation. These require a plaintiff to file their case within a determined time. Statutes of limitations state that if the plaintiff does not take legal action within the allotted time, the case will be barred from court. If a case is barred, you will not have the ability to sue for damages.
How long is this timeframe in South Carolina?
A plaintiff will have three years from the date of the accident to take their case to court, in regards to personal injury and property damage.
What will happen if I don’t file before the statute of limitation expires?
If you fail to file your case within the three-year window given, it is almost certain that the judge assigned to your case will dismiss your claim. The law states that it is the responsibility of the victim to have the case filed. Even if the defendant is clearly guilty, once the case is barred, the victim will lose their right to sue for any damages. Therefore, it’s so vital to take action in South Carolina after you’ve been in an accident. If you’ve been in an automobile accident in Piedmont and you don’t know what to do, call us today so that we can help you. Contact Bryan Ramey, P.A. for a free consultation to examine the specifics of your accident and discover whether you have the possibility of filing a claim.