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There is no such thing as an average car accident settlement in South Carolina. Insurance companies and others involved in these claims calculate the potential value of each case based on its own merits. This includes numerous factors the parties must consider when weighing a settlement offer or agreeing to accept a settlement. Most car accident cases settle without going to trial. Many do not require filing a lawsuit, either. The parties often reach a negotiated settlement based on the relevant damages and other factors. If the victim and their attorney disagree on the offer, they may opt to sue the liable party in civil court. This process may encourage a better settlement offer. Alternatively, the plaintiff and their attorney can ask a jury to award a fair payout.
Under South Carolina law, victims of a car crash can be fully compensated for their losses by the person or entity responsible for causing the collision. Although no attorney can guarantee a specific dollar amount, a car accident lawyer can help you better understand what you could reasonably expect to recover. Whether you settle your claim or bring a lawsuit, your compensation will be unique to your particular situation. Your payout will be based on how you can convince the jury or the insurance company of your claim’s worth. Understanding the many factors that influence the settlement value of a case is critical. You need to analyze these factors, determine the value of your damages, and mitigate any negative factors before demanding a just payout. Working with a South Carolina car accident attorney offers one of the best options for ensuring you demand a fair and just settlement in your case. Hiring a law firm has many advantages, including making it easier to determine the possible settlement range of your claim and negotiating a settlement that falls within it.
Before you demand a payout, you should understand how much your case is worth. Many factors go into this determination, including how serious your injuries were and how much they will affect your ability to earn a living. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis, so generalizing about how much money someone could recover after a car accident often proves impossible. After an investigation that includes identifying and documenting your damages, your attorney can explain how much compensation they believe you could recover. Their calculation sets the range where a fair settlement offer should fall. It also determines how much they can demand from the insurer in the initial claim. Your compensation could be affected by your case’s strength and the responsible party’s insurance coverage, as well.
The laws in South Carolina indicate that you should be “made whole” after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. This means accident-related costs can get included in your compensation. In general, car accident victims expect to recover money for the losses and expenses incurred because of the crash, including their intangible losses. The lawyer handling the claim can determine the recoverable damages, their value, the overall fair settlement range, and how much to demand initially. They use their experience and knowledge of similar cases to do this. Your attorney should speak openly with you and answer your questions about these values as the case moves forward.
Many accident victims endure all the expenses and losses included on this list, but many only face a few of them. Your attorney can work diligently to help you identify and understand the value of your damages, including those beyond this list. This is imperative to getting a fair and appropriate settlement in your case. Understanding your case’s damages and their value can prove very difficult for most accident victims to manage on their own.
Those who lost a close relative in a car accident could also seek justice and compensation. Under South Carolina law, the personal representative of a crash victim can file a wrongful death action following their passing. This legal action allows the immediate family members-spouse, children, or parents-to receive compensation based on the family’s losses. The following include wrongful death damages:
South Carolina law states that a personal representative should manage the claim, and the victim’s heirs receive the proceeds. In many cases, the personal representative is also one of the parties who benefit from the outcome of a wrongful death case. However, a non-family member could also serve in this role. A personal representative is usually the executor of the will, administrator of the estate, or the party named by the probate court to handle the probate process. If you are unsure, your attorney can identify the personal representative in your loved one’s case. Like other personal injury cases, wrongful death cases often settle outside of court. However, going to a jury trial and fighting for a favorable verdict and court-awarded compensation can prove crucial to resolving the case.
Any car accident claim aims to get a fair settlement that covers the range of expenses and losses (known as damages) you incurred because of the crash and your injuries. Victims get justice by holding the at-fault driver or another party legally liable for their damages through an insurance claim or lawsuit. To this end, you must understand the value of your case before you agree to a settlement. Since there is no average car accident settlement in South Carolina, how can you do this? The answer: With help from your lawyer. Your attorney can work with you to identify your damages. They can talk with you, discussing your accident, injuries, treatment, and more. They know the common damages in these collisions and can work to document them. Common evidence in these cases includes:
To determine the value of your case, your attorney analyzes this evidence and consults other experts as needed. This often includes doctors, specialists, and economists who can put a price on your future medical needs and provide a better understanding of your prognosis. When it comes to your intangible damages, putting an accurate value on them is essential. They are often the most valuable loss in these cases. Your attorney uses their knowledge of similar cases, their experience with the insurers, and other resources to determine how much your non-economic damages might be worth. Then, your lawyer can calculate the fair settlement range of your South Carolina car accident case and work with you to determine how much you should demand from the insurance company in your claim.
In addition to valuing the case and deciding how much to pursue in your claim, your lawyer plays several other roles in ensuring you get a fair opportunity to pursue a payout. This includes:
Most people have never had to file a car accident claim following a serious injury collision before. You may not have confidence in what steps to take or what to do first. Your attorney navigates the claim process for clients every day. In some situations, they handle thousands of cases over decades. They know the process inside and out. When you face serious injuries, you likely want an attorney to argue for all the compensation you need for your care. You are likely undergoing treatment and rehabilitation when you file your claim. You likely do not have time and energy to waste on figuring out the next step in the claims process. When your attorney manages the process, you focus on the most important thing: Your health.
Car accident attorneys know the tactics insurers and others involved in these cases use to reduce how much your settlement might be worth. Your lawyer handles all communication with the car insurance company, at-fault parties, and others. This reduces the risk of saying something they can use against you or twisting your words to hurt your case. The law firm also takes steps to ensure you get a fair opportunity to pursue compensation by meeting all relevant deadlines in the case.
Your lawyer can prove a great source of information for you, providing all the data and advice you need to make the right decisions about your case. While they provide guidance, all decisions are up to you. This includes deciding when to accept a settlement offer. However, you will never have to face these questions alone. They answer all questions and address your concerns as they arise.
Your legal team mitigates issues that come up and works to build the strongest case possible for you. This maximizes your payout based on the details of your case, documented damages, and other factors. Most car accident lawyers work on contingency. They charge no upfront costs or fees. You only pay fees when they recover compensation for you. These fees make up a percentage of the total financial recovery, so the lawyer has the incentive to fight for the best possible settlement for you.
Your lawyer understands effective and appropriate negotiation tactics and should have years of experience handling these situations. They deal directly with the insurance company, demanding a payout and negotiating for fair compensation based on the value they estimated for your case.
Throughout the entire legal process, your attorney advocates on your behalf. This is true in settlement talks with the insurer, in the pre-trial stages of a lawsuit, and at trial. Your legal team should fight for justice for you every step of the way.
Most car accident claims settle without needing to move forward to a jury trial. However, a lawsuit can sometimes prove necessary for some victims. If your attorney recommends filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should take their advice seriously. Ask them questions and get the information you need to decide whether to move forward, but they usually have a good reason why. Some of these reasons include:
Ultimately, your attorney can leave whether to sue or not up to you. Remember, most lawsuits never go to trial. However, they know what it takes to recover appropriate and fair compensation. If they advise a lawsuit, consider it a good idea. In many cases, the insurer increases the offer, and an out-of-court settlement is possible.
Most car accident law firms and attorneys who handle traffic accident cases provide complimentary case reviews and work based on contingency. They offer a chance to discuss your rights, legal options, and the questions you have about your case with a legal professional for free. The value of the compensation you receive after a car wreck has a direct and profound impact on your future quality of life. You likely want to work with car accident lawyers who are dedicated to making sure you get the money you need and deserve. Discussing your case with a local firm that handles these cases frequently is one of the best first steps you can take.
For a free evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 803-454-1200. You can also fill out our online contact form.