Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are common, and most of us have been in one or know someone who has. While some are fortunate enough to walk away without injuries, others are not so lucky. A lawyer can assist you in getting compensation for your injuries.

Your damages should represent all the things you have lost and the pain you have endured as a direct result of the accident. Medical bills, vehicle damage, and psychological trauma are common examples of damages. Talk to a lawyer about getting your case started as soon as possible. Injury cases usually have a strict deadline and must be filed no later than 2 years after the accident. One of the first steps you and your lawyer will probably take is determining exactly what caused the accident. Things like traffic violations, intoxication, and distractions behind the wheel might all play a role. We need evidence of the defendant’s negligence. Witnesses, photos and videos from the accident scene, and records of your injuries should be gathered and evaluated.

Call (803) 219-4906 and speak to our car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras to get a private case review for no charge.

Damages You Can Recover in a Columbia, SC Car Accident Case

Do not underestimate the value of your damages. Many people talk themselves out of taking legal action because they mistakenly believe that their damages are not worth much. Alternatively, some people choose not to sue because they can afford the costs of the accident. Whether you can afford them or not, you should not have to cover the damages from a car accident caused by a negligent driver.

Many damages are very subjective and based on personal experiences rather than actual sums of money. These are often called non-economic damages and may include emotional suffering, physical pain, humiliation, a loss of enjoyment of your life, and many other painful experiences. Since these damages are so subjective, the jury has the final say on what they are worth.

Economic damages are the things from the accident that cost you money. These damages are measured in dollars and cents, and things like receipts and invoices are crucial to proving these damages in court. Medical bills are very common in car accident cases. The more medical care you need, the higher your bills, and the greater your damages. Even the cost of getting to and from treatment should be added to your case.

Think about any other money you might have lost because of the accident. Did you have to take time away from work? Did you lose income? Your lost income may be included in your damages. We should also claim the value of repairing or replacing your car after the crash.

When to Speak to a Lawyer About Your Car Accident in Columbia, SC

Injured plaintiffs tend to resist taking legal action with a lawyer. The prospect of a lawsuit might be very intimidating, and it is reasonable to mull over your options before making a decision. Do not take too long, as you might bump up against the statute of limitations.

According to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(5), a plaintiff in a personal injury case, like for a car accident, has 3 years to file the case. The time starts ticking away on the day of the accident. Having 3 years might seem like plenty of time at first, but that time gets eaten up faster than you might realize. Just gathering the evidence and information needed to draft a formal complaint can take months.

If your limitations period is about to expire or you believe it has already expired, talk to your lawyer about having the statute of limitations tolled. Tolling may pause the clock counting down to your deadline, but only for very specific reasons. Under S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-40, the limitations period may be tolled if the plaintiff is a minor or has a disability that prevents them from understanding their rights.

Generally, if you were under 18 when the car accident happened, your limitations period does not begin until you turn 18. Since the limitations period is 3 years, you would have until age 21 to file a lawsuit. If you cannot take legal action because of a disability, your limitations period does not begin until the disability is removed. However, for a disability, the deadline cannot be extended by more than 5 years. Once a disability is removed, you must file your case within 1 year.

Common Causes of Accidents Around Columbia, SC

Car collisions happen for all sorts of reasons, and you should talk to your lawyer about the reasons behind your accident. Knowing how your accident occurred might help us find evidence, prove damages, and have the defendant held liable for their negligent behavior.

One of the most frequently cited reasons behind car accidents is traffic violations. A traffic violation might involve something as minor as turning without signaling or as serious as speeding through busy red lights, risking serious collisions. The police might issue a citation to the defendant after the accident, and we might use the citation as evidence.

Drinking and driving do not mix. Period. Unfortunately, many car accidents are caused by driver intoxication. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol behind the wheel, the risk of an accident goes way up. Intoxicated drivers often drive dangerously fast and lack the reflexes to stop to avoid a crash.

There are certain locations around Columbia where accidents are more common, and drivers should exercise greater caution. For example, the area around the University of South Carolina can be very busy with students and faculty. Thousands of students are on campus, and with so many young drivers, you might be injured in an accident. Similarly, be careful on the major highways that run through Columbia, like I-26, I-20, and I-77. Speed limits are high in these areas, and negligence behind the wheel is incredibly risky.

Call Our Car Accident Attorneys in Columbia, SC for Help

Call (803) 219-4906 and speak to our car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras to get a private case review for no charge.