A car crash can lead to catastrophic physical injuries. Not only that, it can cause you a lot of emotional pain and mental anguish. Unfortunately, car accidents are often the result of someone's careless, negligent behavior. If that is the case in your situation, our experienced South Carolina lawyers will fight aggressively to pursue compensation on your behalf. For a free case evaluation, please call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda at (803) 828-6100.
- Car Accidents in South Carolina
- Common Causes of Car Crashes
- What To Do After a Car Accident
- Distracted Driving
- Does Dram Shop Liability Affect My Case?
- Accidents Caused by Defective Roads
- Arrange Your Free Consultation
Car Accidents in South Carolina
In our state, you can pursue a claim against the person who is at fault for the car accident. We are also what is known as a "comparative fault" state, which means if a judge determines that you are more than 50 percent at fault, then you cannot collect damages against the other driver or at-fault party. As long as you are 50 percent or less at fault, you can collect monetary damages.
But determining fault is not always easy. The police will make reports and can cite other drivers for traffic violations, but this does not always correctly indicate that a party was at fault for an accident. Sometimes a crash scene needs to be investigated and independent witness statements need to be taken to determine fault.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
Some of the most common causes are:
- Texting while driving
- Cell phone use while driving
- Dangerous construction zones
- Defective or dangerous roadways
- Drunk driving
- Defective vehicles or vehicle parts
These things can be traced back to someone else's negligence. Even defective roads can be tied to an initial act of careless design or faulty construction.
After getting shaken up by a crash, you may be unsure of what ultimately caused it. Our experienced car accident lawyers know how to investigate the details of your case to determine who is at fault. It's important not to admit fault in any way during this time. Even if you think you might be to blame, that might not be the case – car accidents are complex, involving many contributing factors. Our experienced lawyers can unravel these complexities and determine if you have a claim against the at-fault party.
What To Do After a Car Accident
By contacting our injury lawyers as soon as possible, we can begin advising you on how to proceed. In the meantime, here are some things you should do following a wreck:
- Get the medical care you need. Treating your injuries is of utmost importance to your case and to your physical wellbeing
- Keep notes and other documentation of the accident. Jot down what you remember happening in the accident, as well as any other observations you made at the time. At the scene of the accident, insist that a police report is made. Also take note of any independent witnesses who may have seen the accident
- Contact our car accident lawyers as soon as possible. Our lawyers can explain your rights and advise you on what to say and not say to insurance companies
Once you call us, we can make sure you know what to expect if you pursue a claim. And we will explain all of the options available to you for recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
Distracted Driving Car Accidents
South Carolina currently has a law banning texting while driving for motorists of all ages. But texting is just one source of driver distraction. There are many others, and the texting ban can be difficult for law enforcement officials to enforce. The fact remains, in this state and across the country, numerous car accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
You can call something distracting when it does one or more of the following:
- Takes your eyes off the road
- Takes your hand off the wheel
- Takes your mind away from the activity of driving
Driving requires focus and attention. When your attention is split between driving and other things, then an accident can result. Motorist safety agencies say texting can be one of the most distracting activities because it involves all three forms of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. While smartphones are a major source of distraction, they are certainly not the only thing begging for your focus while you drive:
- Conversations with passengers, especially heated or emotional interactions
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting audio controls
- Adjusting the navigation system
- Personal grooming or applying makeup
- Looking at accidents or other things occurring outside your window
It's easy for anyone to become distracted. But by taking a few steps, you can prevent these types of accidents from occurring:
- Turn off your phone while driving, or turn it to silent and place it out of sight
- Consider using one of the many apps that will disable your text messages while you drive and send an auto-text informing the sender that you are driving
- If you have a passenger in the front seat with you, ask them to be in charge of things that could otherwise be distracting to you, such as adjusting the radio, navigating and answering the phone
- Plan ahead so that you have enough time to eat, make calls and groom before you get in the car, without making you late to your destination
Does Dram Shop Liability Affect My Case?
If someone was served alcohol when they were visibly too drunk to be served, then you may have a dram shop liability component to your case. This area of law deals with the liability of bars, restaurants and other establishments selling alcohol. When such businesses serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a person under 21, they may be responsible for any DUI crashes that result from over-serving that person. You can read more about dram shop cases here. Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling these claims and we can determine if it is a factor in your situation.
Car Accidents Caused by Defective Roads
Sometimes, an accident is not the fault of the motorist but the road itself. Inadequate road maintenance and defective road design can manifest in many ways, such as:
- Lack of road barrier
- Dangerous guardrails
- Failure to warn of sharp curves
- Inadequate signage
- Unmaintained overgrowth covering warning signs
- Pavement drop-offs
- Confusing road markings
- Lanes that are too narrow
- Obstructed view of the road
You assume a certain level of risk any time you get behind the wheel, but governments and transportation agencies have responsibilities to keep roadways reasonably safe by warning you of certain hazards and by maintaining the roads.
Lawsuits against the municipal, state or federal government agency responsible for the defect can be complex. Our lawyers have handled numerous car accident cases involving governmental agencies, and we know how to navigate and resolve such cases. We can also determine if roadway engineers or another party is responsible for the defect. Our attorneys do not back down to even the most powerful opponents. We will not stop fighting until we have obtained the best possible results on your behalf.
Arrange Your Free Consultation with Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers
Our car accident injury attorneys know how overwhelming these situations can be. You do not need additional financial burdens and obligations while you work through this ordeal – we offer free case evaluations without any obligation attached. Our team wants to learn about your case and give you the opportunity to learn about us. Then, you can be confident that you have clear, accurate information about your options moving forward.
For your free case evaluation and to learn more about our experienced Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Kingstree car accident attorneys, please call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda at (803) 828-6100. We are proud to serve people from across the state of South Carolina.