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Car Accidents

Charleston Car Accident Attorneys

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Our team at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC has seen first-hand just how devastating a car accident can be on the victim and their family. We understand the physical pain, the mounting medical bills, and the anxiety of not being able to work. As passionate advocates for the injured, we know what you are facing and the hurdles you need to overcome.

Our team of Charleston car accident attorneys is prepared to work hard to help you recover the maximum compensation you need for your injuries. From our initial consultation all the way to the end of your personal injury case, you can count on us to be there for you.

Schedule your FREE consultation with our car accident lawyers in Charleston by calling (843) 968-0886.

Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle

We provide representation for all types of auto accident injury cases, including:

What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Do?

If you were involved in a car accident, you might be curious as to how hiring a car accident attorney can benefit you. At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, the mission of our car accident lawyers is to expertly guide you through the intricacies of the legal process in the aftermath of a serious accident involving a vehicle. Our team of skilled automobile accident lawyers in Charleston, SC, is dedicated to providing personalized legal services designed to protect your rights and ensure you receive the rightful compensation. We handle every aspect of your case, from negotiating with insurance companies and gathering robust evidence to fortify your claim, to representing you in court proceedings if necessary. Our deep knowledge of South Carolina’s specific car accident laws and regulations, combined with our ability to pinpoint liability and thoroughly assess the extent of your damages and injuries, ensures we are perfectly poised to support you at every turn.

We want the legal procedure to be as stress-free as possible so you can concentrate on getting better while we battle for your financial relief and justice. You can rely on us to stand up for you when it comes to getting just treatment and the best result for your circumstances. Speak with a qualified Charleston car accident attorney at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC as soon as possible.

How Can Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC Help You?

  • We can provide step-by-step guidance through your car accident claim
  • We can explain your legal rights and options
  • We can tell you whether an insurer's offer is fair
  • We can stand up for you during negotiations and litigation
  • We can provide emotional and legal support throughout your case

If you have found yourself dealing with serious injuries after a car wreck that was caused by another’s negligence, now is the time to seek counsel for your claim. Our Charleston car accident lawyers bring years of experience to the table and can help you pursue a positive outcome following a serious collision.

We represent clients, not cases. Our team is ready to dedicate our resources, time, and attention to you.

Common Car Accident Injuries Charleston

Each year in the United States, there are more than one million car accidents which result in injury. While some of these injuries are minor cuts and bruises, many are serious and life-altering.

Some of the most commonly reported types of car accident injuries:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: A soft tissue injury is any injury to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body. In addition to being some of the most common car accident injuries, soft tissue injuries are also some of the hardest to notice because they often do not show symptoms for days or even weeks after a crash. The best-known example of a soft tissue injury is whiplash, which is caused by sudden movement of the neck and head, and can result in severe damage to your neck muscles and ligaments.
  • Broken Bones: Broken bones tend to be the most noticeable type of car accident injury, but not in all cases. In many cases, the adrenaline and commotion from the car accident can keep you from noticing minor fractures immediately. More serious breaks are usually instantly evident, and most often occur in the legs, arms, and ribs.
  • Brain Injuries: In part due to the increased focus on NFL player safety, we are now starting to understand the long-term effects of even seemingly mild brain injuries. In reality, these are some of the most severe car accident injuries, and are more common than many people think. During a car accident, it’s very common for drivers and passengers to hit their heads against the dashboard, steering wheel, or even a window. Some injury victims are lucky to walk away with just a mild concussion (which can still have long-term effects), while others unfortunately suffer more serious long-term issues including a coma.
  • Spinal Injuries: Just as with soft tissue injuries, spinal injuries are often caused by the sudden movement of your body. Injuries which impact the spine or spinal cord are arguably the most serious, as they can have an immediate and severe impact on the rest of your life. A herniated disc can lead to a lifetime of back pain, while damage to the spinal cord can leave you paralyzed.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in South Carolina

Car accident lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, and as such, they are subject to South Carolina's personal injury statute of limitations. Under South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-530, any lawsuit stemming from a car accident must be filed within three years of the date of the crash to be heard in civil courts. This time limit applies regardless of whether it is for personal injury, vehicle damage, wrongful death, or a combination of all three of these. If you try to file a claim after this deadline has expired, your case will almost certainly be dismissed, permanently ending your ability to seek compensation.

It is important to note that this deadline does not apply to insurance claims after a car accident; most insurance policies require you to notify either your own insurer or the at-fault driver's insurer within a few days after the crash to be eligible for coverage. It is important to speak to an attorney right away after a crash to protect your rights and ensure you are compliant with all filing deadlines.

How Do You Determine Fault for a Car Crash?

South Carolina is one of a handful of “fault” statutes, meaning that proving fault for resulting injuries will be the crux of your case. In these types of cases, nothing has a bigger impact than successfully proving liability – with us on your side, you can trust that we will leave no stone unturned in investigating your case and making sure the responsible parties are held accountable.

To prove liability, you must show the following:

  • A legal duty was owed: The duty is that drivers must operate their vehicle with a reasonable standard of care
  • A duty was breached: You must show that the driver was negligent in fulfilling his or her duty of care
  • The breach of duty directly caused your injuries: Negligence alone doesn’t make a driver responsible – his or her actions have to be the direct and prominent cause of the accident.

At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, we bring years of experience to the table and offer caring and compassionate counsel when you need it most. Our legal strategies are award-winning and backed by a track record of success.

What To Do After a Serious Car Accident in Charleston

When you are dealing with shock after a damaging auto accident, it may be difficult to determine what steps to take or where to turn for help. Immediately following an accident, you should always make sure that you do everything you can to document the damage, the scene of the collision, surrounding roads, and any other evidence that may help your case. You should also always exchange contact information with the other driver or drivers involved.

What other key steps should you follow in the aftermath?

  • Avoid admitting guilt or apologizing for the accident
  • If you have any injuries, seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • Find an attorney who can represent your rights during this time
  • Report the accident to your insurance company (preferably under the guidance of your lawyer)
  • Keep track of all medical bills, property damage costs, and other paperwork
  • Discuss any concerns with your lawyer to ensure your needs are addressed

South Carolina Car Accident Statistics

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety releases a book of statistics and facts about car accidents in the state. It takes months to gather full information about injuries, deaths, and costs — the most recent edition of the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book was published in 2017. This data provides insight into the true consequences of driver negligence in the state of South Carolina.

Some South Carolina car accident statistics to consider:

  • There were 141,874 collision incidents in 2017. Of those car accidents, 925 were fatal and 39,466 resulted in injury.
  • A car accident occurs every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina. Injury-causing collisions happen every 13.3 minutes, and fatal collisions happen every 9.5 hours.
  • The primary contributing factor in car accidents was driver negligence, which contributed to 133,191 of all non-fatal collisions and 768 of all fatal collisions. The second-most contributing factor to non-fatal collisions — occurring in 4,297 car accidents — was environmental elements such as weather, glare, or an animal in the road. In fatal collisions (143 total), pedestrians who did not cross the street properly, were not visible, etc. were the second-most contributing factor.
  • Approximately 8% of drivers involved in fatal car accidents were 20-24 year old male drivers. This demographic represents the South Carolina drivers who are most frequently involved in fatal collisions. Seventy percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were male drivers of all ages.
  • Fatal collisions most commonly occurred in the months of May, October, and April, on weekends rather than weekdays, and usually between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. (this was the time window for 61.7% of all fatal car accidents).

South Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements

In South Carolina, all drivers are required to have car insurance. The state also requires that all auto insurance plans meet certain minimums for property damage and bodily injury coverage, in addition to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

The South Carolina car insurance minimum requirements are:

  • Property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident
  • Bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident (plus a $200 deductible)
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

There are also required minimums for underinsured motorist coverage, however, this type of coverage plan in itself is not a requirement. If a person does elect to purchase underinsured motorist coverage, they must have at least $25,000 per accident in underinsured motorist property damage coverage, and $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

The amounts specified above are the minimum coverage requirement for a reason — if a car accident occurs, this level of coverage will likely be insufficient. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision and have the minimum amount of coverage, contact our Charleston car accident lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Modified Comparative Negligence in South Carolina

South Carolina is an at-fault state, so car accident injury victims must file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company — and prove that driver’s negligence — in order to recover compensation. However, proof of the other driver’s primary responsibility does not excuse an injury victim from liability if they are also partially responsible for the accident.

The negligence laws in South Carolina follow the principle of “modified comparative negligence.” Modified comparative negligence laws reduce allotted compensation based on each driver’s percentage of fault. An injury victim whose total car accident damages amount to $100,000 would be entitled to that full amount if the other driver is found to be completely responsible for the collision. But if there is evidence that the injury victim with $100,000 in total damages was 20% responsible for the collision, their payment would be reduced by that amount. In this situation, the partially at-fault driver would be able to recover $80,000 in compensation.

A driver who is determined as more responsible for a car accident than the other driver cannot recover any compensation under South Carolina state law. Therefore, a person who is at least 51% at fault for a collision will not be compensated (in this example, the other driver would still be entitled to compensation, but their award would be reduced by 49%). Car accidents involving two drivers who are equally (50%) at fault for the collision would result in both people having their compensation cut in half.

If We Don’t Win, You Don’t Pay

When you trust your case to us, you can rest assured knowing we will go above and beyond to secure the best possible result on your behalf. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet so that you can move forward following a serious auto accident. Whether you are suffering from devastating injuries or just need a few weeks or months to recover, our caring law firm is here to stand by your side.

Because we firmly believe that our clients are deserving of high-quality legal advocacy, regardless of their finances, our car wreck lawyers in Charleston accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. We urge that you secure immediate representation – the statute of limitations for these types of cases in three years after the day of the accident. When you come to Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, you can trust you’re more than just a file number.

Recommended Reading

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