Car accidents can cause serious injuries, fatalities, and property losses. After you have been in a car accident, you might wonder whether you will be able to recover compensation for your losses. Your ability to recover compensation will depend on your insurance coverage, the insurance coverage of the other driver, and whether you or the other driver was at fault for causing the accident. Our auto accident attorneys can help get you the cash you deserve.
- No-fault accidents
- No insurance accidents
- No police report
- Not at-fault accidents
- Car accident report
- Uninsured driver accident
- Wrongful death
- Damages to pursue
Some accidents do not result in the police writing tickets for either driver. This might be because no laws were broken, or the officers are unable to determine who was at fault. Your lawyer will investigate the facts more thoroughly to try to determine whether the other driver is liable or if an entity such as the manufacturer of your vehicle might be liable. If no one was truly at fault for your accident, you may submit your claim to your own insurance company if you have personal injury protection or medical payments coverage on your policy. While these types of insurance are not required by the state, it is a good idea for you to have them. You can submit your claim under your PIP coverage, and it will pay for your medical expenses up to the limits of your policy. If you also have comprehensive and collision coverage, it should pay for the property damages to your vehicle after subtracting your deductible.
Accidents when you don't have insurance
If you don't have insurance and have an accident, getting compensation may be more difficult. However, if a member of your household has coverage, you may be able to get compensation from that policy. If you were not at fault in causing the accident, you can still pursue a claim by going after the at-fault driver's liability policy.
Accidents for which a police report doesn't exist
Police reports can be helpful in figuring out what happened in an accident. However, if a police report was not written, it is still possible for you to recover compensation from the other driver's insurance company. Our law firm has a team of investigators who are able to work your case so that they can build evidence that establishes the liability of the at-fault party.
Accidents in which you are not at fault
If you had no fault in causing your car accident, you may file an injury claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company to recover compensation from his or her liability insurance policy. If other people or entities also contributed to the accident's cause, you might be able to recover compensation from them by naming them as defendants in your lawsuit.
Getting a car accident report
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that was not investigated by the police, you may need to file a car accident report with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Reports must be submitted for any accidents that caused property losses of $1,000 or more or that caused the death or bodily injury of a person. You can download the traffic collision report from the SCDMV's website. You can also submit a request for a copy of a collision report for your accident.
Accidents caused by uninsured drivers
If an uninsured driver hit your vehicle, it means that you may not have a source of recovery for your losses unless you have uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage as an endorsement on your own policy. All insurers in the state must offer this type of coverage when you apply for insurance coverage. If you are unsure whether you have it, check your policy or call your insurance agent. It is a good idea for you to get UM/UIM coverage because many drivers fail to keep insurance on their vehicles or have policies with low liability limits. UM/UIM coverage can protect you if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by another person or entity, you might be able to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity that was responsible for causing the accident. This is initiated in the probate court, and the lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative for the estate for the benefit of your loved one's estate beneficiaries.
Wrongful death lawsuits may be filed in cases in which the deceased people would have been able to recover compensation for their losses through personal injury claims if they had remained alive.
Damages to Pursue in South Carolina
The damages that might be available to you in a car accident claim will depend on the extent of your injuries, your likelihood to recover, and other factors. Damages fall into two primary categories called special damages and general damages. Special damages are compensation for your actual pecuniary losses and can include the following:
- Repair or replacement costs of your vehicle
- Past and future expected medical costs
- Past lost wages and a reduction in your ability to earn an income
In a wrongful death case, you might recover compensation for the medical treatment that your loved one received before he or she died, your funeral and burial costs, money for the lost income, compensation for your loved one's lost inheritance rights, and your loss of benefits through your loved one.
In addition to special damages, the available compensatory damages include general damages. These are damages that are more difficult to calculate and include the losses that you suffered that are more intangible. In a wrongful death claim, some of the general damages that might be recoverable include the following:
- Wounded feelings
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of your loved one's advice on family matters
In a personal injury case, some of the general damages that might be available to you include the following:
- The pain and suffering that you experienced because of your accident
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
When you meet with your personal injury attorney at our law firm, he or she will review what happened in your case to analyze the potential damages that might be available to you. After we have calculated the potential damages, we can explain the amount of money that you might expect to receive in a fair settlement offer. We will also work hard to identify all of the potential sources of recovery so that we might maximize the amount of compensation that you are ultimately able to recover.