Injured in a Car Wreck in Columbia, SC?
Our Columbia car accident lawyers have defended the rights of accident victims and other injured South Carolinians since 1959, and we’re committed to providing personalized service to you while aggressively going after wrongdoers. Because we know how financially devastating an accident can be, we never charge you a dime until your case is won.
Compensation for Your Injuries After a Car Wreck in Columbia, SC
To be sure you get the compensation for your injuries that you deserve, talk to a Columbia, SC, car accident lawyer at Louthian Law Firm. Attorney Bert Louthian can ask a court for compensation for your medical bills, repair bills, missed work and any other financial costs that the car accident caused, as well as for pain and suffering, permanent disability and other non-economic losses. In some cases, a car accident attorney may also be able to collect further money, called “punitive damages,” to punish a person or corporation for a particularly serious harmspe
Even if you think you may bear some fault for your injuries, the chances are good that you can still collect damages. That’s because South Carolina uses comparative negligence that allows motorists to recover a percentage of their damages even if they were partially at fault.
For a free evaluation of your car accident case, call a car crash lawyer at our law firm today at (803) 454-1200 for immediate help. You can also fill out our online contact form to get started.
- Injured in a Car Wreck in Columbia, SC?
- Compensation for Your Injuries After a Car Wreck in Columbia, SC
- How Much Money Can I Get from a Car Accident Lawsuit?
- Why File a Car Accident Claim?
- A Look at the Car Accident Claim Process
- Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC
- Tips for Dealing with the Auto Insurance Agency
- Our Car Wreck Lawyers Fight Auto Insurance Companies for You
- Settlement for Wreck
- Get Medical Treatment for any Car Accident Injuries and Keep Your Medical Records
- Important Tips: What Not to Do After a Car Crash
- Why You Should Take Advantage of Our Free Consultation
- How Bad Are Auto Accidents in South Carolina?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Lawsuits
- Why You Need an Experienced Columbia, SC, Car Accident Lawyer
- Statute of Limitations in South Carolina Car Accident Cases
- Settlement vs. Trial after a Car Accident
- Determining Fault in SC Auto Accident Lawsuits
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Types of Injuries from a Car Wreck
- Get Your Free Case Evaluation from the Car Accident Attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm
How Much Money Can I Get from a Car Accident Lawsuit?
The amount you seek in a claim depends on the damages you’ve experienced because of the car accident. The expenses covered by an injury claim include payment for medical bills, lost income and property damage, in addition to compensation for non-economic damages, such as the pain and suffering that stem from your injuries.
Call Today to See Whether You Have a Case
Consulting an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbia will give you a better idea of how much money you should pursue. Claims can range from thousands to millions of dollars. Our attorneys can help you understand how much your case is worth. Read more about Louthian Law Firm’s record of success in securing victories for our clients.
Why File a Car Accident Claim?
When another driver causes you harm, they should be made to pay for the expenses you are facing. Car accidents can be very costly. You have probably been billed for medical expenses and vehicle repairs. You might even have lost work or experienced reduced income because of the crash. If you were injured, you have almost certainly experienced a great deal of pain and suffering.
People file car accident claims to get payment for all of these costs, both economic and non-economic damages. It’s important to know how much you are owed and to hold the at-fault party and their insurance company accountable for those costs. Your car accident attorney in Columbia will make sure they give you the compensation you deserve.
A Look at the Car Accident Claim Process
First, you will meet with an attorney who will listen to the details of your case. Once you and your attorney agree to pursue a claim, your attorney will begin work on your case. It’s important to find out how much money you deserve, so you can pursue a fair amount that reflects your needs.
Your car accident attorney will conduct research to build your case. They will obtain any relevant documents and evidence, like the police report. Your attorney will interview any eyewitnesses and consult world-class experts that can bolster your case. After using these and other fact-finding, case-building tools, your attorney will demand the payment you deserve from the at-fault party and their insurer.
If the other side is willing to cooperate, then a settlement might be reached through negotiation. If not, the dispute can proceed to trial, where a jury will decide whether the defendant is at fault and how much they owe the injured person.
Throughout the process, you can hand over these tasks to your attorney, so you can focus on your health and go about your daily life. Your attorney will keep you updated on the progress of your case and answer any questions you might have along the way.
Of course, no two cases are the same. We’ll be able to give you a better idea of what to expect once we know the details of your situation. We want to hear more about your case, so we can help you explore your legal options.
Schedule your free case assessment today.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to make sure that you understand your legal rights. South Carolina laws regarding car wrecks are complex, and the deadline for filing a claim can be short. To ensure you get the best representation possible, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney. That’s what you’ll find at the Louthian Law Firm. Contact us as soon as you think you may need an auto accident attorney in Columbia.
Tips for Dealing with the Auto Insurance Agency
We don’t recommend contacting an auto insurance company about an accident without first consulting with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected. But if you do, here are some tips. When dealing with another person’s insurance company, you do not have to speak with or issue a statement to their representative. In fact, you should avoid doing so. If you give a statement to another person’s insurance company, they will use your words against you to lessen the amount of money they offer you or to deny a claim altogether. If you have a car accident attorney handling your case, you should tell the insurance company to speak to your lawyer.
While you shouldn’t interact with another driver’s insurance company, it is fine to contact your insurance company after a car wreck. Keep in mind that your negotiations may result in a lower settlement offer than you could receive by working with a skilled car accident lawyer in Columbia. If you do speak with your insurer, you should cooperate with them and answer their questions about the situation. Once they offer you a settlement, it is up to you to determine whether the offer is adequate. You do not have to accept the first offer they make. If you are unhappy with the offer made to you, contact a car wreck attorney at Louthian Law Firm. We’ll help you learn more about your options.
Our car accident lawyers in Columbia know how to deal with insurance companies. We will evaluate the damages you have experienced because of the car accident, and then we’ll get to work on your claim, demanding payment from the insurance company. In many cases, an insurance company will be willing to negotiate a fairer deal. In other cases, they can be taken to trial for the compensation they owe a policyholder or the person their policyholder injured.
Let us deal with the insurers. Call the Louthian Law Firm today at (803) 454-1200 or fill out our contact form to get started.
Our Car Wreck Lawyers Fight Auto Insurance Companies for You
In some Columbia, South Carolina, car accidents, the victims’ recovery is complicated by dealing with a bureaucratic or hostile insurance company. Even loyal customers who have paid their premiums on time for years may find themselves arguing with insurance adjusters about whose fault an accident was, the value of damages, what kind of coverage they have and other issues that can significantly change how much compensation they are entitled to.
If an insurance company refuses to pay a valid car accident claim, it’s called insurance bad faith, and it is illegal. An experienced Columbia car accident attorney can help you hold the insurance company to its end of the bargain and collect the compensation you are entitled to.
Settlement for Wreck
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in South Carolina?
There are many steps you should consider taking after a car accident. You want to be sure that your safety and the safety of your passengers are your top concern. You also want to keep in mind that the actions you take now will affect any claims you make after the crash.
- Call 911 to notify the police and request an ambulance. The police will respond to the scene of the crash, talk to all parties involved and file a police report. That report will be a crucial document for all claims related to the crash. An ambulance should be requested for anyone that has suffered an injury. Even if you are not sure how serious an injury really is, it is key that you seek immediate medical attention.
- If you are in harm’s way, do what is necessary to get to a safe place. If you or your vehicle is in the middle of a busy road, it’s important to make sure you are in a safe place while you wait for the police to respond to the accident.
- Gather the name and insurance information of the other driver. Avoid talking at length to the other driver. Be polite but remember that anything you say to the other driver could be used against you in your claim.
- If there are witnesses nearby, gather their information, too. Their account of the accident could be useful when establishing the fault of the other driver.
- If possible, take pictures of the scene with your phone. If you are unable to take pictures of the aftermath of the accident, you might consider asking anyone that is with you to do this. For example, if you have a passenger with you in your vehicle and you are unable to take pictures because of an injury, you might ask your passenger to take pictures of the scene, in addition to any damage your vehicle has suffered.
- Contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options. An attorney can walk you through the many steps needed to get the compensation you deserve. They can also help you avoid making mistakes that might impact your claim.
The days, weeks and months following your crash are filled with opportunities to mitigate the damage of any injuries you’ve suffered and to maximize the amount of payment you receive for the damages you have experienced. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you make the most of these opportunities.
Get Medical Treatment for any Car Accident Injuries and Keep Your Medical Records
Take These Simple Steps After an Accident…
Infographic: SC Accident Stats
Whatever you do, don’t attempt to shake it off simply because you’re not the type to go to a doctor. Exercise caution and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Always seek medical attention after an accident. It is so often the case that someone is hurt more than they realize after a traumatic event. When you experience trauma, your body kicks into overdrive. The painful symptoms stemming from an injury could be masked by adrenaline.
In addition to being the smartest course of action for your health, seeing a doctor is also wise from a legal perspective. If you decide to file a lawsuit, you’ll want to establish a timeline of your injuries, which begins with your first visit to a doctor or hospital. Be sure to keep all documentation of your injuries and visits to doctors.
Important Tips: What Not to Do After a Car Crash
In the time following your crash, your actions matter. What you do can not only position your claim for a better chance at a favorable result, you can also do your case harm if you aren’t careful. For example…
- Don’t leave the scene of the crash without first speaking to the police. Doing so could create legal problems, and it will almost certainly affect your chances of getting the compensation you are entitled to. Make sure you speak to the police officer who responds to the scene of the crash, so the report will include your account of what happened.
- Don’t speak at length to the other driver. You don’t want to be rude to the other driver, but you should avoid small talk. You never know how your words will be interpreted, and there is no benefit in speaking at length with the other driver. Exchange insurance information and say little else.
- Don’t apologize when you don’t know the cause of the crash. Some people make the crucial error of getting out of their vehicle and immediately saying they are sorry to the other driver. In many cases, this is only a polite gesture, but it can have major effects on your case. Any apology, however well-intentioned, could be interpreted as an admission of fault in a crash. Don’t give the other side an easy excuse to deny your claim. Don’t apologize without knowing the facts.
- Don’t accept any offers from insurance companies if it doesn’t meet your needs. You are under no obligation to accept payment from an insurance company if it is inadequate. When you accept the offer, you could be forgoing the opportunity to receive fair payment. If you are offered less than you deserve, contact an attorney to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
- Don’t talk about your situation on social media. Any posts you make to your social media account can have a big impact on your case. The other side’s legal representatives will definitely reference your account to look for anything that might help their client’s case. For example, if you are injured and you post a picture of yourself enjoying a recreational activity, the other side might use that post to say you are not injured to the degree you are claiming. Don’t give the other side any help. Stay off your social media accounts after an accident.
- Don’t speak to a representative of another driver’s insurance company. If you are contacted by a representative of another driver’s insurance company, you will likely be asked to give them a statement about the crash. DO NOT do this. This insurance company wants any opportunity to deny you the payment you are seeking. They will do whatever possible to use your words against you. If you are contacted by the representative of another driver’s insurance company, tell them to contact your lawyer.
- Don’t put off injuries or try to fight through pain. Many people hate visiting the doctor. Some might be intimidated by the idea of getting a series of tests and treatments, while others might simply be the type of person who wants to appear tough at all costs. After a crash is no time to be tough. If you forgo medical treatment or fight through pain to do routine tasks, the other side could make the case that you are not really injured and, therefore, do not deserve payment you are demanding.
The last thing you want to do is hurt the chances of getting compensation you are entitled to. One of the best ways to ensure you don’t make these mistakes is contacting an attorney who can provide you with counsel on what you should and shouldn’t do. An attorney can offer guidance on the steps you should take to maximize the payment you receive.
Let the Louthian Law Firm help. Contact our team today by calling (803) 454-1200 or filling out our online contact form. Schedule a free case evaluation with our Columbia, SC car accident lawyer.
Why You Should Take Advantage of Our Free Consultation
Our free case assessment is a great opportunity to get an attorney’s thoughts on your case. A free consultation doesn’t mean that you have hired our attorney. It’s a chance to get a free evaluation and to see whether you feel comfortable with a firm. When you speak to us, don’t hesitate to ask about our experience in handling cases like yours.
How Bad Are Auto Accidents in South Carolina?
Every year in South Carolina, there are, on average, 118,175 collisions on our roads. Those collisions lead to more than 50,000 injuries and nearly 900 deaths. These statistics are based on data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, and they paint a picture of how and why crashes occur on South Carolina’s roads; driver error results in around 19 out of every 20 crashes in our state, a figure in-keeping with national trends.
As the figures demonstrate, car accidents cause far too many people to lose their lives and suffer from serious injuries. In fact, the CDC indicates that car crashes are the leading killer of both kids and young adults throughout the U.S. and are among the top causes of death in all age groups.
These devastating losses due to car accident deaths in Columbia and throughout South Carolina are, unfortunately, only the tip of the iceberg. South Carolina car crashes also cause thousands of injuries, both serious and minor, as well as significant property damage. Extensive financial and emotional costs are also associated with car crashes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Lawsuits
What Expenses Will a Lawsuit Recover?
A lawsuit will help you cover the damages you’ve experienced. Damages is the term used to describe the costs or expenses of a crash. Damages can actually include several different consequences of a car accident. They include:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, ambulatory care, tests, treatments, rehabilitation or physical therapy, travel to and from a doctor’s office, and prescription medications
- Income lost due to missed time at work or loss of earning capacity; this includes both past lost income or future income you will lose because of an inability to work
- Property damage, primarily any damage done to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering, including all mental and physical trauma you have experienced.
As you can see, the damages in a claim include not only the financial consequences of a crash, but also the “non-economic damages,” such as pain and suffering. It’s important to know all the costs you are facing, so you can seek payment that meets all your needs.
How Much Is My Car Crash Case Worth?
This answer depends on the circumstances of your case. The value of a case can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the extent of the damages you’ve experienced. An attorney will be able to give a clearer picture of the amount you should seek in your claim. Learn more about how much a car accident settlement could be worth.
Should I Feel Bad About Suing Someone?
When you file a lawsuit against someone, you are not alleging they are a bad person, and you’re not looking for free money. You are simply claiming that a negligent party should be held responsible for the damages they have caused in your car crash. In many cases, the money you’re seeking will be paid by an insurance company, not the defendant in the case.
What Is Negligence in a Car Accident Case?
Negligence means that someone was careless or reckless. It doesn’t mean that the person meant to cause harm, only that they failed to act in a manner that would be considered acceptable under the given conditions. A driver who was sending a text and hit a pedestrian, for example, was negligent. They didn’t mean to hurt the other person, but it was their careless behavior that led to the pedestrian’s injury.
Can You File a Lawsuit After a Single-Car Crash?
Yes. Even if your crash didn’t involve a collision with another vehicle, there are still plenty of situations in which someone else might have caused the accident. For example, if a defective vehicle part led to the wreck, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. You might also have a valid claim if your wreck was caused by:
- Poor road conditions or poor design
- An object left in the road – this could be the case in a residential neighborhood or a construction zone, for example
- Another driver’s negligent actions.
Just because a crash involves one vehicle doesn’t mean that the driver of that vehicle was responsible for the accident. If you believe that your crash was somebody else’s fault, you are well within your rights to explore your legal options.
Who Can Be Sued for a Car Accident?
Anyone who bears responsibility for your injures can be named in a lawsuit. In some cases, it’s just one person or organization that is named. If multiple people share the blame, then it’s also possible to sue several people for the injuries you’ve suffered. We investigate the circumstances surrounding your auto accident case to determine who was at fault, so it’s not necessary for you to know exactly who should be named in your lawsuit.
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Claim?
If your injuries are severe and costly, and another person or persons were responsible for them, you should consider your legal options and consult an attorney. An experienced car wreck lawyer in Columbia will be able to give you a better idea of your case’s chance of success.
What Makes a Good Car Accident Attorney?
When looking for an attorney, you should consider their experience and skill in handling car accident cases, in addition to the resources they will be able to allocate to your case. Some attorneys offer information about past results on their website, and you can always ask the attorney about their successes during a consultation. You’ll also want to feel comfortable with the attorney handling your case and be confident that they’ll be able to deliver.
What Leads to a Successful Lawsuit in a Car Accident Case?
A successful case is built on preparation and strategy. An attorney will be able to demonstrate how their client has suffered and why the defendant is responsible for paying the damages. The ability to accomplish this task depends on an auto accident attorney’s skill and experience. Significant time and effort are required to achieve the compensation a client deserves.
What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Attorneys will tell you up front how they wish to be paid for their services, and it can differ from one firm to another. At the Louthian Law Firm, our clients don’t pay us unless we win their case, a form of payment known as a contingency fee.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee means that we are paid only if your claim is successful. If you earn no compensation, we charge you nothing.
Why You Need an Experienced Columbia, SC, Car Accident Lawyer
An attorney will do the legwork of your case. He or she will correspond with other attorneys and insurance companies, file paperwork on your behalf, investigate your case and keep you up to date on the progress of your case. Having an experienced car accident attorney handle your case will better position you to get the compensation you deserve.
Another major benefit of hiring a skilled car wreck lawyer is the freedom it gives you to focus on your recovery. You are facing many challenges stemming from your injury. You need to take care of your health. Hand the work of building your case over to the Louthian Law Firm. Call (803) 454-1200 or fill out our online contact form to speak to a Columbia car accident lawyer who knows the law.
Statute of Limitations in South Carolina Car Accident Cases
The statute of limitations – the window of time in which you have to file a claim – for a personal injury claim is two years in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. It’s always best to act quickly if you are considering filing a claim.
Settlement vs. Trial after a Car Accident
After an injury claim is filed, the two sides will negotiate potential payment to the injured party. If the two sides come to an agreement, there will be a settlement. If not, the matter will go to trial. This process can take several weeks to several months, or longer, depending on the circumstances of the case.
How Does a Settlement Work in a Car Accident Case?
A settlement is the resolution of a case through an agreement between both sides in a lawsuit. Typically, a settlement is preceded by a dialogue and negotiation between the legal representatives of the plaintiffs and defendants listed in the case.
How Does a Trial Work?
A trial occurs when a settlement is not reached. In a trial, the matter is taken to court, where each side’s attorney makes the case for their client in front of a judge and jury. The jury will decide whether the defendant was at fault and how much the plaintiff is owed.
Which Outcome Is Better for Your Car Accident Case – A Settlement or a Trial?
One outcome is not necessarily better than the other. Each case is unique and, thus, requires an approach based on the many specific needs of the person filing the claim. Ultimately, the goal is to get adequate compensation for an injured person.
At the Louthian Law Firm, we believe that the best outcome is always through thorough preparation. When we accept a case, we prepare that case to go all the way to trial. This lets the other side know that we won’t settle for less than our client deserves. Preparing every case to go to trial positions us for a better settlement, but it also ensures that we will be ready to handle whatever the case warrants.
Know that our team will be prepared for what the other side throws at us. If you want to learn more about what to expect during the car accident claims process, contact the Louthian Law Firm today to speak to our team. Call (803) 454-1200 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our Columbia, SC car accident attorneys.
Determining Fault in SC Auto Accident Lawsuits
Fault is a key component of an injury claim. Car accident attorneys conduct investigations to determine whose actions contributed to your injuries. If those actions were considered negligent, then the negligent party should be held accountable for the costs stemming from your injury.
It can require a great deal of research to find out who was at fault for an accident. An experienced attorney has been through this process several times and will know what to look for.
To learn more about South Carolina’s vehicle-related rules and regulations, we suggest visiting the following websites…
- South Carolina’s Code of Laws relating to motor vehicles
- South Carolina’s traffic and transportation safety laws
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Automobile accidents are often devastating, but never more so than when they are caused by the carelessness of another party. Drivers engage in many dangerous and negligent behaviors on the roads.
Some of the factors most likely to cause preventable accidents include:
Other causes of car accidents include…
Drivers who disobey the rules of the road, such as failing to yield or failing to obey traffic signals, as well as drivers who simply behave carelessly while driving are among the causes of car crashes. Following too closely and aggressive driving are also major contributors to car accidents in Columbia and across South Carolina. In any situation where a driver breaks the law or engages in behavior that is unreasonably careless, that driver can be held legally responsible for the damage that he or she caused. In legal terms, the driver is classified as negligent and can be sued for this negligence.
Most vehicle accidents are caused by human error. When someone is at fault for your injuries and property damage, you should never pay the price for their carelessness. You have the right to fair compensation for the expenses you are facing.
Schedule a free case assessment with the Louthian Law Firm by calling (803) 454-1200 or filling out our online contact form today. Let us get you the payment you are entitled to.
Types of Injuries from a Car Wreck
A serious car accident in Columbia, SC, can cause multiple severe injuries, many of which result in large medical bills. Here are just a few that people suffer in crashes every day…
- Back, Neck & Spinal Injury – Back injuries are one of the most common things people suffer in serious car accidents. When the spinal cord is injured, a person’s suffering is almost unimaginable. These injuries are very debilitating and costly.
- Head Injury – Traumatic brain injuries have effects that are difficult to see, but they are as profound as any type of injury one can suffer. It’s often close friends and family members who notice a brain injury victim’s cognitive and personality changes the most.
- Organ Damage, or Internal Injuries – Like brain injuries, internal injuries are difficult to detect with the naked eye. These injuries can have catastrophic effects on a sufferer, and they must be addressed immediately by medical professionals.
- Road Burn – Road burn (or road rash) is a serious skin injury that is common among car accident victims. Road burn itself can be a very serious, disfiguring injury, but it can also lead to other complications, particularly if it becomes infected or occurs alongside other serious injuries.
- Amputations – The loss of a limb or digit can dramatically alter a person’s life. Obviously, these injuries are permanent, unlike many other common car accident injury types. An amputated body part typically results in extensive surgery and a long road to recovery. It often leads to a diminished work capacity and the need for ongoing care.
- Fractures – Broken bones can be costly, painful injuries suffered in car accidents. This is particularly true when a fracture occurs to a complex set of joints or bones, such as the knee, wrist, ankle or hip.
- Disfigurement – Though disfigurement is too often thought of as being a “cosmetic” injury, it’s clear to anyone who has experience with them that they have a very real impact on sufferers. Disfigurement can cause many serious psychological and social effects on a car accident victim. Any injury claim should consider all of the impacts it has on someone’s life.
You might have suffered from one of the above injuries in a car accident, or you might be experiencing the many consequences of another serious injury. Regardless of the injuries you have suffered, you should know that you are owed compensation if an injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with the Louthian Law Firm today, we can provide you with a case assessment.
Call (803) 454-1200 or fill out our online contact form to get started.
Get Your Free Case Evaluation from the Car Accident Attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm
You likely have many questions you would like answered about your case. Our attorneys will be able to tell you more about the possible outcomes of a car accident claim if they have the chance to meet you in person to hear the details of your situation. We offer free consultations, so you can tell us about your case, and we can give you an initial assessment.
Not only do we want to hear about your case, but we would also like the opportunity to tell you about our firm’s experience in handling car accident cases in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm has been representing clients in the state since 1959. We have many years of experience getting our clients the payment they are entitled to.
We know the law, and we know how to get results. Our track record speaks for itself, but we know that our most important cases are the ones we are currently working on. Let us help you explore your legal options and tell you how we can get you the compensation you deserve.
Call the Louthian Law Firm today at (803) 454-1200 or simply fill out our online contact form to get started. Schedule your free consultation today.