Car accidents can occur any day at any time. It might be possible that the accident is your fault, but there may be situations where you are injured or suffer damage due to the negligence or misconduct of another driver. If you were in a auto accident in Chester, South Carolina, you should know that South Carolina follows a fault-based system when determining liability. In other words, whoever is most at-fault is the one who will be held responsible for any damages that are incurred.
Comparative Fault for South Carolina Car Accident Cases
It is important to note that there can be situations where there is more than one party at fault. In such cases, the legal system in South Carolina uses the modified comparative negligence rule to determine compensation. Any driver who is more than 50% at fault for the accident will not be eligible to receive any payment. If the driver is less than 50% at fault, they can file for damages, but the compensation they receive will be reduced by the amount of their fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault and the other driver was 80% at fault, your compensation amount will be reduced by 20%.
Here are some mistakes that could potentially ruin your auto accident lawsuit:
- Talking about the case or making a statement without legal counsel: Some drivers make the mistake of speaking with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys. This can be a big mistake because there is always a chance that you will say something to them that they can use against you at a later stage. That is why it is imperative that you let your Chester attorney for your auto accident speak on your behalf or be present when you engage in any conversation related to the accident.
- Underestimating the Other Party: Some people underestimate the other party. Even if you are 100% confident that the accident was the other party’s fault, you have to understand that they will not just hand over money to you. The other driver, their insurance company, and their lawyer will prepare their case thoroughly and may hire investigators to study the scene of the accident, evaluate any videos or photographic evidence, etc. This is something you should expect. Just like your insurance company will conduct an investigation, the other party’s insurance company will do the same. This is why you should rely on your Chester lawyer for your auto accident to help you prepare a strong case.
- Signing agreements/documents without legal counsel: When you are in a auto accident, the other party’s insurance company may try to convince you to agree to a settlement. You may be asked to waive your rights to file a claim or to give access to your medical records. These tactics may work if you sign something without consulting with a lawyer for your South Carolina auto accident.
- Filing a Claim Too Late: If you were involved in a auto accident in Chester, South Carolina and you wish to file a lawsuit, you must do so within three years. If the suit is related to injury and property damage, this three-year period kicks in from the date of the accident. If it is a wrongful death lawsuit, the time starts from the day of the victim’s death. If you want to proceed with your suit, you must keep these timelines in mind and ensure that you consult with your attorney in Chester, South Carolina and file the lawsuit in time.
- Not Taking Medical Treatment Seriously: If you have been in a auto accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. This is without a doubt the most important thing you can do for yourself. People often take medical treatment lightly, especially if the injuries are minor. But in many cases, injuries get worse with time and if you do not consult a doctor initially, you can suffer adverse health consequences later. It is also not a good idea to skip doctor appointments. You are not only risking your health, but you can also convey the impression that you were not injured. This could have an impact on the credibility of your case and can affect the outcome of your lawsuit.
- Discarding Evidence: Don’t take it upon yourself to determine what information could or could not be useful in court. Do not get rid of anything related to your injuries or your accident. Your auto accident attorney in Chester, SC is the best person to decide what is essential. In fact, you should try to give your lawyer as much information as you possibly can as this will help them prepare your case.
- Having an Insurance Medical Exam: If the insurance company asks you to undergo a medical exam, you need to inform your Chester, South Carolina attorney immediately. To find out what you should do if you are asked to attend a medical exam, you must talk to your lawyer.
Consult with a Chester, South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney Today
Filing a lawsuit can be complicated. There are many elements to consider. If you have been involved in a auto accident in Chester, South Carolina, you should contact us at the Elrod Pope Law Firm and speak with our auto accident attorney today. We assure you that we will make sure you get the best legal representation to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Call our legal team today and we will be happy to help you with your auto accident claim.
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.