The first thing to understand is that if you plan to drive in South Carolina it is a fault-based state or, in other words, it follows a tort system. This means that the system determines who is most at fault and then that party is held liable for any damages incurred by the injured party in the Chester car accident.
In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be the one deemed responsible for covering the damages. If the insurance company refuses to make any payments or if the at-fault driver refuses to take responsibility, the injured party can file a claim in civil court or through their own insurance company. The injured party’s insurance company will then seek reimbursement from the driver at-fault’s insurance company.
What are the minimum liability car insurance requirements in S.C.?
To legally drive in Chester, South Carolina, every vehicle must carry a specific amount of liability insurance. This liability insurance will protect another party that may be involved in a car accident by covering the medical bills and property damage.
In South Carolina, the minimal motor vehicle insurance coverage requirements are as follows:
- $50,000 total for a single motor vehicle accident
- $35,000 for any property or vehicle damage that occurred as a result of the accident
- $25,000 for injury or death of a single individual that includes you, a passenger, the driver in the other car or pedestrian(s)
All car owners should know that this is the minimum coverage required by the South Carolina Dept. of Motor Vehicles. All car owners are highly encouraged to carry additional motor vehicle insurance coverage since the damages in motor vehicle collisions can be severe.
If you ever get into a motor vehicle accident and are found to be liable for the accident, and if the damages exceed the limits of your insurance policy, you may have to pay out of pocket to make up that difference. In case you cannot make these payments, the injured party can come after your property and any assets you own.
Can I get partial compensation even if I caused the Chester car accident?
You can receive compensation even if you were partially at-fault in an accident. South Carolina uses a comparative negligence system, which means that you will still be eligible for compensation as long as you are not more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to bear. For example, if your motor vehicle accident case goes to trial and the jury determines that the damages were $20,000 and that you were 20% responsible, then you will receive $20,000 minus 20%, or $16,000.
What should I do after my Chester car accident?
In some cases, you can receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and any pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident. However, proving these damages can be fairly complicated and may require the expertise and knowledge of a qualified lawyer.
In almost every case, the tort laws of South Carolina will ensure that the person liable for the motor vehicle accident pays for all injuries, medical bills, and damage done to the other party. But at the same time, the driver who caused the accident can also receive partial compensation from his own insurance company if there are doubts about the degree of liability. All car accidents are not straightforward and sometimes blaming one driver can be difficult. Such situations occur in cases involving red lights, four-way stop signs, or an unmonitored parking lot. Thus, it is important for the driver to have a complete record of the accident, collect names of witnesses, take as many photos as possible, and provide a timeline which can help your lawyer prove your case.
It is also important to ensure that there is a police report. While you are at the scene of the accident, it is generally not wise to say anything to the other driver other than providing your name, insurance data, registration, and address. If the other party’s insurance calls, you may want to get in touch with your lawyer.
What type of compensation can I recover for my car accident in Chester, SC?
The type of compensation you may be eligible for include the following:
- Any medical expenses
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Cost to relearning skills or going back for education
- Loss of income and earning capacity
- Cost of repair of property
- Loss of use of property
- Loss of job
- Loss of any other income
- Recovery for pain and suffering
- Mental trauma and stress
- Damage to your reputation
Consult with a Chester Car Accident Attorney About Your Case Today
The bottom line is that there is still room for compensation even if you are partly to blame for the accident. However, these things need to be handled skillfully, and you may need to consult a lawyer who has the necessary skills and expertise to handle such a case. Call our attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm, and we will be happy to outline a strategy that will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Even if you had some role to play in the accident, that does not mean there is no hope. An experienced lawyer will know how to ensure you have a positive outcome.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.