Many people who are involved in minor auto accidents in South Carolina make the natural assumption that the case will uncomplicated, that they will simply file a claim and receive fair compensation for their losses, and that there is no need to get an attorney involved. However, even the least serious auto accidents can result in significant injuries, damages, and losses. A lot of the time, victims of minor auto accidents don’t even realize how badly they are injured until some time has passed, the adrenaline has worn off, and their formerly mild aches and pains fail to improve or even become much worse.
At Elrod Pope Law Firm, we know that every collision involves its own unique set of circumstances, and it is rarely easy to get fair compensation by simply filing an auto accident claim with your insurance provider. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you need the experience and expertise of our qualified attorneys on your side. Read on to learn more about the causes and effects of South Carolina auto accidents.
The Most Frequent Causes of South Carolina Auto Accidents
Thousands of auto accidents occur every year in South Carolina, with more than 800 being fatal, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway and Safety. The most frequently occurring causes of these accidents include the following:
- Speeding: This is the number one cause of South Carolina auto accidents. The Centers for Disease Control reports that most of speeding accidents involve teenagers.
- Distracted Driving: With the increased use of technology, distracted driving has grown to account for a quarter of all auto accidents, as reported by the National Safety Council. These accidents are primarily caused by complex navigation systems and cell phone use, though they can also be caused by simply talking to other passengers or engaging in any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the road.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Driving while intoxicated is another top cause of South Carolina auto accidents, with 40% of fatal accidents involving drunk drivers.
- Defective Vehicles: It is important to keep up with maintenance on your vehicle because automotive defects are also a frequent cause of accidents. In some cases, this is not because of poor maintenance, but because of defective designs/construction of the vehicle, such as defective airbags, seatbelts, brakes, or airbags.
Seeking Compensation for Auto Accident Injuries and Losses
Anyone who experiences injuries and losses due to an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver is entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault driver and/or their insurance company. This can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium (in the death of a spouse), loss of future income potential, loss of quality of life, and any other damages and losses incurred. However, you will have to prove your losses, prove liability, and demand fair compensation. This can be very challenging because you will have many obstacles, including the unwillingness of the at fault driver’s insurance company to recognize and adequately value your claim. This is where it becomes necessary to have the legal expertise of Elrod Pope Law Firm on your side.
What Constitutes Mental Anguish in an Auto Accident Claim?
You can receive compensation for more than your physical injuries and physical pain and suffering. Yet, mental anguish can be hard to quantify. Some examples include the fear that you experience because of your injuries, the anxiety that you have about your health and your future, and the stress and post-traumatic stress that are associated with the trauma of the accident. While it can be difficult to prove and place monetary value on mental anguish, a qualified and experienced attorney from Elrod Pope Law Firm will fight to ensure that you receive fair compensation for these damages, in addition to your economic damages. You can also receive punitive damages, in some cases, if the at fault driver displayed egregious negligence or maliciousness in the actions that resulted in the auto accident.
When to Contact a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney
You can contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney at any time following your accident, though the sooner you do, the easier it will be to protect your rights and build your case. It very important to speak to a lawyer before you speak to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This is because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will have motives that are in opposition to your fair treatment and compensation. They will want to save money in any way that they can, and getting you to imply wrongdoing on your part or to settle for less than what your claim is truly worth is going to be their prerogative.
Get a Free Consultation from Elrod Pope Law Firm
There are many auto accident attorneys to choose from in South Carolina, but not all of them have the experience and determination of Elrod Pope Law Firm. Contact a skilled car accident attorney in Rock Hill today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help you in your pursuit of fair compensation.
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.