Motor vehicle accidents are often caused by negligence on the part of the at-fault party against an accident victim. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by a negligent driver, then you could be owed compensation for vehicular damages, as well as damages done to your person. To assure you are given the best settlement against the defendant, consider the following subject matter and consider seeking counsel.
Decline in Car Accidents in South Carolina
Car accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone. It is best to know your statistics concerning car accidents. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, over that last few years the number of car accidents has decreased. With this has come the decline of fatalities in automobile accidents. This, however, is not reason to be slack. As of 2014, documented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), South Carolina’s population registered at 4,832,482 inhabitants. Of this, there were over 750 fatal crashes that resulted in over 820 deaths
Remember, when you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for not only your life, but the lives of those around you. Please remain vigilant as you drive and be a participant in the decline in motor vehicle collisions.
Statute of Limitation
Soon after an accident occurs, it is important to file your claim before the statute of limitations has passed. If the time limit given goes by with inaction, you will not be able to file and be reimbursed for any expenses the accident cost you. The countdown on the time allotted begins the very same dame of your accident and will either end once your claim has been filed, or when it has been let to run out. If you allow the limit to be reached, it may prove to be difficult to prove your case.
For the state of South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years. The limitations are enforced to ensure a fair case. Over time, typically the following happens:
- Our memories begin to fade/change;
- Witnesses to the accident move away, disappear, or even die; and
- The cataloging system is not without its imperfection – evidence can and does get lost from time to time
If you have any further concerns about the statute of limitations, seek council with an attorney.
The Need to Know About Your Policy
In case you were unsure of what was covered by your insurance policy:
- If you are being sued by the other driver, do not worry. Your policy will cover that. It is the duty of the company that you are with to provide you with legal representation in accusative lawsuits. If you receive a summons, contact your company immediately. If the settlement comes out to be more than your policies limits, you will be responsible for paying the difference.
- Hit by an uninsured driver? The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to carry uninsured motorist coverage. The coverage has a $200 deductible that you will be refunded when your carrier receives their payout.
- If you think you cannot be refused insurance, think again. Companies have no obligation to offer someone an insurance plan, therefore you should remain vigilant and shop around for a company more willing to insure you. If you are unable to find one that will insure you, contact the Associated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina (AAIPSC) at 866-560-4100.
- A not-at-fault person can pursue a claim against the at-fault person.
- Minimum limits of liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person;
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident; and
- $25,000 property damage per accident.
What to do Following a Car Accident
The following is, for the state of South Carolina, a guideline established by the DMV for drivers to follow after being involved in a car accident:
- Call law enforcement if the damage is severe and/or if the accident caused injury or death, otherwise if the damage is minimal do not call the police.
- In cases where a law enforcement agency investigates the accident, you will want to contact their organization to get your hands on a copy of the traffic accident report. This report will have all the information you will require for your insurance company and your lawyer on it, information that while you yourself could have collected, could have something you may have missed or overlooked.
- Depending on the department you are going through, you will have to fill out a Record Request Form, and may even be charged for use of service. In states like South Carolina, however, you can request a copy of the accident report from the DMV following its release from the police.
- Gather information from those involved in the accident (i.e. names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and vehicle descriptions).
- If your case did not result in a call to authorities, yet the collision caused over $1,000 in damages or the death or injury of anyone, you are required to submit a complete and accurate Traffic Collision Report, Form FR-309.
- Failure to report an accident, whether to the authorities or the Traffic Collision Report, the DMV will take it as evidence that your vehicle was not insured, resulting in legal penalties.
If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in major vehicular damage and/or an injury or death, seek legal representation immediately.
Automobile Accident and Injury Representation in South Carolina
Elrod Pope Law Firm is passionate about helping the victims and families of victims in cases involving injuries caused by an automobile accident. If you seek representation for an automobile accident and/or injuries sustained by an accident, please contact our Rock Hill SC auto accident lawyers online or call us directly. We want to help you get the settlement you deserve.
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.