Car accidents are traumatic, especially if you or a loved one has been injured. Not to mention the damage your vehicle might have had. However, you don’t have to suffer even more with the bills that come after an accident.
Car, truck and motorcycle accidents happen all the time in the busy streets of Charleston. What you don’t know is that you can hire a Charleston auto accident lawyer to help you get fair compensation. According to South Carolina law, someone else may be obligated to cover the expenses, especially if you weren’t liable for the accident.
In this article, you’ll learn what a car accident lawyer can do for you. Learn more about the process here. In most instances, if you were not at fault for the accident, you have options and it’s important to know what they are so you can protect yourself.
What Is a Car Accident Lawyer?
A car accident lawyer is a licensed attorney who can represent you and take legal action on your behalf. Those legal actions include speaking in court, filing legal documents, offering you legal advice, and negotiating with the other party.
Basically, a car accident lawyer stands by your side in the process of claiming financial compensation after a car accident.
The laws that apply to Charleston car accident claims are the South Carolina laws. South Carolina is classified as an at-fault state, which means that the party that caused the accident is liable for all the damages that happened.
South Carolina is also a modified comparative fault state, meaning that, for each accident, both drivers are assigned a percentage of liability. So, you can recover damages as long as you’re not deemed more than 50% at fault for the accident.
That said, the amount you receive as compensation could be reduced by the percentage you’re held liable for.
Evidence a Car Accident Lawyer needs
In Charleston, there’s some evidence needed to prove that the other party was negligent or at fault. To do so, your car accident lawyer must present some documents and records, including:
- Surveillance camera footage or videos from any other source
- Your testimony, as well as other passengers’ or bystanders’
- Medical reports and bills of your injuries
- Records of property damage
- Employment and wage information
- Accident reconstruction
- Records of Vehicle maintenance
- Police or incident reports
Damages That a Car Accident Lawyer Helps You Recover
There are three types of damage that your car accident lawyer can help you recover in Charleston, which are:
1. Punitive Damages
Punitive damage is a type of punishment for the defendant. It’s only available in case your lawyer proves that the defendant acted recklessly. Therefore, it’s paid on top of the compensatory damages.
2. Economic Damages
Economic damage is all the monetary losses caused by the accident, including future anticipated ones. These damages include property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages are all losses caused by an accident that aren’t defined in monetary terms. These damages include mental anguish, physical disfigurement, loss of consortium, or lowered quality of life.
Let’s take a classic auto accident example to see how things play out. If you are rear ended by a driver who was texting, then it would be important to have the police file a police report stating the other party was at fault. Additionally, the plaintiff’s lawyer could obtain phone records from the defendant or video footage to help prove the case.
What happens next depends on your injuries. It’s important to obtain the treatment you need to fully recover. A lawyer can help determine what doctors or medical specialist you should visit. When your treatment is over, then the lawyer can send a demand letter to the insurance company. If they do not agree to settle the case, then you and your lawyer must determine if you want to file a lawsuit and a litigation strategy. If all goes well, you should be able to settle your case or have a jury render a verdict.
If you’ve had an accident, a Charleston car accident attorney is here to help you through your court battle against whoever caused you harm in the accident.