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Car Accident Lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina
More than 200,000 people are injured in car accidents in Georgia and South Carolina every year. Many of those injuries are severe to life-threatening. Depending on the impact of the accident, a car crash can result in personal injury to you and your passengers. If you fail to seek prompt, reasonable and necessary medical care, the at-fault's insurance company may attempt to use your "lack of action" against you. Therefore, it is important to have a health care professional attend to your injuries as soon as possible.Many vehicular accidents are the result of someone's negligence or failure to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. If another driver was responsible for causing a traffic accident, he or she may be liable for the damages you incurred. Being involved in an automobile accident can be very confusing but you should seek the advice of a Columbia car accident lawyer in a timely manner. The attorney you choose can launch an investigation and begin documenting the facts before crucial evidence is lost forever.
Common Causes of South Carolina Car Accidents
- Drunk Driving – Drivers impaired by alcohol have poor judgment and often lose the ability to react in time. This significantly increases the risk of being involved in a collision. Experts estimate that driving while under the influence of alcohol increases the probability of being in an accident by nine times.
- Reckless Driving – Nonalcohol-related reckless driving often stems from driving too aggressively. Dangerous drivers have a blatant disregard for others and feel they are more important than anyone else, which can lead to road rage.
- Driving Too Fast – Failing to follow the speed limit is still one of the most common causes of traffic accidents in the United States. It is often associated with reckless driving and/or driving under the influence. High-speed collisions tend to result in more severe outcomes.
- Tailgating – Failing to keep a safe distance from the car in front can reduce a driver's reaction time. There really isn't a good excuse for following too closely. If a sudden turn or braking causes an accident, the driver in the rear is most often to blame.
- Distracted Driving – Drivers using handheld devices are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident, and the consequences can be tragic. Cell phones are not the only distraction that causes accidents but they are to blame for about 12 percent of fatal crashes. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes over 1.6 million car accidents each year. South Carolina law bans texting while driving, but the state does not currently have a distracted driving law.
- Rubbernecking – When a driver looks at anything other than the road, it is considered a type of distracted driving called "rubbernecking." This often occurs in heavy traffic when someone either watches another traffic accident occur or becomes fixated on the aftermath of an accident. It can also include looking at scenery or reading nontraffic-related road signs.
- Falling Asleep at the Wheel – Being overly tired or extra sleepy can diminish a driver's reaction time behind the wheel. While there is no test for drowsy driving, studies indicate that sleepiness impairs a driver's abilities as much as alcohol and can lead to a devastating auto accident.
- Bad Weather – Weather can change suddenly, creating a situation where it may become difficult for a driver to stop in time. Rain, snow, ice and sand on the roadways are contributing factors in many vehicular accidents, and prolonged periods without rain can result in a slicker-than-normal surface that also can contribute to a driver's loss of control.
- Road Construction and Roadway Defects – Accidents in construction areas are often linked to drivers exceeding the posted speed limit in a designated area. However, the improper installation of signs and traffic lights, as well as bad roadway designs and poorly maintained surfaces, can also be to blame.
- Defective Automobile Parts – Auto industry recalls have become all too common and often lead to serious injuries to a vehicle's occupants. Common auto defects include tires, poor designs that cause a vehicle to be more prone to rollovers, defective or exploding airbags and faulty seatbelts.
Beware of Offers for a Fast Settlement of Damages
It would be nice to think that when an accident is someone else's fault, their insurance would automatically cover your costs. But that's not the case. Insurance companies have legal teams and adjusters whose purpose is to keep claims costs low while avoiding lawsuits. Attempting to negotiate on your own without the aid of legal representation is difficult, if not impossible.
Sadly, numerous accident victims are lured into a fast settlement* by a seemingly friendly insurance adjuster. In many cases, the full effects of a victim's injuries are not appreciated until weeks afterward when the need for long-term physical therapy becomes apparent, or after several missed days (or weeks) of work have taken their toll on the victim's bank account. You should seek legal counsel from a car accident lawyer following any collision with injuries, and you should never accept a low-ball offer from the at fault's insurance carrier.
*NOTE: The effort you expend after an accident should be focused on recovering from your injuries, not battling an insurance company.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Having an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer to handle your lawsuit is the number one way to ensure your rights are protected. If not, you could lose the right to seek restitution for damages, even though the accident was someone else's fault. Victims who fail to retain legal representation all too often find that they are unable to recover the full compensation they would have been entitled to receive. Only a car accident lawyer experienced in handling injury claims should be trusted to handle your case.
At Best & Flatt, we work closely with accident victims to ensure they receive the medical care they need while we pursue a personal injury case to protect their rights. If you've been involved in a car accident, quick action is essential to a successful claim, so don't delay. Call us today at 803-252-1800 to schedule your consultation or use this website's "Do I Have a Case?" form for a prompt, private response.