The car accident attorneys of Stewart Law Offices, LLC represent people who have been hurt in wrecks in Rock Hill and across South Carolina. When someone else’s negligent actions are to blame for a car crash that seriously injures you, we can help you seek justice and fair compensation. You don’t have to go it alone. Call us for help.
Car accidents are common in South Carolina, and crashes in Rock Hill can range from minor collisions to severe wrecks. These accidents often result in severe or fatal injuries and can have lasting physical, financial, and emotional repercussions for the victim and their families.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a car accident in the Rock Hill area, it is important for you to get help from a lawyer at Stewart Law Offices quickly. It can be extremely complicated for a person to recover compensation on their own following a car crash, but an experienced attorney has the skills and resources to build a strong case on your behalf.
Stewart Law Offices, LLC has an office in Rock Hill as well as other South Carolina locations. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to find out more about your best legal options.
Types and Causes of Car Accidents in Rock Hill, South Carolina
The Traffic Collision Fact Book from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported that there is, on average, a traffic collision every 3.7 minutes, with a property damage collision occurring every 5.2 minutes, an injury collision occurring every 13.1 minutes, and a fatal collision occurring every 9.3 hours. In just one recent year in South Carolina, there were 100,471 property-damage-only collisions, 40,187 injury collisions, and 941 fatal collisions.
Motor vehicles are involved in many different types of collisions. Most of these cases involve some form of driver negligence. A few of the most common kinds of auto accidents in Rock Hill include:
- Rollover Accidents — When a vehicle rolls over, occupants are often thrown or crushed. SUVs and pickups are commonly associated with rollover crashes. Manufacturers may be liable in rollover accidents caused by defective designs that led to a rollover.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents — South Carolina state law requires any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident to stop and give their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other parties involved in the crash. The driver should also show their driver’s license when requested. A driver who leaves the scene of the accident without providing this information commits a criminal offense. Contact the police and give them any identifying information on the car and the driver, but do not ever attempt to chase a hit-and-run driver on your own. Authorities may be able to locate the offender. Even if they don’t, you may be able to recover compensation from the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto policy.
- Multiple Vehicle Collisions —Multiple vehicles can easily be involved in a single collision. Pileup accidents on interstates and highways are common examples of multi-vehicle crashes. One motorist’s negligence is usually to blame for all subsequent collisions, but every case is different. In a crash that involves more than two vehicles, a single insurer could be overwhelmed by multiple claims and there may be complex disputes about liability.
- Intersection Accidents — Where traffic crosses paths, accidents often occur. Most intersections have traffic signals or signs, but inattentive drivers cause accidents when they fail to yield properly. Collisions that occur at high speeds often result in severe injuries.
- Side-Impact (T-Bone) Collisions — Intersections and business entrances are common locations for T-bone accidents, which occur when one driver crashes into the side of another vehicle. The point of impact often determines who suffers the worst injuries, as collisions on the driver’s side could injure the driver, while the front seat passenger faces greater danger in a passenger side collision.
- Rear-End Collisions — Typically, a driver strikes the vehicle in front of them because they were not paying attention or were following too closely. Speed may have been misjudged in some cases. Unless the vehicle that was struck illegally cut in front of the other automobile, the motorist who runs into the back of the other vehicle is presumed to be at fault.
- Head-On Collisions — If a motor vehicle crosses into oncoming traffic for any reason, usually in cases of improper passing or failure to maintain control, vehicles may collide front end to front end. Head-on crashes are often at full force, so the possibility of fatal injuries is much greater.
Negligence may be immediately evident in some crashes, but other causes can be more complicated and difficult to decipher. It may be challenging to obtain the necessary evidence to prove some kinds of negligence.
A few of the most frequent causes of car accidents in Rock Hill include:
- Failure to yield
- Reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Dangerous roadways
- Inclement weather
- Unsafe lane change
- Improper turns
Most drivers will not admit responsibility for a collision, but certainly note if a person immediately apologizes or admits to having done anything to cause the crash. Do not admit to any kind fault of your own.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Rock Hill
Nothing is more important after a motor vehicle accident than getting medical attention. Even if you feel at first that you weren’t hurt, visit a hospital or other medical provider as a basic precaution for your own health. Many serious medical conditions do not immediately show symptoms. The shock of a crash can also mask pain and other symptoms of a serious injury. Prompt medical attention can allow timely treatment of potentially dangerous conditions.
After the accident, it is important to get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses. If you can, take as many pictures of the crash scene as possible using your cellphone or a camera. Do not speak to any insurance company that contacts you until you have legal representation.
Building a Case for Compensation
Your attorney can work hard to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, but some cases may require a lawsuit to seek appropriate compensation. If your case goes to trial, you will need to prove the four elements of a general negligence claim:
- Duty of Care — The defendant had a duty to the plaintiff to operate their motor vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
- Breach of Duty — The defendant breached that duty of care by not operating their motor vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
- Causation — The defendant’s breach of duty caused the victim to suffer injuries.
- Damages — The injuries the victim suffered resulted in damages.
South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state, which means that a person can recover damages only when their negligence does not exceed that of the defendant’s. The damages awarded are then reduced in proportion to a victim’s negligence, which means that a person awarded $100,000 in a car accident case who is found to have been 45 percent at fault will have their damaged reduced by $45,000 and ultimately receive $55,000.
How Do I Pay My Medical Bills?
People with health insurance may use their own health insurance to cover all ongoing medical expenses until compensation can be obtained from the negligent party. The only complication to this approach is that a portion of your award may be used to repay your health insurance company.
When a person does not have health insurance, an experienced attorney may be able to find a doctor who will be willing to provide services under an agreement that they will be paid when you receive compensation. Some providers may even be willing to reduce certain medical costs if it assists in settlement negotiations.
Can I Recover Lost Wages?
When you have suffered injuries that keep you out of work, you could be compensated for your lost wages – even if you were able to take paid leave. Some car crash injuries can put people out of work for several weeks, months, or even years.
The worst kinds of injuries leave victims permanently unable to maintain employment. In these cases, people can be entitled to compensation that covers an entire lifetime of lost earnings.
What Else Can I Be Compensated For?
Any settlement you agree to should be designed to cover all expenses and losses stemming from your auto accident. A victim could be awarded compensatory damages, which are usually a combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages refer to objective costs a victim has incurred or will incur, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. On the other hand, noneconomic damages are much more subjective and involve awards like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster?
It is best to say as little as possible to an insurance adjuster. Remember that a claims adjuster is looking for ways to minimize liability for the insurance company.
You can give an adjuster basic information about your accident, such as the date, time, and location, but you should not discuss how the accident occurred. Refuse to provide a recorded statement when asked.
Let an experienced Rock Hill car accident lawyer handle interactions with insurance adjusters on your behalf.
How Our Law Firm Can Help After a Car Accident in Rock Hill
Stewart Law Offices, LLC is prepared to immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to preserve important evidence and determine the true cause of the crash. Our firm can step in and deal with insurance companies on your behalf.
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a car accident in Rock Hill? Do not wait to contact a personal injury lawyer at Stewart Law Offices, LLC.
You can have our attorneys review your case when you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.