South Carolina has the dubious honor of being the third deadliest state for fatal car crashes. The state has an average of 20.5 deaths per 100,000 people. However, not all accidents result in death, and even if you have a small fender bender, you need to know certain laws and procedures.
If you’ve recently experienced a South Carolina car accident, this guide will help you know what to do. That way, you have the best chance for recovery of your damages.
Reporting an Accident
There are South Carolina car accident laws that require certain types of car accidents to get reported. If the accident results in injury, death, or $1,000 in property damage, then the drivers must report it. If your accident occurs in a municipality, then you must report it to the local police.
Consequences of Not Reporting
If you fail to report your accident, your insurance company can deny your claim. Your policy may even allow the company to drop your policy completely. This will put you in violation of insurance laws.
As a driver in South Carolina, you’re required to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage for each registered vehicle.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
You have a set period of time to file a claim. You have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t file your claim before the deadline, your claim will likely be automatically dismissed.
This means you’ll want to speak with a South Carolina car accident attorney right away. This will give them plenty of time to gather evidence.
Now that you’ve reported the accident and filed your claim, the next step is to determine fault. Your South Carolina car accident lawyer will try to prove that you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state.
You need to be less than 50% at fault to be able to recover. Any percentage of at fault you are found to be will reduce your damages award by that percentage.
What Can You Recover for?
The at-fault driver is responsible for more than just the physical damage to the car. Speaking with an accident attorney will help you understand what you can include.
- Vehicle damage
- Damage to personal property
- Bodily injury
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Your attorney will be able to help you gather the appropriate documentation necessary for each of these damage claims.
Know Your South Carolina Car Accident Laws
By knowing and understanding the South Carolina car accident laws, you know what’s expected of you after an accident. This ensures your rights are protected, and you have the best possible ability to file a claim for damages and possible recovery.
Most importantly, always consult with an experienced car accident or a personal injury attorney. They will be able to explain the law and guide you.
Browse our other legal articles for more helpful information about the law.